Cuba Gooding Jr.

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Cuba Gooding Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr. 2012.jpg
Gooding in April 2012
Born (1968-01-02) January 2, 1968 (age 48)
The Bronx, New York City, U.S.
Nationality American
Education North Hollywood High School
Tustin High School
Apple Valley High School
John F. Kennedy High School
Occupation Actor
Years active 1986–present
Known for Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire
O.J. Simpson in American Crime Story
Radio in Radio
Spouse(s) Sara Kapfer (m. 1994; div. 2014)
Children Spencer, Mason, and Piper
Parent(s) Cuba Gooding Sr.
Shirley Sullivan
Awards Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Jerry Maguire (1996)

Cuba Gooding Jr. (born January 2, 1968) is an American actor. He is best known for his breakthrough role as Tre Styles in Boyz n the Hood (1991), his Academy Award–winning role as Rod Tidwell in Cameron Crowe's Jerry Maguire (1996), and his portrayal of O.J. Simpson in the FX drama series The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (2016). He co-starred as actor Dominic Banks in the sixth season of the FX anthology series American Horror Story, subtitled Roanoke. He has also held roles in films such as As Good as It Gets (1997), American Gangster (2007), Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013), and Selma (2014), playing civil rights attorney Fred Gray.

Personal background[edit]

Gooding was born on January 2, 1968 in The Bronx, New York City.[1] His mother, Shirley (née Sullivan), is a singer with the Sweethearts, and his father, Cuba Gooding Sr., is a lead vocalist of the soul group The Main Ingredient.[2][3] Gooding has three siblings: April, Omar, and Tommy. His paternal grandfather, Dudley MacDonald Gooding, was a native of Barbados.[3] His family moved to Los Angeles in 1972 after his father's music group had their hit single "Everybody Plays the Fool"; two years later, the elder Gooding left the family. Gooding himself was raised by his mother and attended four different high schools: North Hollywood High School, Tustin High School, Apple Valley High School, and John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills in Los Angeles. He served as class president in three of them.[4] He became a born-again Christian at age 13.[5] In 1994, Gooding married his high school sweetheart, Sara Kapfer, with whom he has three children: Spencer, Mason, and Piper. In 2014, Kapfer filed for divorce from Gooding citing irreconcilable differences.[6]

Career[edit]

Early career and major success[edit]

Gooding's first job as an entertainer was as a breakdancer performing with singer Lionel Richie at the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.[2] After high school, Gooding studied Japanese martial arts for three years, before turning his focus toward acting. Early on, he landed guest starring roles on shows like Hill Street Blues (1981), Amen (1988) and MacGyver (1988, 1989 and 1990)[7] and also had a tiny part in the popular comedy Coming to America (1988). Gooding's first major role was in John Singleton's inner-city crime drama Boyz n the Hood (1991), in which he played the lead, Tré Styles. A box office surprise and critical hit, the film is now considered a modern classic.[8][9] He followed this success with supporting roles in major films such as A Few Good Men (1992), Judgment Night (1993), Lightning Jack (1994), and Outbreak (1995). In 1996, Gooding reached a new level of prominence when he was cast as an arrogant yet charismatic football player on the brink of a career-ending injury in Cameron Crowe's blockbuster dramatic sports comedy Jerry Maguire (1996) with co-star Tom Cruise, which was a major critical and commercial success and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Most significantly, it earned Gooding an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. His exuberant "Show me the money!" line in the film became a nationwide catch phrase.[10] Additionally, his Oscar acceptance speech has often been cited for its enthusiasm.

Post-Oscar prominence[edit]

