June 29, 1958 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, Singer, Broadcaster, Educator|
Coopwood was born in Chicago, Illinois to Louise Riley and Jesse Coopwood. His mother, Louise Riley, a former gospel radio broadcaster, and talk show hostess in markets from Chicago and parts of Texas, to Miami, Florida, was also a former actress, who had understudied Eartha Kitt in "Mrs. Patterson" on Broadway, model, charm school owner, and successful newspaper and magazine publisher. His father, Jesse Coopwood was a legendary jazz radio broadcaster in Gary, Indiana.
Coopwood graduated from the University of Miami, a private university in Coral Gables, Florida, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He also obtained a Master of Arts degree, with distinction, from the California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Carson, California.
Although born in Chicago, Coopwood grew up in Miami, Florida, where he graduated from Miami High School, and was named "Best Actor" in the State of Florida by the International Thespian Society. He was also a three-time State Speech and Debate Champion and two time National Speech and Debate Finalist. While obtaining a B.F.A. in theatre from the University of Miami, he also sang for 4 seasons with the Greater Miami Opera, now known as the Florida Grand Opera, where he performed with such international artists as Luciano Pavarotti, Jon Vickers, Cesare Siepi, James Morris, Dominic Cossa, Joanna Simon, Judith Blegen, Tatiana Troyanos, Renata Scotto, Mirella Freni, and Plácido Domingo, among many others. Upon graduation he appeared across the country in the Broadway National Tour of "Timbuktu!", starring the legendary Eartha Kitt, and subsequently starred in several major stage productions in theatres throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Subsequently he went on to teach, coach and lecture in speech and debate at various high schools and colleges across the country, including Harvard University, Northwestern University, Georgetown University, Marquette University, and Emory University, as well as the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Miami. During his coaching career, his students won several regional, state and national championships in speech & debate at both the high school and college level, and he was twice named National Coach of the Year.
Upon his return to Chicago, he was the Emmy-nominated, original host of the $100,000 Fortune Hunt and also hosted Know Your Heritage, both nationally syndicated television game shows, airing primarily on Chicago television station and cable superstation WGN-TV. Also an Emmy nominee for his voice-over work, he is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Currently living in Los Angeles, he continues to perform in television, film, commercials, voiceovers, the stage and broadcasting. For several years he was also a regular host of the pledge drives for the PBS member television station in Los Angeles, KCET.
Coopwood is known for his work on stage, television, and commercials, as a television broadcaster, and for a significant body of work doing voice-overs in feature films.
Star Trek & Star Wars voicework
He is one of the few performers to list work on both the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises among his many credits. Among his most famous voice work is as the "Voice of the Borg", in the film Star Trek: First Contact. His voice was used for the film's Borg speech ending with the famous line "Resistance is futile." His voice was digitally layered multiple times to create the unique "Borg" effect.
He was also the voice of Captain Panaka in four Star Wars videogames: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Star Wars: Episode I: Battle for Naboo, while he also served as the game's narrator.
- Biography. TV.com. CBS Interactive. 20`3. Retrieved November 13, 2013
- Education a Key Role for Actor, Alumnus Jeff Coopwood California State University, Dominguez Hills. Dateline Dominguez. Campus News Center. May 20, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2014
- Biography IMDB.com 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013
- Chicago Legends. The Best Music of Your Life. WKKC.com 2006. Retrieved November 13, 2013
- Alumni Bios. University of Miami. Theatre Arts. 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013
- Star Wars: Obi-Wan. Full Cast & Crew IMDB. 1990-2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015
- Panaka. Star Wars Reference Guide Who's Who. 2006. Retrieved September 13, 2014.