Cuba Gooding Jr
Real name: Cuba Gooding Jr.
Birthdate: January 2, 1968
Partner: Sara Gooding
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Gooding was born 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. He has a brother, fellow actor, Omar 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. He became a born-again Christian at age 13. Gooding was raised by his mother and attended four different high schools (including 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. During his appearance on the The Howard Stern Show, Gooding, Jr. revealed that after his father had left, his family lived in hotels throughout Los Angeles.
Following the success of Boyz N The Hood, he was cast in a series of roles, both leading and supporting, including the 1996 film, Jerry Maguire, for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. The murder mystery A Murder of Crows has gained cult status among murder mystery buffs. Gooding's subsequent career has included box office successes like Men of Honor (2000), Snow Dogs (2002), and a supporting role as Navy Cross awardee Dorie Miller in the 2001 film, Pearl Harbor.
In 2006, he appeared in the crime drama, Dirty, which received a limited theatrical release, as well as the direct-to-DVD, 24-esque political drama End Game where he plays a Secret Service agent who uncovers a conspiracy after a presidential assassination. He also hosted the 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards. After a string of comedies that were mostly disliked by critics, Gooding has vowed to never appear in another comedy, saying that he "thought people wanted me to make them laugh, but I was wrong on so many levels. I try to take all my energy and take it into comedy, and that's when I'm terrible". Since that statement in March 2006, Gooding appeared in two comedy films in 2007: Norbit and Daddy Day Camp. He also currently appears in advertisements for Hanes underwear with former NBA star Michael Jordan.