Cuba M. Gooding, Jr. is an American actor. He is perhaps best known for his Academy Award-winning portrayal of Rod Tidwell in Cameron Crowe’s 1996 film Jerry Maguire, and his critically acclaimed performance as Tré Styles in John Singleton’s 1991 film Boyz n the Hood.
Cuba Gooding, the son of Shirley, a singer with the Sweethearts, and Cuba Gooding, Sr., a lead vocalist of soul group The Main Ingredient. He has two brothers, musician Tommy Gooding and fellow actor Omar Gooding, and sister, April 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. During his appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Gooding revealed that after his father had left, his family lived in hotels throughout Los Angeles. 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 a professional 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 and MacGyver. His first major role was in the John Singleton’s box office surprise and critical hit Boyz n the Hood. He followed this success with roles in major films like A Few Good Men, Lightning Jack, Outbreak, Men of Honor, Rat Race, and The Fighting Temptations in which he co-starred alongside Beyoncé Knowles who portrays his girlfriend, and later wife in the film. That particular film also marked his first in a musical film.
In 1996, he was cast as an arrogant football player on the brink of a career-ending injury in Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire. The film was a success and earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. His “Show Me The Money” line in the film became a nationwide catchphrase. In 1997, he had a notable supporting role in As Good As It Gets. The next several years, his films were inconsistently successful. He has also appeared in a series of films which were not as critically or commercially successful, such as Boat Trip, Norbit, and Daddy Day Camp, all of which had received extremely negative reviews and, with the exception of Norbit, all of which performed poorly at the box office. Gooding also starred in a film titled “a Murder of Crows” which he co-produced with his long time friend and business partner Derek Broes. The film was Gooding’s first attempt at producing.