Gillian Jacobs was born on 19 October 1982 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US. Her father, William F. Jacobs Jr., is an investment banker and her mother, Martina Magenau Jacobs, is an alumni relations officer at Carnegie Mellon University. She is an alumnus of Mt. Lebanon High School, Pennsylvania, and Juilliard School, New York. Gillian Jacobs holds a bachelor's degree in fine arts. She began acting at a young age by attending acting classes at the Pittsburgh Playhouse on weekends. Jacobs made her acting debut portraying the role of Titania in Pittsburgh Public Theater's stage adaptation of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
She made her film debut with the 2005 film Building Girl (2005) and debuted on television in 2006 in the role of Adele Congreve in three episodes of the popular series The Book of Daniel (2006). Jacobs' most memorable role until date remains the role of CJ in the 2010 film Nonames (2010), which brought huge laurels for her acting as well as the Method Fest Award in the Best Actress category.
In 2006, Gillian Jacobs appeared in 'Cagelove', an off-Broadway production. The play received negative reviews from all quarters though all reviews appreciated the acting talent of Gillian Jacobs. Her big break came in the form of Community: Study Break (2010) in 2009, wherein she played the role of Britta Perry for 119 episodes until curtains came down on the show. Gillian Jacobs ended up signing the HBO series Girls (2012) in the recurring role as Mimi-Rose Howard. Jacobs also appeared in a few web series starting with 'Don Cheadle Is Captain Planet (2011) in 2011 followed by The Book Club (2012)in 2012 and Tiny Commando (2013) in 2013. In 2015, Gillian Jacobs directed a short documentary titled The Queen of Code (2015) about Grace Hopper, a rear admiral in the US Navy and a computer scientist, who ushered in the digital era. Gillian Jacobs' other prominent film appearances include Gardens of the Night (2008) in 2008, The Box (2009) in 2009, Helena from the Wedding (2010) in 2010, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) in 2012, Made in Cleveland (2013) in 2013, The Lookalike (2014) in 2014, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015) in 2015, Don't Think Twice (2016) in 2016 and Lemon (2017) in 2017.
In person Jacobs is a teetotaler. She says she made a choice while young to never have an alcoholic beverage or do drugs. She says her father is an addict, and together with reading the cautionary tale in the young adult novel Go Ask Alice, about a 15-year-old drug addict, she became fearful of ruining her life the same way.More