Jason Jordan Segel (born January 18, 1980) is an American television and film actor, screenwriter, musician, known for his work with producer Judd Apatow on the short-lived television series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, the movies Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, I Love You, Man, Gulliver's Travels, and Despicable Me, and also for his role as Marshall Eriksen in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.
Segel was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Jill (née Jordan), a homemaker, and Alvin G. Segel, a lawyer, and was raised in Pacific Palisades, California. His father is Jewish and his mother is Christian; he was raised in his father's religion, but also attended a Christian school. He has stated that he and his older half brother, Adam, were not close while growing up.
Following elementary school, Segel completed his middle and high school studies at Harvard-Westlake School, where his 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) frame helped him as an active member of the 1996 state champion boys' basketball team. He was the team's backup center behind Jason Collins. Segel had hopes of becoming a professional actor while in college, and acted in local theater productions at Palisades Playhouse.