“Don't let people disrespect you. My mom says don't open the door to the devil. Surround yourself with positive people.”
“There are roles I want that my agency might not want me to do because of the subject matter or whatever. Or there are roles that people won't bring to me because they don't think I'll do it. And that is a big strain because an actor wants to act.”
“The hardest part was when I was in high school not having a job and always being broke. I had to get to auditions without a car. I either took the bus or walked.”
Cuba Gooding Jr. (born Cuba Michael Gooding Jr. on January 2, 1968 in The Bronx, New York City, New York) is an American actor. Cuba’s family moved to Los Angeles after his father’s soul group, The Main Ingredient, had a hit with “Everybody Plays The Fool” in 1972. Two years later, his father left the family, leaving Cuba’s mother to raise him. He attended four high schools while growing up. Cuba’s first job was as a break-dancer performing with Lionel Richie at the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics. He started to go for commercial work, before getting a small role on the drama, Hill Street Blues, in 1986. He enrolled in acting classes and made his screen debut on Coming to America in 1988. He starred in Boyz ‘N the Hood in 1990, and followed it up with major supporting roles in A Few Good Men, Judgement Night and Outbreak. Cuba’s breakout came in 1996 when he appeared in Jerry Maguire, opposite Tom Cruise. His performance earned him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Afterward, Cuba appeared in films As Good as It Gets, What Dreams May Come and Pearl Harbor. His family comedy, Snow Dogs, was a financial success despite being panned by critics. Cuba has appeared in more gritty, direct-to-DVD releases than theatrical or television releases, including Gifted Hands, the biopic of Dr. Ben Carson. In 2014, Cuba appeared as Fred Gray in the critically acclaimed Selma. In 2016, he portrayed O.J. Simpson in the crime anthology series, American Crime Story.
Best Known For:
Cuba Gooding Jr. is best known as an actor, starring in movies like Jerry Maguire and Radio.
Cuba married his high school sweetheart, Sara Kapfer. They had three children together – Spencer, Mason and Piper — before filing for divorce in April 2014.