Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper Biography

(1975–)
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Bradley Cooper is an Oscar-nominated actor who first made a name for himself on the TV series 'Alias' and went on to star in films including 'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'American Sniper' and 'A Star is Born.'

Who Is Bradley Cooper?

Born on January 5, 1975, in Philadelphia, Bradley Cooper made his television debut with a guest spot on Sex and the City. He then acted both on TV and film, in shows such as The Street and Jack & Bobby and films such as Wet Hot American Summer and Carnival Knowledge. But it was the success of 2005’s Wedding Crashers that took Cooper's career to the next level, with subsequent roles in The Hangover, Valentine's Day and several other films. He's also received Academy Award nods for his work in Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, American Sniper and A Star Is Born.

Early Life

Actor, director and producer Bradley Charles Cooper was born on January 5, 1975, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While he has enjoyed a highly successful career on screen, Cooper initially found fulfillment in the kitchen after developing a love of cooking at an early age. "I used to have buddies come over after kindergarten and I'd cook them food. I prided myself in taking whatever was in the fridge and turning it into lasagna," he told Entertainment Weekly.

Cooper put his culinary ambitions aside after graduating from Georgetown University in 1997 with an English degree, instead enrolling in a master's degree program at the Actors Studio Drama School in New York City. While a student there, he landed his first television commercial for a fast-food chain.

Early TV and Film Roles

'Wet Hot American Summer,' 'Alias'

Cooper made his TV debut in 1999 with a guest spot on the popular HBO show Sex and the City. He next appeared in the short-lived drama The $treet, set in the financial world. Around this time, he made his first feature film appearance in the 2001 comedy Wet Hot American Summer. Cooper then returned to television to take on a supporting role in J.J. Abrams's popular spy series Alias (2001-06). For three seasons he played Will Tippin, a journalist friend of covert agent Sydney Bristow (played by Jennifer Garner).

'Jack & Bobby,' 'Wedding Crashers'

During his time on Alias, Cooper made the independent drama Carnival Knowledge (2002) and the thriller My Little Eye (2002). He left Alias in 2003, and appeared in recurring roles on the sitcom Jack & Bobby (2004-05) and the crime drama Touching Evil (2004). Back on the big screen, Cooper played a brutish jock in the hit comedy Wedding Crashers (2005), with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.

'Kitchen Confidential'

That same year, Cooper starred in his own television series Kitchen Confidential (2005-06), based on the book by famed chef Anthony Bourdain. The show received positive reviews, but it did not do well enough in the ratings to stay on the air. Not afraid to take risks, Cooper made his Broadway debut in the 2006 drama Three Days of Rain, with Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd.

Commercial Success

'Yes Man,' 'He's Just Not That Into You'

After the success of Wedding Crashers, Cooper landed more comedic film roles. He appeared in the romantic comedy Failure to Launch (2006), with Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. While that film was met with a tepid response, Cooper enjoyed some box office success with Yes Man (2008), co-starring opposite Jim Carrey. He also appeared in the 2009 comedy He's Just Not That Into You, inspired by the popular self-help book. In the film, Cooper played an adulterous husband.

'The Hangover' and Sequels

Later that year, Cooper further proved his comedic talents with The Hangover. He co-starred with Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis in this buddy comedy. The three actors play friends who travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor-party weekend with their soon-to-be-married pal, played by Justin Bartha. After a night of debauchery, they wake up to find their buddy missing along with their memories of what happened the previous evening. The success of the film led to sequels in 2011 and 2013.

'All About Steve,' 'The A-Team'

Cooper then starred with Sandra Bullock on the 2009 romantic comedy All About Steve, which performed poorly at the box office. His next project fared much better, however, when he played the boyfriend of Eric Dane in the ensemble comedy Valentine's Day (2010), which also featured Garner, Jessica Alba and Patrick Dempsey. Cooper followed up with a remake of the popular television action series The A-Team during the summer of 2010. In addition to Cooper, the cast included Liam Neeson, Quinton Jackson and Jessica Biel.

'Limitless,' 'The Place Beyond the Pines'

The crossover into more action-packed fare continued with 2011's Limitless, a thriller based on Alan Glynn's 2001 novel The Dark Fields and co-starring Robert De Niro. Cooper subsequently starred in more action roles, such as Hit and Run (2011) and The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

Oscar-Nominated Roles

'Silver Linings Playbook'

Cooper made another leap, from leading man to critically acclaimed thespian, with his performance in Silver Linings Playbook (2013). Directed by David O. Russell, the film had Cooper in the lead role of Pat Solitano, a man who tries to readjust to society after leaving a mental institution.

The film was nominated for seven Oscars at the 2013 Academy Awards ceremony, including Best Picture, Actress in a Leading Role, Actor in a Supporting Role and Actress in a Supporting Role. Cooper also received a nomination for Actor in a Leading Role, but lost to Daniel Day-Lewis for his work in Lincoln (2012). However, Cooper's co-star Jennifer Lawrence took home the Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role for her work in Silver Linings Playbook.

'American Hustle,' 'Joy'

Cooper continued his collaboration with Russell to great rewards, starring in the ensemble cast of the '70s-era American Hustle (2013). Cooper received another Oscar nomination, this time in the supporting actor category for his role as FBI agent Richie DiMaso. In 2015, he teamed with Russell and Lawrence once again for Joy, based on the life of inventor Joy Mangano.

'Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'The Avengers'

In 2014, Cooper was heard in cinemas as the voice of the acid-tongued Rocket Raccoon in the summer blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy, based on the Marvel comic-book series. He reprised the role for 2017's Guardians of the Galaxy 2, as well as for the ensemble superhero flicks Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Broadway's 'The Elephant Man' and 'American Sniper'

In fall 2014, Cooper made his return to Broadway with the lead role in The Elephant Man, a successful revival of the 1979 play focusing on the life of Joseph Merrick. In April 2015, he received a Tony nomination for his performance. Late 2014 also saw the actor play the lead in Clint Eastwood's American Sniper, based on the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and co-starring Sienna Miller. Cooper received his third Oscar nomination for the role.

'Burnt,' 'War Dogs'

In 2015, Cooper starred as a military contractor in the romantic comedy Aloha, before returning to one of his earlier roles with the Netflix comedy series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. That autumn, he portrayed an acerbic two-star Michelin chef aiming for a comeback in Burnt, co-starring Miller, Uma Thurman and Emma Thompson. He then joined Jonah Hill and Miles Teller to play an arms dealer in War Dogs (2016).

'A Star Is Born'

Cooper made a splash with his directorial debut, a remake of A Star Is Born (2018). Along with directing, he starred alongside Lady Gaga, the two teaming to sing the Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning track "Shallow." The film also garnered Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Actress for its stars, as well as for Best Picture.

Later that year, Cooper was back on the big screen in Eastwood's The Mule, as a DEA agent on the trail of the drug runner played by the director.

Personal Life

Cooper was married to actress Jennifer Esposito from 2006 to 2007. He has reportedly dated actresses Renée Zellweger, Zoe Saldana and model Suki Waterhouse. In 2015, Cooper began dating model Irina Shayk. The couple welcomed their daughter, Lea de Seine Shayk Cooper, in March 2017. In June 2019, the pair split after four years of dating.

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