Childhood & Early Life
Joey King was born on July 30, 1999, in Los Angeles, California, to Jewish parents, Terry and Jamie King. Although her parents had no connection with the entertainment industry, her father, Terry, was an arm-wrestling champion and was a known face in the city. Terry also worked as a consultant for actor Sylvester Stallone. Joey was the youngest child in the family. Both her elder sisters, Kelli and Hunter King, are professional actors.
As soon as Joey was old enough to walk, she started auditioning for commercials. At the age of 4, she appeared in the commercial for ‘Life Cereal,’ which was telecast on national TV. The commercial was her first tryst with nationwide fame. She started working as a child model soon after. Over the next couple of years, she starred in more than a hundred local and national commercials.
As she grew up, she began drawing inspiration from her grandmother, who was a theater actor.
Over time, Joey became further interested in a career in the entertainment industry and started auditioning more frequently. In 2006, she made her film and acting debut.
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In 2006, Joey King made her acting debut with a small two-episode role in the popular ‘Disney’ sitcom ‘The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.’ It was one of the most popular ‘Disney’ shows back then and turned out to be a great platform for her to showcase her talent, although she was just 7 years old then.
In 2007, she appeared in a small uncredited role in the film ‘Reign Over Me’ and followed it up in 2008 with a voice role in the animation film ‘Horton Hears a Who!’ The horror film ‘Quarantine’ was her next project in 2008. She was slowly gaining prominence, owing to her small but effective on-screen appearances.
In 2009, she provided her voice for another animated film, ‘Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,’ and appeared in the TV film ‘Anatomy of Hope.’ During her early years, she played small roles in many series such as ‘Entourage,’ ‘Jericho,’ and ‘Malcolm in the Middle,’ while she awaited a breakthrough role.
In 2010, she earned the very first lead role of her career when she appeared in the comedy–drama film ‘Ramona and Beezus.’ The film featured her in the titular role of ‘Ramona Quimby,’ the younger sister of ‘Beezus Quimby,’ played by Selena Gomez. The film was adapted from a novel by Beverly Cleary and turned out to be a critical and commercial success. It made Joey a prominent child actor. Apart from starring in the film, Joey also contributed to the original soundtrack of the film and sung a song called ‘Ramona Blue.’
In 2011, Joey appeared in the romantic-comedy series ‘Bent,’ which featured her in the leading role of ‘Charlie.’ The series did not last long but was critically acclaimed.
After the initial breakthrough, Joey appeared in a number of big-budget productions such as ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ and ‘Battle: Los Angeles.’ In 2012, she appeared in a small role in the film ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ The film was the final instalment in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ and was a huge box-office and critical success. Joey played a young ‘Talia Al Ghul’ in the film. She had to shave her head for the role, which had her earning praises from people in the industry.
In 2013, she appeared in the fantasy–adventure film ‘Oz the Great and Powerful.’ The film was directed by Sam Raimi and starred Mila Kunis and James Franco in leading roles. The movie featured Joey as ‘China Girl,’ which was mostly a voice role. The film received positive response from critics and was a box-office success.
The same year, Joey appeared in two major roles. Her first big role of the year was that of ‘Christine Perron’ in the horror film ‘The Conjuring,’ while her second major role that year was that of ‘Emily Cale,’ the daughter of the lead character, played by Channing Tatum.
In 2014, she appeared in the comedy–drama film ‘Wish I Was Here,’ which premiered at the ‘Sundance Film Festival.’ The film was met with critical acclaim at the festival. Despite that, the film received a lukewarm response upon its release and managed to earn mixed reviews. The same year, she lent her voice to ‘Jessie,’ one of the leading characters of the animated series ‘The Boxcar Children.’
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In 2014, she appeared as one of the key characters in the film ‘The Sound and the Fury,’ directed by and starring James Franco. The film was an adaptation of the novel of the same name by William Faulkner, and Joey’s performance as ‘Miss Quentin’ received massive critical acclaim. However, the film was a major box-office and critical disaster.
Over the next few years, Joey starred in films such as ‘Stonewall,’ ‘Borealis,’ ‘Independence Day: Resurgence,’ ‘Going in Style,’ ‘Wish Upon,’ and ‘Smartass.’ She has also appeared in many small roles in TV series such as ‘R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour’ and ‘New Girl.’
In 2014, she bagged the recurring role of ‘Greta Grimly’ in the popular crime-drama series ‘Fargo.’ She played a regular role in the first season, but her role was shortened in the seasons that followed.
In 2016, she appeared as the leading lady, ‘Maddisyn Crawford,’ in the series ‘Tween Fest.’ The series turned out to be a major success and was nominated for an ‘Emmy Award.’
In 2018, she appeared in the film ‘The Kissing Booth.’ The film was released on ‘Netflix’ and was regarded by Ted Sarandos, the CCO of ‘Netflix,’ as “one of the most-watched movies in the country, and maybe in the world.” The remarkable success of the film on the international streaming website contributed greatly to her international fame.