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Cuba Gooding Jr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cuba Gooding Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr. 2012.jpg
Gooding in 2012
Cuba Mark Gooding Jr.

(1968-01-02) January 2, 1968 (age 54)
EducationApple Valley High School
Years active1986–present
Sara Kapfer
(m. 1994; div. 2017)
Children3, including Mason Gooding
Parent(s)Cuba Gooding Sr.
Shirley Sullivan
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actor

Cuba Mark Gooding Jr. (born January 2, 1968) is an American actor. He is the recipient of an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an Emmy nomination.

After his breakthrough role as Tre Styles in Boyz n the Hood (1991), he appeared in A Few Good Men (1992), The Tuskegee Airmen (1995), Outbreak (1995), and Jerry Maguire (1996), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He gained later fame for his roles in Men of Honor (2000) as Carl Brashear, and in Michael Bay's World War II epic Pearl Harbor (2001) as Doris Miller. His other films include As Good as It Gets (1997), What Dreams May Come (1998), Rat Race (2001), The Fighting Temptations (2003), American Gangster (2007), Gifted Hands (2009), Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013), and Selma (2014) as civil rights attorney Fred Gray. He also provided the voice of Buck the Horse in the animated feature film Home on the Range (2004).

In 2016, he portrayed O. J. Simpson in the FX drama series The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, receiving a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, and co-starred in the sixth season of the FX anthology series American Horror Story, subtitled Roanoke.

Early life

Gooding was born on January 2, 1968, in the Bronx, New York City.[1] His mother, Shirley Sullivan, is a singer, and his father, Cuba Gooding Sr., was the lead vocalist of soul group The Main Ingredient.[2][3] Gooding has three siblings: April, Omar, and Thomas.[4] His paternal grandfather, Dudley MacDonald Gooding, was a native of Barbados.[3] His family moved to Los Angeles in 1972 after his father's music group had their hit single "Everybody Plays the Fool"; two years later, the elder Gooding left the family. Gooding himself 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.[5] He became a born-again Christian at the age of 13.[6]


Early career and major success

Gooding's 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.[2] 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 (1987), Amen (1988) and MacGyver (1988, 1989 and 1990) and also had a small 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, Tre Styles. The film was a box office surprise and critical hit, and is considered a modern classic.[7][8] He followed this success with supporting roles in major films such as A Few Good Men and Gladiator (1992), Judgment Night (1993), 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 in Cameron Crowe's 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 and earned Gooding an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. His exuberant "Show me the money!" line in the film became a nationwide catch phrase.[9] His Oscar acceptance speech has often been cited for its enthusiasm.[10]

Post-Oscar prominence

In 1997, Gooding followed his breakout with a notable supporting role in the acclaimed Academy Award-winning comedy As Good as It Gets (1997), but in the following years his career was inconsistently successful. Some of his best received performances include turns in films such as the mystical drama What Dreams May Come (1998) and the US Naval drama Men of Honor (2000), in which he played the lead role and co-starred with Robert De Niro. Gooding also received attention for his roles in the epic Pearl Harbor (2001) as Doris Miller, the ensemble farce Rat Race (2001), musical dramedy The Fighting Temptations (2003), and the football drama Radio (2003), in which he played the title role. Additionally, though not well received critically, the family comedy Snow Dogs (2002) was a commercial success. Other roles during this time include Theo Caulder in the psychological thriller Instinct (1999) and the voice of Buck in the Disney animated film Home on the Range (2004). However, during this stage of his career, he appeared 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.

Later career

Since then, in great contrast to earlier stages of his acting career, Gooding has appeared in many more critically ignored, direct-to-DVD films than theatrical or television releases. 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. Gooding's next major film role was in the 2012 World War II film Red Tails, produced by George Lucas. In 2013, Gooding had roles in several theatrical release films, including a well received supporting performance in Lee Daniels's The Butler and brief appearances in Don Jon and Machete Kills. He also made his Broadway theatre debut alongside Cicely Tyson and Vanessa Williams in a Tony Award-nominated production of The Trip to Bountiful.[11] In 2014, he appeared as Civil Rights Movement attorney Fred Gray in the widely acclaimed historical drama Selma. He has since appeared much more frequently on television, including performances as Samuel Fraunces in the miniseries The Book of Negroes, as a comedically embellished version of himself on Big Time in Hollywood, FL, and as O. J. Simpson in the anthology series American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson. Despite his performance receiving mixed reviews,[12][13][14] he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Gooding's Emmy nomination for his work on the series was criticized by some reviewers.[15] In 2018, Gooding headlined the 21st Anniversary revival of the musical Chicago in the West End as Billy Flynn at the Phoenix Theatre.

His directorial debut, Bayou Caviar, was released on October 5, 2018.

