Cuba Gooding Jr.

PROFILE | NEWS

Cuba Gooding was born in Bronx, New York to Shirley, a singer with the Sweethearts, and Cuba Gooding, Sr., a lead vocalist of soul group The Main Ingredient. 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 but abandoned his family two years later. Gooding Jr. 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.

His first job as a professional entertainer was as a break-dancer performing with singer Lionel Richie at the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. 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), Lightning Jack (1994), Outbreak (1995), Men of Honor (2000), Rat Race (2001), and The Fighting Temptations (2003) in which he co-starred alongside Beyoncé Knowles.

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. In 1997, he had a notable supporting role in As Good As It Gets (1997). The next several years, his films were inconsistently successful; Boat Trip (2002), Norbit (2007), and Daddy Day Camp (2007), all of which had received extremely negative reviews and performed poorly at the box office.

Gooding also starred in a film titled A Murder of Crows, which he co-produced with his long time friend and business partner Derek Broes. The film was Gooding's first attempt at producing.  Since then, he has had series of starring roles in grittier films released direct-to-DVD such as the revenge dramas Hero Wanted and Wrong Turn at Tahoe, as well as the sci-fi action pic Hardwired and the action comedy Lies & Illusions. 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. An appearance in the World War II film, Red Tails, produced by George Lucas and with other prominent actors such as Terrence Howard, will mark his only return to the big screen since American Gangster.

Gooding is married to Sara Kapfer; they have two sons, Spencer and Mason.  

MOVIE CREDITS:
1999: Arlo - Chill Factor
2009: Ben Carson - Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
2009: Luke Gibson - Hardwired
2002: Ted Brooks - Snow Dogs
2009: Joshua - Wrong Turn at Tahoe
2007: Tom - What Love Is
2002: Jerry Robinson - Boat Trip
2006: Alex Thomas - End Game
2001: Owen Templeton - Rat Race
2005: Mikey - Shadowboxer
2003: Radio - Radio
2007: Charlie Hinton - Daddy Day Camp
2008: Michael Dixon - Linewatch
2009: David Wolfe - The Way of War
2008: Liam Case - Hero Wanted
1999: Lawson Russell - A Murder of Crows
2009: Mack - The Devil's Tomb
2011: Lewis Hicks - Ticking Clock
2011: John Hebron - Sacrifice
2011: Jonas Arbor - The Hit List
2012: DJ - Firelight
2013: Detective Callendar - Summoned
2013: Eugene - Life of a King
2013: John Nelson - Absolute Deception
1993: Mike Peterson - Judgment Night
1991: Tré Styles - Boyz n the Hood
2005: Salim Adel - Dirty
2003: Darrin Hill - The Fighting Temptations
2009: Isaac - Lies & Illusions
2000: Senior Chief Carl Brashear - Men of Honor
1999: Dr. Theo Caulder - Instinct
1998: Albert Lewis - What Dreams May Come
1996: Rod Tidwell - Jerry Maguire
2008: Cromer - Harold
1993: Torch - Daybreak
2012: Ray Carver - One in the Chamber
2014: Samuel - Freedom
Narrator (voice) - Double Victory: The Tuskegee Airmen at War
2018: Rodney Jones - Bayou Caviar
1992: Abraham Lincoln Haines - Gladiator
2012: Major Emanuelle Stance - Red Tails
2013: Shadoweyes - Timmy Muldoon and the Search for the Shadoweyes Bandit
2018: Xavier - Life in a Year
1997: Frank Sachs - As Good as It Gets
1994: Ben Doyle - Lightning Jack
2001: Draven - In the Shadows
2011: The Enduring Significance of Boyz n the Hood
1995: Salt - Outbreak
1995: Eddie Hughes - Losing Isaiah
2001: Doris Miller - Pearl Harbor
2007: Deion Hughes - Norbit
2004: Buck (voice) - Home on the Range
2007: Loofah (voice) - The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends
1992: Tyree - Murder Without Motive: The Edmund Perry Story
1995: Billy Roberts - The Tuskegee Airmen
2014: Fred Gray - Selma
2003: Friendly Fire: Making of an Urban Legend
2013: El Camaleon - Machete Kills
1994: Bomb Squad Class Member - Blown Away
1989: Stanley - Sing
1992: Cpl. Carl Hammaker - A Few Good Men
2007: Nicky Barnes - American Gangster
2001: Cuba Gooding Jr. - Zoolander
1988: Boy Getting Haircut - Coming to America
2013: Carter Wilson - The Butler
2017: Everything Is Terrible! Presents: The Great Satan
1998: Cuba Gooding Jr. - Welcome to Hollywood
2013: Hollywood Actor #2 - Don Jon
2001: Himself - America: A Tribute to Heroes

TV CREDITS:
2003: Jimmy Kimmel Live!
1992: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
1993: Late Night with Conan O'Brien
1987: The Bronx Zoo
1953: Himself - The Academy Awards
1969: Sesame Street
1985: 227
1997: The View
1996: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
1985: MacGyver
1989: Mancuso, F.B.I.
1981: Hill Street Blues
1995: MADtv
1993: The Untouchables
2002: V Graham Norton
1975: Saturday Night Live
1989: Poptop - Nasty Boys
2015: Sam Fraunces - The Book of Negroes
2016: O. J. Simpson - American Crime Story
2015: Self - Close Up with The Hollywood Reporter
2015: Cuba Gooding Jr. - Big Time in Hollywood, Fl
2011: Dominic Banks / Matt Miller - American Horror Story
2007: Self - The Graham Norton Show
2016: Himself - John Bishop: In Conversation With...