Jacob Danner was born in Los Angeles on Sept. 26, 1975, spending the first seven years of his life in Santa Monica, CA until the family migrated to New York City, NY. In his youth, Paltrow was a self-described loner who "spent most Saturday nights watching B-grade horror movies." He spent summers watching his mother perform at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival, and in New York his "downtown theater" parents introduced their children to show business in a healthy way, focusing on the craft, not the fame. But while his sister shone in front of the camera, Paltrow was more drawn to the life behind it, inspired by his father's work as a television director, producer and creator - most famously on "St. Elsewhere" (NBC, 1982-88) and "The White Shadow" (CBS, 1978-1981).Jake began his career in 1994 as a production assistant for TV's "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99) and the Hughes Brothers' movie "Dead Presidents" (1995). That same year, he wrote and directed the Sundance-screened comedic short "An Eviction Notice" (1995), starring Parker Posey and Kevin Corrigan as a couple who must defuse a bomb in their apartment. The following year, he worked as an assistant on writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's feature debut "Hard Eight" (1996), a spectacularly dark and stirring achievement starring sister Gwyneth, John C. Reilly and Philip Baker Hall.Based on his "Eviction" achievement, Paltrow was sought for his screenwriting abilities and hired by DreamWorks Pictures to pen "The Modern Machine," a story about a teenager's love and obsession with an artificially intelligent being. He went on to write screen adaptations of Chuck Pahalniuk's novel, Survivor, for Fox 2000, and Donna Tartt's modern classic The Secret History for Warner Bros. and Miramax. Unfortunately, his efforts never came to fruition and the scripts remain un-produced. Paltrow made the leap to television and began to direct hour-long dramas, including episodes of "The Others" (NBC, 2000), "The Jury" (Fox, 2004) and, most notably, seven seasons of "NYPD Blue" under the guidance and mentorship of show creators Steven Bochco, David Milch and Mark Tinker.In 2005, Paltrow woke up one morning with an idea for a story that revolved around a man's search for perfection in a world where life rarely measures up to his idealized images. He turned that idea into a script, going on to direct the $15 million romantic comedy "The Good Night," and casting Martin Freeman in the film about a washed-up pop star reduced to writing advertising jingles amid an early midlife crisis. Paltrow also cast Simon Pegg, Penelope Cruz, Danny DeVito and - not surprisingly - his sister Gwyneth, despite some reservations that their collaboration might eclipse the focus of the film. After an 11-year absence from Sundance, Paltrow screened "The Good Night" in 2007 with a dedication to his late father, whose death several years early had devastated his close-knit family. The film, however, received a lukewarm reception from critics and limited theatrical release.