In 1997, Gooding followed his breakout with a notable supporting role in the acclaimed Academy Award-winning comedy As Good as It Gets (1997), but in the following years his career was inconsistently successful. Some of his best received performances include turns in films such as the mystical drama What Dreams May Come (1998) and the US Naval drama Men of Honor (2000), in which he played the lead role and co-starred with Robert De Niro. Gooding also received attention for his roles in the epic Pearl Harbor (2001) as historical figure Doris Miller, the ensemble farce Rat Race (2001), the musical The Fighting Temptations (2003) in which he co-starred alongside Beyoncé Knowles, and the football drama Radio (2003), in which he played the title role. Additionally, though not well received critically, the family comedy Snow Dogs (2002) was a commercial success. Other roles of note during this time include Theo Caulder in the psychological thriller Instinct (1999) and the voice of Buck in the Disney animated film Home on the Range (2004). However, during this stage of his career, he appeared in a series of films which were not critically or commercially successful, such as Chill Factor (1999), Boat Trip (2002), Norbit (2007) and Daddy Day Camp (2007), all of which had received extremely negative reviews and, with the exception of Norbit, performed poorly at the box office. On top of this, Gooding had allegedly turned down roles in successful films such as Amistad (1997) in the aftermath of his Oscar win. Ultimately, neither his earlier successes nor his leading roles in a couple of smaller independent films, including Lee Daniels' directorial debut Shadowboxer (2005), were able to offset these failures.

Recent career[edit]

Since then, in great contrast to earlier stages of his acting career, Gooding has appeared in many more gritty, critically ignored, direct-to-DVD films than theatrical or television releases. A well received performance as Ben Carson in Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009) and a small supporting role in Ridley Scott's American Gangster (2007), both proved to be exceptions to this trend. Gooding's next major film role was in the 2012 World War II film Red Tails, produced by George Lucas. In 2013, Gooding had roles in several theatrical release films, including a well received supporting performance in Lee Daniels' The Butler and brief appearances in Don Jon and Machete Kills. He also made his Broadway theatre debut alongside Cicely Tyson and Vanessa Williams in a Tony Award-nominated production of The Trip to Bountiful.[11] In 2014, he appeared as Civil Rights Movement attorney Fred Gray in the widely acclaimed historical drama Selma. He has since appeared much more frequently on television than in the past, including performances as Samuel Fraunces in the miniseries The Book of Negroes, as a comedically embellished version of himself on Big Time in Hollywood, FL, and as O. J. Simpson in the anthology series American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson. Despite his performance receiving mixed reviews,[12][13][14] he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.

Other work[edit]

In 2012, he starred in a TV pilot for Fox called Guilty that was directed by McG. Though it was well received in screenings, it was ultimately not picked up by the network. He appeared on Channel 4's Chris Moyles' Quiz Night on August 5, 2011, closing the show dueting "Bad Romance" with Lulu. In 2002, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[15]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Coming to America Boy Getting Haircut
1989 Sing Stanley
1991 Boyz n the Hood Tre Styles Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
1992 Gladiator Abraham Lincoln Haines
1992 Few Good Men, AA Few Good Men Corporal. Carl Edward Hammaker
1993 Judgment Night Mike Peterson
1994 Lightning Jack Ben Doyle
1994 Blown Away Bomb Squad Class Member Cameo
1995 Outbreak Maj. Salt Nominated – Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
1995 Losing Isaiah Eddie Hughes
1996 Jerry Maguire Rod Tidwell Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy/Romance
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated – Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture
1997 As Good as It Gets Frank Sachs Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
1998 What Dreams May Come Albert Lewis Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Drama/Romance
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
1998 Murder of Crows, AA Murder of Crows Lawson Russell Also producer
1999 Cruel Intentions Samuel Hargrove
1999 Instinct Theo Caulder
1999 Chill Factor Arlo
2000 Men of Honor BM2/Chief/Senior Chief Carl Brashear Nominated – BET Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Black Reel Award: Best Actor
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
2001 Pearl Harbor Petty Officer Doris Miller
2001 Rat Race Owen Templeton
2001 In the Shadows Draven
2001 Zoolander Himself Cameo
2002 Snow Dogs Dr. Theodore "Ted" Brooks, D.D.S.
2002 Boat Trip Jerry Robinson Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
2003 Fighting Temptations, TheThe Fighting Temptations Darrin Hill
2003 Radio James Robert "Radio" Kennedy Camie Award for Best Cast
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
2004 Home on the Range Buck the Domestic Horse Voice
2005 Shadowboxer Mikey Nominated – Black Movie Award for Best Actor
2005 Dirty Salim Adel
2006 End Game Alex Thomas
2007 Norbit Deion Hughes Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
2007 Daddy Day Camp Charles "Charlie" Hinton Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
2007 What Love Is Tom
2007 American Gangster Nicky Barnes Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2007 Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends, TheThe Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends Loofah the Beipiaosaurus Voice
Direct-to-DVD
2008 Hero Wanted Liam Case Direct-to-DVD
2008 Harold Cromer Also producer
2008 Linewatch Michael Dixon Direct-to-DVD
2009 Way of War, TheThe Way of War David Wolfe Direct-to-DVD
2009 Devil's Tomb, TheThe Devil's Tomb Mack Direct-to-DVD
2009 Lies & Illusions Isaac Direct-to-DVD
2009 Hardwired Luke Gibson Direct-to-DVD
2009 Wrong Turn at Tahoe Joshua Direct-to-DVD
2011 Ticking Clock Lewis Hicks Direct-to-DVD
2011 Sacrifice Detective John Hebron Direct-to-DVD
2011 The Hit List Jonas Arbor Direct-to-DVD
2012 Red Tails Major Emanuel Stance
2012 One in the Chamber Ray Carver Direct-to-DVD
2013 Don Jon Hollywood Actor #2 Cameo
2013 Absolute Deception John Nelson Direct-to-DVD
2013 Life of a King Eugene Brown
2013 The Butler Carter Wilson Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
2013 Machete Kills El Camaleón
2014 Freedom Samuel Also executive producer
2014 Selma Fred Gray