Other work

In 2006, Gooding earned the Public Leadership in Neurology Award from the American Academy of Neurology for his work raising awareness about Multiple Sclerosis.[16]

In 2012, Gooding starred in a TV pilot for Fox called Guilty that was directed by McG. Though it was well received in screenings, it was ultimately not picked up by the network. He appeared on Channel 4's Chris Moyles' Quiz Night on August 5, 2011, closing the show dueting "Bad Romance" with Lulu. In 2002, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Gooding starred in an online video game called "The Quest For The Code" which focuses on juvenile asthma management.[17]

On March 3, 2018, Gooding appeared as star guest announcer on the 100th episode of ITV's Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.[18]

Personal life

In 1994, Gooding married his high school sweetheart, Sara Kapfer, with whom he has three children: Spencer Gooding, Piper Gooding, and actor Mason Gooding. In 2014, Kapfer filed for legal separation from Gooding.[19] Gooding filed for divorce in January 2017.[20][21]

Sexual misconduct allegations

On June 13, 2019, Gooding was booked on charges of misdemeanor forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree in New York City relating to an incident in which he allegedly groped a woman at a bar in Times Square.[22] On October 10, he was indicted on a separate, additional sexual abuse charge.[23] As of August 2020, 30 women have accused Gooding of unwanted sexual touching.[24][25][26] Gooding was formally charged for three incidents, each resulting in misdemeanor charges of forcible touching and third degree sexual abuse.[27] On April 12, 2022, Gooding pleaded guilty to forcibly touching a woman at a New York nightclub in 2018, telling the judge he "kissed the waitress on her lips" without her consent at the LAVO New York nightclub. He also admitted to the two other alleged incidents of non-consensual contact, which took place in October 2018 and June 2019.[28] The plea deal that Gooding reached with prosecutors called for no jail time, and it allowed him to withdraw his misdemeanor plea and plead to the lesser violation of harassment as long as he continued counseling for six months.[29]

On August 19, 2020, a lawsuit was filed accusing Gooding of raping a woman twice in 2013 in a New York hotel room.[30][31]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Coming to America Boy getting haircut
1989 Sing Stanley
1991 Boyz n the Hood Jason "Tre" Styles III Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
1992 Gladiator Abraham Lincoln Haines
A Few Good Men Corporal Carl Edward Hammaker
1993 Judgment Night Mike Peterson
1994 Lightning Jack Ben Doyle
Blown Away Bomb Squad Class Member Cameo
1995 Outbreak Major Salt Nominated – Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Losing Isaiah Eddie Hughes
1996 Jerry Maguire Rod Tidwell Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy/Romance
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated – Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture
1997 As Good as It Gets Frank Sachs Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
1998 What Dreams May Come Albert Lewis Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Drama/Romance
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
A Murder of Crows Lawson Russell Also producer
1999 Instinct Theo Caulder
Chill Factor Arlo
2000 Men of Honor BM2/Chief/Senior Chief Carl Brashear Nominated – BET Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Black Reel Award: Best Actor
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
2001 Pearl Harbor Petty Officer Doris Miller
Rat Race Owen Templeton
In the Shadows Draven
Zoolander Himself Cameo
2002 Snow Dogs Theodore "Ted" Brooks
Boat Trip Jerry Robinson Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
2003 The Fighting Temptations Darrin Hill Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
Radio James Robert "Radio" Kennedy Camie Award for Best Cast
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
2004 Home on the Range Buck The Domestic Horse Voice
2005 Shadowboxer Mikey Nominated – Black Movie Award for Best Actor
Dirty Salim Adel
2006 End Game Alex Thomas Direct-to-video
2007 Norbit Deion Hughes Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
Daddy Day Camp Charlie Hinton Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
What Love Is Tom
American Gangster Nicky Barnes Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends Loofah The Beipiaosaurus Voice
2008 Hero Wanted Liam Case Direct-to-video
Harold Cromer Also producer
Linewatch Michael Dixon Direct-to-video
2009 The Way of War David Wolfe Direct-to-video
The Devil's Tomb Mack Direct-to-video
Lies & Illusions Isaac Direct-to-video
Hardwired Luke Gibson Direct-to-video
Wrong Turn at Tahoe Joshua Direct-to-video
2011 Ticking Clock Lewis Hicks Direct-to-video
Sacrifice Detective John Hebron Direct-to-video
The Hit List Jonas Arbor Direct-to-video
2012 Red Tails Major Emanuel Stance
One in the Chamber Ray Carver Direct-to-video
2013 Don Jon Hollywood Actor #2 Cameo
Absolute Deception John Nelson Direct-to-video
Life of a King Eugene Brown Limited release
The Butler Carter Wilson Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Machete Kills El Chameleón 2
2014 Freedom Samuel Also executive producer
Selma Fred Gray
2018 Bayou Caviar Rodney Jones Also director and co-writer
2020 Life in a Year Xavier
TBA Skeletons in the Closet TBA Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1986 Better Days Bully Episode: "Wooly Bully"
The Dating Game Himself/ Contestant IDK [32]
1987 Hill Street Blues Gang member #2 / Ethan Dillon 2 episodes
1988 CBS Schoolbreak Special Paul Episode: "No Means No"
Amen Kenny Episode: "Thelma's Handyman"
1989–91 MacGyver Billy Colton 4 episodes
1993 Daybreak Stephen 'Torch' Tolkin Television film
The Untouchables Tommy Taylor Episode: "Betrayal in Black & Tan"
1995 The Tuskegee Airmen Billy Roberts Television film
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
1999 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Cuba Gooding Jr./Ricky Martin"
2007 Sesame Street Himself 2 episodes
2009 Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story Ben Carson Television film
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2012 Firelight Dwayne Johnson (DJ) Television film
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Guilty Billy Remz Pilot
2013 Summoned Detective Callendar Television film
2015 Empire Dwayne 'Puma' Robinson Episode: "The Devil Quotes Scripture"
The Book of Negroes Samuel Fraunces 2 episodes
Big Time in Hollywood, FL Himself 6 episodes
Forever Isaac Monroe 3 episodes
2016 American Crime Story:
The People v. O. J. Simpson
O. J. Simpson 10 episodes
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Nominated – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Movie/Limited Series
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
American Horror Story: Roanoke Matt Miller 5 episodes
Dominic Banks 5 episodes


