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Chris Cooper

Cooper at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Born Christopher William Cooper
July 9, 1951 (1951-07-09) (age 58)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1987–present
Spouse(s) Marianne Leone (1983-present)
(1 child)

Christopher William "Chris" Cooper (born July 9, 1951) is an American film actor. He became well known in the late 1990s, having appeared in supporting performances in several major Hollywood films, including American Beauty, Capote, Syriana, October Sky, Seabiscuit, and Adaptation., for which he won both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Contents

Early life

Cooper was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Mary Ann, a homemaker, and Charles Cooper, who served as a doctor in the United States Air Force and operated a cattle ranch.[1] He has an older brother, Chuck, and grew up, in his words and despite being the son of an educated professional, as a "blue-collar cowpoke"[2] in Houston, Texas and Kansas City. During his time in Kansas City, Cooper performed with The Barn Players, a local community theater that has operated since 1955. He went on to serve in the United States Coast Guard Reserve. He attended Stephens College and the University of Missouri, where he double-majored in the school of Agriculture and the school of Drama. After graduation, Cooper moved to New York City to pursue an acting career.

Career

Cooper's early performances include Matewan, the 1987 picture by John Sayles; the 1989 miniseries Lonesome Dove; and the 1990 picture Thousand Pieces of Gold, which is based on the novel of the same title.

Some of his more notable later performances include: Money Train, as a psychotic pyromaniac who terrifies toll booth operators; Lone Star, in a rare leading role as a Texas sheriff charged with solving a decades-old case; as Deputy Dwayne Looney in director Joel Schumacher's 1996 film A Time to Kill (based on the John Grisham novel); and as a homophobic Marine Corps Colonel in American Beauty, a role that garnered him a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

In 2000, Cooper played Colonel Harry Burwell (inspired by Lighthorse Harry Lee) in The Patriot. He was nominated for another Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA Award, and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe Award in 2003 for playing the role of John Laroche in Adaptation. In 2002, Cooper also appeared in The Bourne Identity as a ruthless CIA special ops director, a role he reprised (in flashbacks) in The Bourne Supremacy. He received another Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for his supporting role as racehorse trainer Tom Smith in Seabiscuit.

Cooper has played his share of low-key heroic and non-heroic types. In 2005, for example, he starred in Silver City, playing an inept Republican gubernatorial candidate, a character noted for similarities to U.S. President George W. Bush.

Cooper was generally busy in 2005, appearing in three acclaimed films: Jarhead (which reunited him with American Beauty director Sam Mendes and October Sky actor Jake Gyllenhaal); Capote; and Syriana.

He also acted in the thriller Breach, playing real-life FBI agent and traitor Robert Hanssen. Cooper commented that Breach was "the first studio film where they've considered me the lead [actor]". He appeared as a government agent in dangerous territory alongside Jamie Foxx, Ashraf Barhom, Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman in the action thriller The Kingdom and most recently voiced the character Douglas in the film adaptation of Maurice Sendak's book, Where the Wild Things Are.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1987 Matewan Joe Kenehan
The Equalizer Michael (TV series) (Episode "The Rehearsal")
1988 Journey Into Genius Louis Halladay (TV series)
Miami Vice Jimmy Yagovitch (TV series) (Episode "Mirror Image")
1989 Lonesome Dove July Johnson (TV series)
1990 Lifestories Mr. Hawkins (TV mini-series) (Episode "The Hawkins Family")
1991 Guilty by Suspicion Larry Nolan
A Thousand Pieces of Gold Charlie
Darrow Eugene Debs (TV series)
To the Moon, Alice Frank Wiliker (TV series)
City of Hope Riggs
1992 Bed of Lies Price Daniel, Jr. (TV series)
Ned Blessing: The True Story of My Life Anthony Blessing (TV series)
1993 This Boy's Life (film) Roy
Return to Lonesome Dove July Johnson (TV mini-series)
1994 One More Mountain James Reed (TV series)
1995 Pharaoh's Army Captain John Hull Abston
Money Train Torch
1996 Law & Order Roy Payne (TV series) (1 Episode)
Boys John Baker
Lone Star Sam
A Time to Kill Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney
1997 Breast Men Dr. William Larson
1998 Great Expectations Joe
The Horse Whisperer Frank Booker
1999 The 24 Hour Woman Ron Hacksby
October Sky John Hickam
American Beauty Col. Frank Fitts, USMC Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2000 Me, Myself & Irene Lieutenant Gerke
The Patriot Colonel Harry Burwell
2002 Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road Bob Cody
The Bourne Identity Alexander Conklin
Adaptation John Laroche Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
2003 My House in Umbria Thomas Riversmith
Seabiscuit Tom Smith Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
2004 Silver City Richard "Dicky" Pilager
The Bourne Supremacy Alexander Conklin
2005 Capote Alvin Dewey Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Jarhead Lt. Col. Kazinski
Syriana Jimmy Pope
2007 Breach Robert Hanssen
The Kingdom Grant Sykes
Married Life Harry Allen
2008 American Experience Walt Whitman Documentary
2009 New York, I Love You Alex Simmons
Where the Wild Things Are Douglas (voice)
2010 The Tempest Antonio
The Company Men Phil Woodward
Remember Me Neil Craig
The Town Doug's father

Personal life

Cooper and wife Marianne Leone Cooper, April 2007.

Cooper resides in Kingston, Massachusetts, with his wife, Marianne Leone Cooper, whom he married in 1983. In 1987, their son Jesse Lanier Cooper was born. Three months premature, Jesse developed a cerebral hemorrhage and cerebral palsy. After searching for the best schools for children with special needs, Cooper and Leone moved to Kingston, Massachusetts, where they became strong advocates for exceptional children.[3] Jesse was eventually mainstreamed into Silver Lake Regional High School, where he became an honor student. On January 3, 2005, Jesse Cooper died from complications of cerebral palsy. A memorial fund was set up in his name, the Jesse Cooper Foundation.

References

  1. ^ Chris Cooper biography. Film Reference.com.
  2. ^ Thompson, Bob (2007-02-14). "Chris Cooper wants to do good work, not make friends". Canada.com. http://www.canada.com/topics/entertainment/story.html?id=cad79ce8-4fd7-4785-a5ab-56e98a0780a0&k=995. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  3. ^ Fee, Gayle and Laura Raposa with Nichole Gleisner. Son of Chris Cooper succumbs to cerebral palsy. The Boston Herald. 5 January 2005. reprinted on Cooperfan1.pitas.com.

External links

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