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1986 Better Days Bully Episode: "Wooly Bully"
1987 Hill Street Blues 2nd Gang Member / Ethan Dillon 2 episodes
1988 CBS Schoolbreak Special Paul Episode: "No Means No"
1988 Amen Kenny Episode: "Thelma's Handyman"
1989–91 MacGyver Billy Colton 4 episodes
1993 Daybreak Torch (Stephen Tolkin) Television film
1995 Tuskegee Airmen, TheThe Tuskegee Airmen Billy Roberts Television film
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
1999 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Cuba Gooding Jr./Ricky Martin"
2009 Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story Ben Carson Television film
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2012 Firelight Dwayne Johnson (DJ) Television film
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
2012 Guilty William "Billy" Remz Pilot
2015 Empire Dwayne "Puma" Robinson Episode: "The Devil Quotes Scripture"
2015 The Book of Negroes Samuel Fraunces 2 episodes
2015 Big Time in Hollywood, FL Himself 6 episodes
2015 Forever Isaac Monroe 3 episodes
2016 American Crime Story:
The People v. O. J. Simpson
O. J. Simpson 10 episodes
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Pending – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Movie/Limited Series
Pending – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
2016 American Horror Story: Roanoke Matt Miller 5 episodes
Dominic Banks 5 episodes

Stage[edit]

Year Title Role Venue
2013 The Trip to Bountiful Ludie Watts Stephen Sondheim Theatre

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biography". 
  2. ^ a b Gaul, Lou (August 7, 2008). "Cuba Gooding Jr. talks 'Daddy Day Camp'". Phillyburbs. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Cuba Gooding Jr Bio: movies.yahoo.com". Yahoo.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  5. ^ Williams, Kam (August 15, 2007). "Cuba Gooding: The Daddy Day Camp Interview with Kam Williams". Kamwilliams. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  6. ^ Lee, Ken; Rouse, Wade (April 23, 2014). "Cuba Gooding Jr. Separates from Wife". People Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Billy Colton (Character) from "MacGyver" (1985)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  8. ^ Barboza, Craigh (2009-01-01). John Singleton: Interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781604731163. 
  9. ^ Company, Johnson Publishing (1998-11-01). Ebony. Johnson Publishing Company. 
  10. ^ "Cuba Gooding Jr.". Vibe. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  11. ^ Busis, Hillary (2012-12-20). "Cuba Gooding Jr. and Vanessa Williams head to Broadway | PopWatch | EW.com". Popwatch.ew.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  12. ^ Schilling, Dave. "The People v OJ Simpson: episode one – great casting, with one exception". 
  13. ^ Starr, Michael. "Cuba Gooding Jr. has made despicable O.J. Simpson boring". Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  14. ^ McGovern, Joe. "In defense of Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson". Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  15. ^ "Cuba Gooding Jr.". Lodi News-Sentinel. Associated Press. January 18, 2002. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 

External links[edit]