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Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Gooding, Jr. in April 2008
Born Cuba M. Gooding, Jr.
January 2, 1968 (1968-01-02) (age 42)
Bronx, New York, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1984–present
Spouse(s) Sara Kapfer (March 13, 1994–present); 3 children

Cuba M. Gooding, Jr. (born January 2, 1968) is an American actor. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning portrayal as Rod Tidwell in Cameron Crowe's Jerry Maguire (1996) and his critically acclaimed performance as Tré Styles in John Singleton's Boyz n the Hood (1991).


Early life

Cuba Gooding, Jr. was born and raised in The Bronx, New York, the son of Shirley, a singer with the Sweethearts, and Cuba Gooding, Sr., a lead vocalist of soul group The Main Ingredient.[1] He has two brothers, musician Tommy Gooding and fellow actor Omar Gooding, and sister, April Gooding. His family moved to Los Angeles after Gooding, Sr.'s music group had a hit single with "Everybody Plays the Fool" in 1972; the elder Gooding abandoned his family two years later. During his appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Gooding revealed that after his father had left, his family lived in hotels throughout Los Angeles. Gooding was raised by his mother and attended four different high schools: North Hollywood High School, 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. He became a born-again Christian at age 13.[2]


His first job as a professional entertainer was as a breakdancer performing with singer Lionel Richie at the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.[1] 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) and MacGyver (1985). His first major role was in the John Singleton's box office surprise and critical hit Boyz n the Hood (1991). He followed this success with roles in major films like A Few Good Men (1992), Men of Honor (2000), Lightning Jack (1994), and Outbreak (1995).

In 1996, he was cast as an arrogant football player on the brink of a career-ending injury in Cameron Crowe's Jerry Maguire (1996). The film was a success and earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. His "Show Me The Money" line in the film became a nationwide catchphrase.[3] In 1997, he had a notable supporting role in As Good As It Gets (1997). The next several years, his films were inconsistently successful. He has also appeared in a series of films which were not as critically or commercially successful, such as Boat Trip (2002), Norbit (2006), and Daddy Day Camp (2007), all of which had received extremely negative reviews and, with the exception of Norbit, all of which performed poorly at the box office.

Later in 2007, Cuba starred as real-life gangster Nicky Barnes in American Gangster, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe. This led to a series of starring roles in grittier pictures such as the revenge drama Hero Wanted (opposite Ray Liotta) and Wrong Turn at Tahoe (also starring Harvey Keitel and Miguel Ferrer). The sci-fi action pic (opposite Val Kilmer) Hardwired and the action comedy Lies & Illusions (with Christian Slater) also marked his filmography, among others.

In 2002, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Gooding, Jr. in 2006
Year Film Role Other notes
1988 Coming to America Barber Shop Customer
Sing Stanley
1991 Boyz n the Hood Tré Styles
1992 Gladiator Abraham Lincoln Haines
A Few Good Men Cpl. Carl Hammaker
1993 Daybreak Torch (Stephen Tolkin)
Judgment Night Mike Peterson
1994 Lightning Jack Ben Doyle
1995 Outbreak Maj. Salt
The Tuskegee Airmen Billy Roberts
Losing Isaiah Eddie Hughes
1996 Jerry Maguire Rod Tidwell Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award
1997 As Good as It Gets Frank Sachs
Do Me a Favor Liquor Store Clerk
1998 What Dreams May Come Albert Lewis
A Murder of Crows Lawson Russel Produced by Derek Broes
1999 Instinct Theo Caulder
Chill Factor Arlo
2000 Men of Honor BM2/Chief/Senior Chief Carl Brashear
2001 Pearl Harbor Petty Officer Doris Miller
Rat Race Owen Templeton
Zoolander Himself
In the Shadows Draven
2002 Snow Dogs Theodore "Ted" Brooks
2003 Boat Trip Jerry Robinson
The Fighting Temptations Darrin Hill
Radio James Robert "Radio" Kennedy
2004 Home on the Range Buck voice-over
2005 Dirty Salim Adel
Shadowboxer Mikey
2006 End Game Alex Thomas
Lightfield's Home Videos
2007 Norbit Deion Hughes
What Love Is Tom
Daddy Day Camp Charlie Hinton
American Gangster Leroy Barnes
The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends Loofah voice-over
2008 Hero Wanted Liam Case
Harold Cromer
Linewatch Michael Dixon
The Way of War David Wolfe
2009 Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story Ben Carson TV film
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Lies & Illusions Isaac
The Devil's Tomb Mack
Wrong Turn at Tahoe Joshua
Hardwired Luke Gibson
2010 Red Tails TBA
Ticking Clock Lewis Hicks
Hit List Jonas Archer

Notable film quotes

I got a shelf life of ten years, tops. My next contract's gotta bring me the dollars that'll last me and mine a long time. Shit, I'm out of this sport in 5 years. What's my family gonna live on? Huh?
Rod Tidwell (Jerry Maguire)
Show me the money!
Rod Tidwell (Jerry Maguire)
I haven't shot anyone in a long time.
Isaac (Lies & Illusions)
Your brother died with his dick in his hands too.
Liam Case (Hero Wanted)
Everybody goes outside!
Theo Caulder (Instinct)
What pants I put on?
James Robert 'Radio' Kennedy (Radio)
You all don't know this and I never told anyone but...I'm a music producer
Darrin Hill (The Fighting Temptations)


  1. ^ a b Gaul (August 7, 2008). "Cuba Gooding Jr. talks 'Daddy Day Camp'". Phillyburbs. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ Williams, Kam (August 15, 2007). "Cuba Gooding: The Daddy Day Camp Interview with Kam Williams". Kamwilliams. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ Template:Cite He likes guys. web

External links

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