Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Jan. 2nd, 1968
Born in
Bronx, New York, USA

Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
American Crime Story TV Show
American Crime Story
Book of Negroes (CA) TV Show
Book of Negroes (CA)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Cuba M. Gooding, Jr. (born January 2, 1968) is an American film actor. His performances in films such as As Good as It Gets (1997), Men of Honor (2000), Rat Race (2001), Snow Dogs (2002), were also well received.

Born in Bronx, New York, the son of Shirley Gooding (née Sullivan), a singer with the Sweethearts, and Cuba Gooding, Sr., a lead vocalist of the soul group The Main Ingredient. He has three siblings: April, Omar, and Tommy Gooding. His paternal grandfather was a native of Barbados. His family moved to Los Angeles after his father's music group had a hit single with "Everybody Plays the Fool" in 1972; the elder Gooding abandoned his family two years later. Gooding 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. He became a born-again Christian at age 13.

His 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. 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) 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. He followed this success with supporting roles in major films such as A Few Good Men (1992), 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. Additionally, his Oscar acceptance speech has often been cited for its enthusiasm.

Other roles include a co-lead role alongside 'Anthony Hopkins' in the psychological thriller Instinct (1999) and the voice of Buck in Disney's animated film Home on the Range (2004). However, during this stage of his career, he also began to appear 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.

Gooding had a prominent role in the World War II film, Red Tails (2012), produced by George Lucas and also with other prominent actors such as 'Terrence Howard' and 'Bryan Cranston', it was his first theatrically released film since 2007's American Gangster. 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.

Gooding Jr. married his high school sweetheart, Sara Kapfer in (1994), and they have three children: Spencer, Mason and Piper. They live in Pacific Palisades, and Porter Ranch, California. Kapfer filed for divorce from Gooding on (April 22, 2014).

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


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