Year Title Role Venue
2013 The Trip to Bountiful Ludie Watts Stephen Sondheim Theatre
2018 Chicago Billy Flynn Phoenix Theatre, London
Chicago Billy Flynn Ambassador Theatre, New York City New York


  1. ^ "Cuba Gooding Jr.: Actor (1968–)". A&E Networks. Archived from the original on October 21, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Gaul, Lou (August 7, 2008). "Cuba Gooding Jr. talks 'Daddy Day Camp'". Phillyburbs. Archived from the original on February 20, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "The Cuba Gooding Sr. Story is coming to film",
  4. ^ "Inside Cuba Gooding Sr.'s Incredible Family History, Career and Love Life". The Philadelphia Sunday Sun. April 22, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  5. ^ "Cuba Gooding Jr Bio:". Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  6. ^ Williams, Kam (August 15, 2007). "Cuba Gooding: The Daddy Day Camp Interview with Kam Williams". Kamwilliams. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  7. ^ Barboza, Craigh (January 1, 2009). John Singleton: Interviews. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781604731163.
  8. ^ Ebony. November 1, 1998. ISBN 9780945800286.
  9. ^ "Cuba Gooding Jr". Vibe. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  10. ^ Nolfi, Joey (February 24, 2017). "The 15 most memorable Oscar speeches since Cuba Gooding Jr". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  11. ^ Busis, Hillary (December 20, 2012). "Cuba Gooding Jr. and Vanessa Williams head to Broadway". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  12. ^ Schilling, Dave (February 5, 2016). "The People v OJ Simpson: episode one – great casting, with one exception". The Guardian. London, England.
  13. ^ Starr, Michael (February 23, 2016). "Cuba Gooding Jr. has made despicable O.J. Simpson boring". New York Post. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  14. ^ McGovern, Joe (February 9, 2016). "In defense of Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  15. ^ Marcus, Stephanie (July 14, 2016). "Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Emmy Nomination For Playing O.J. Simpson Is Puzzling To Say The Least". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  16. ^ "Public Leadership in Neurology Award Honors Cuba Gooding, Jr., for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Efforts". Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  17. ^ "Cuba Gooding Jr". Lodi News-Sentinel. Associated Press. January 18, 2002. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  18. ^ Miller, Adam (March 3, 2018). "Saturday Night Takeaway: Ant and Dec SNUBBED by Cuba Gooding Jr. during 100th episode". Daily Express.
  19. ^ Lee, Ken; Rouse, Wade (April 23, 2014). "Cuba Gooding Jr. Separates from Wife". People Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  20. ^ Vulpo, Mike; Passalaqua, Holly (January 19, 2017). "Cuba Gooding Jr. Files for Divorce From His Wife Sara Kapfer After 22 Years of Marriage". E! Online. New York City: NBCUniversal Media. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  21. ^ Biden, David (August 29, 2016). "Beautiful Interracial Celeb Couples". Semesterz.
  22. ^ Dickson, E. J. (June 14, 2019). "Cuba Gooding Jr. Turns Himself In on Groping Charges". Rolling Stone. New York City. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  23. ^ Menendez, Pilar (October 10, 2019). "Cuba Gooding Jr. Indicted for 'Additional Incident' in Groping Case: Prosecutors". Daily Beast. New York City: IAC/Daily Beast Company. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  24. ^ "Prosecutors say 30 women have come forward with groping accusations against Cuba Gooding Jr". CNN. August 13, 2020.
  25. ^ "Cuba Gooding Jr. Accused of 2013 Rape in Lawsuit". Associated Press. August 19, 2019. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  26. ^ Cuba Gooding Jr. hearing CNN, 2020/08/13
  27. ^ Jacobs, Julia (October 31, 2019). "Cuba Gooding Jr. Faces Third Set of Groping Charges". The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
  28. ^ Moghe, Sonia; Henderson, Jennifer; Flexner, Allison (April 13, 2022). "Cuba Gooding Jr. pleads guilty to forcible touch". CNN. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
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This page was last edited on 6 August 2022, at 17:54
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