It took little time for actress-singer Zooey Deschanel - a petite and enigmatic beauty - to gain a devoted audience. Taking up acting as a teenager in the late 1990s and moving into prestige projects such as "Almost Famous" (2000) and "All the Real Girls" (2003), Deschanel's off-beat projections of character made her cast-worthy before the Christmas comedy "Elf" (2003) did the trick. Over the next few years, Deschanel found her niche as a reliable supporting presence in both mainstream and art house works like "Failure to Launch" (2006) and "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (2007). With the breakout indie hit romance "500 Days of Summer" (2009) opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Deschanel moved from a quirky co-star to an undeniably talented and charming leading lady. Capitalizing on her special brand of geek-chic appeal, she was deemed "adorkable" in the marketing campaign for her well-received sitcom, "New Girl" (Fox, 2011- ). Waiting for Hollywood to gain an appreciation for her appeal, Deschanel's determination to follow her own path paid off with dividends that far exceeded her professional achievements.