Oscar Actors: Cooper, Chris

CHRIS COOPER, one of the most respected character actors of our time, was recognized in 2003 with an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of ‘John Laroche’ in Columbia Pictures’ ADAPTATION, written by Charlie Kauffman (BEING JOHN MALCOVICH) and directed by Spike Jonze.

Cooper was also recognized for that performance by several critics associations, including the Broadcast Film Critics, the Los Angeles and the Toronto Film Critics Associations.

Cooper most recently appeared in Robert Redford’s THE COMPANY YOU KEEP as ‘David Sloan,’ the hesitant brother of a member of the 1970’s radical group, Weather Underground. THE COMPANY YOU KEEP was released on April 5th, 2013 by Sony Classics.

In December, 2013, Cooper was seen in John Wells’ film adaptation of the hit Broadway play AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. Cooper co-stars opposite Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor as ‘Charles Aiken,’ the brother-in-law to Streep’s ‘Violet.’ The Weinstein Company released the film about a strong willed family brought together by a crisis.

Cooper also played the role of ‘Norman Osbourne,’ (Spider-Man’s dad) in the Colombia Pictures sequel THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 opposite Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Shailene Woodley and Dane DeHaan. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 was released on May 4th, 2014 and is directed by Marc Webb.

In 2011, Cooper appeared in the Walt Disney Pictures film, THE MUPPETS as the villain, ‘Tex Richman.’ In 2010, Cooper co-starred in THE COMPANY MEN with Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones.  Written and directed by John Wells, THE COMPANY MEN centered on three men who were struggling to survive corporate downsizing. THE COMPANY MEN premiered in the US at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Also in 2010, Cooper co-starred in Julie Taymor’s version of THE TEMPEST alongside Djimon Hounsou and Helen Mirren, playing the role of ‘Antonio.’  He also appeared in Allen Coulter’s romantic drama REMEMBER ME, with Robert Pattinson, Pierce Brosnan and Emilie de Ravin for Summit Entertainment.  REMEMBER ME revolved around two lovers whose newfound relationship is threatened as they try to cope with their respective family tragedies.  In addition, Cooper appeared in the Warner Brothers feature film THE TOWN alongside Ben Affleck, Blake Lively, Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Hall.  THE TOWN premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010 and was subsequently nominated for a Broadcast Film Critics’ Choice Award, an AFI Award and a National Board of Review Award. The film was also honored by numerous film societies.

In October 2009, Cooper was featured in the drama NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU, a collaboration of vignettes created by some of today’s most imaginative filmmakers including Shekhar Kapur, Joshua Marston, Brett Ratner and Allen Hughes.  Cooper starred alongside Robin Wright Penn, Ethan Hawke and Maggie Q in a storyline written and directed by Yvan Attal.  Also in October 2009, Cooper voiced ‘Douglas’ in the big screen adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s story  WHERE THE WIILD THINGS ARE, directed by Spike Jonze and screenplay by Dave Eggers.

In 2007, Cooper starred alongside Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman in the Universal film THE KINGDOM.  Directed by Peter Berg, THE KINGDOM tells the story of a team of U.S. government agents sent to investigate the bombing of an American facility in the Middle East.  In the fall of 2007, Cooper starred with Pierce Brosnan, Patricia Clarkson, and Rachel McAdams in MARRIED LIFE for Sony Classics, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was also accepted into the New York Film Festival. Earlier in 2007, Cooper starred in the Universal Pictures film BREACH, playing the title role of ‘Robert Hanssen,’ a renowned operative for the FBI who was found guilty of spying for the Russians.  Cooper received extraordinary praise from movie critics around the country for his deft performance.  The film was directed by Billy Ray (SHATTERED GLASS) and co-starred Ryan Phillipe.

In 2006, Cooper had strong supporting roles in Sony Classics’ CAPOTE, Universal’s JARHEAD (for director Sam Mendes) and Warner Bros.’ SYRIANA, for writer and director Stephen Gaghan.

In 2005, Cooper re-teamed with director and friend John Sayles in New Market Film’s SILVER CITY, a political drama and murder mystery which chronicled the story of a small town in Colorado and the events leading up to a local election.  The impressive cast included Maria Bello, Thora Birch, Richard Dreyfuss, Tim Roth, Daryl Hannah and Billy Zane.  The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

In 2004, he appeared in the flashback scenes in the second installment, THE BOURNE SUPREMACY.

In 2003, Cooper starred in the Universal Pictures film, SEABISCUIT based on the best-selling novel.  Cooper was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for his portrayal of Seabiscuit’s trainer, ‘Tom Smith.’  SEABISCUIT was directed by Gary Ross and also starred Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges.  In the same year, Cooper was nominated for an Emmy® Award for his supporting performance in the HBO film “My House in Umbria” starring Maggie Smith.

In 2002, Cooper was seen in THE BOURNE IDENTITY for Universal, as the mastermind of CIA’s controversial clandestine operation, ‘Treadstone.

In 2000, Cooper portrayed ‘Colonel Burwell’ opposite Mel Gibson in THE PATRIOT, a Revolutionary War epic directed by Roland Emmerich.  In the same year, Cooper appeared with Jim Carey in the comedy ME, MYSELF and IRENE, from directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly.

In 1999, Cooper received a Screen Actors Guild Award for his supporting performance alongside Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening in Dreamworks’ Academy Award winning film, AMERICAN BEAUTY. In a stunning and dramatic display, Cooper portrayed a stern ex-Marine Colonel who persistently monitored his son’s every move. Cooper also starred as the father of an amateur rocket enthusiast in the acclaimed coming-of-age drama OCTOBER SKY, which was screened at the 1999 Venice and Deauville Film Festivals with great notice.

Cooper had previously earned a Best Actor nomination in 1997 from the Independent Spirit Awards for his work in John Sayles’ LONE STAR.  Nearly a decade earlier, Cooper made his feature film debut in Sayles’ MATEWAN.


On the small screen, he had roles in the miniseries “Lonesome Dove” and “Return to Lonesome Dove.”  Cooper starred in HBO’s “Breast Men,” and includes among his other credits “Alone,” “One More Mountain,” “Ned Blessing,” “Bed of Lies,” “Darrow,” “In Broad Daylight,” “A Little Piece of Sunshine,” “Law and Order” and “Journey to Genius.”

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Cooper attended the University Of Missouri School of Drama and started his professional career on the New York stage.  His theater credits include Of the Fields Lately on Broadway, The Ballad of Soapy Smith and A Different Moon.

In 2002, Chris Cooper won the Supporting Actor Oscar for playing John Laroche in Spike Jonze’s comedy, “Adaptation,” based on Susan Orlean’s best-selling novel, “The Orchid Thief.”

Oscar Context:

In 2002, Chris Cooper competed for the award in a contest that included Ed Harris in “The Hours,” Paul Newman in “Road to Perdition,” and John C. Reilly in the musical “Chicago.”