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Owen Cunningham Wilson (born November 18, 1968) is an American actor, comedian and writer.

Early life

Wilson was born in Dallasmarker, Texasmarker, to photographer Laura Cunningham Wilson and Robert Andrew Wilson, an advertising executive and operator of a public television station. He has an older brother, Andrew and a younger brother, Luke, both also involved in filmmaking. His family is Irish American and Roman Catholic. While living in Dallas, Wilson attended The Lamplighter School, and St. Mark's School of Texasmarker, from which he was expelled when, in the tenth grade, he stole his teacher's textbook to aid him in his homework. Wilson also attended his junior and senior years in high school at the New Mexico Military Institutemarker.

Career

Initial success

Wilson's initial acting role was as "Dignan" in the Wes Anderson film Bottle Rocket. He also worked with Anderson as a creative collaborator on Anderson's next two directorial efforts, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Wilson did not appear as an actor in Rushmore, but he did make two "appearances": he and Anderson acknowledged on the Criterion Collection DVD audio commentary that Wilson appears as Rosemary Cross's dead husband, Edward Appleby. When Max Fischer visits Miss Cross in Appleby's boyhood bedroom, photographs of a young Owen Wilson are incorporated in the set for the scene. Wilson and Anderson can also be seen driving go-carts in the background during a shot of Max Fisher posing on his go-cart.

Wilson quickly landed roles in big-budget movies such as The Cable Guy, directed by Ben Stiller, an early admirer of Bottle Rocket. After minor appearances in action films like Anaconda, Armageddon and The Haunting, Wilson appeared in two dramatic roles: supporting actor in Permanent Midnight, which starred Stiller as a drug-addicted TV writer; and a role as a serial killer in The Minus Man. He also made a cameo in the Girl skateboarding video Yeah Right! in 2003.

Movie star

Wilson at the London premiere of You, Me and Dupree, 2006
Wilson got his big break with the 2000 comedy action hit Shanghai Noon, starring opposite Hong Kongmarker action star Jackie Chan. The film grossed nearly US$100 million worldwide. His fame continued to rise after starring alongside Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell in the 2001 film Zoolander.

Gene Hackman took notice of Wilson's performance in Shanghai Noon and recommended Wilson to co-star in the 2001 action film Behind Enemy Lines. Also in 2001, Wilson and Anderson collaborated on their third film, The Royal Tenenbaums, which was a financial and critical success. The comedy featured an all-star cast, including Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danny Glover, Seymour Cassel and brother Luke. Owen Wilson had a memorable supporting role in the film as Eli Cash, a drug-addled bon vivant who becomes a literary celebrity. It earned the writing team an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Wilson returned to the buddy comedy genre in 2002 with the action comedy I Spy, co-starring Eddie Murphy. This big-screen remake of the television series flopped at the box office. He then reunited with Chan to make Shanghai Knights (2003) and the movie remake of the television series Starsky & Hutch (2004). Due to his busy schedule as an actor and an ongoing sinus condition, Wilson was unavailable to collaborate on the script for Wes Anderson's fourth feature, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The 2004 film was ultimately co-written by filmmaker Noah Baumbach. However, Wilson did star in the film as Bill Murray's would-be son, Ned Plimpton—a role written specifically for Wilson.

Wilson partnered with Vince Vaughn in the 2005 Wedding Crashers which grossed over $200 million in the US alone. Also in 2005, Owen collaborated with his brothers by appearing in The Wendell Baker Story, written by brother Luke, directed by Luke and brother Andrew. In 2006, Wilson provided the voice of Lightning McQueen in the Disney/Pixar film Cars, starred in You, Me and Dupree with Kate Hudson, and appeared with Stiller in Night at the Museum as Jedidiah, the cowboy, an uncredited role.

Wilson has appeared in nine movies with Stiller (a long-time friend) to date: The Cable Guy (1996), Permanent Midnight (1998), Meet the Parents (2000), Zoolander (2001), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Starsky & Hutch (2004), Meet the Fockers (2004), Night at the Museum (2006), and the sequel Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009).

Wilson has appeared in another Wes Anderson film, The Darjeeling Limited, which screened at the 45th annual New York Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival and opened September 30, 2007, co-starring Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody. Wilson next starred in the Judd Apatow comedy, Drillbit Taylor, released in March 2008. He acted in Kyle Gulutzan and Sean George Casey's production of Roundabout, scheduled for release December 2008. He most recently released a film adaptation of John Grogan's best-selling memoir, Marley & Me (2009), co-starring Jennifer Aniston.

Wilson's many collaborations on high-grossing comedy movies have led the media to consider him part of the Frat Pack, along with other comedy actors such as Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson, Jack Black, Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell.

Owen also provided the voice for the Whackbat Coach Skip in Wes Anderson's version of Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Personal life

Relationships

Wilson was previously linked with actress Demi Moore, singer Sheryl Crow and with the actress Kate Hudson. His relationship with Hudson ended in May 2007.

Suicide attempt

In 2007, Wilson was taken to St. John's Health after attempting to overdose on drugs and having a slashed wrist. Once stabilized at St. John's, Wilson was transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angelesmarker, where his condition was initially described as serious, then later described as stable. His lawyer later confirmed that he had been undergoing treatment for depression at the time of his suicide attempt.

On August 27, Wilson issued a statement: "I respectfully ask that the media allow me to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time." On August 29, 2007, Wilson withdrew from filming in Tropic Thunder, produced by and starring friend and frequent collaborator, Ben Stiller. He was later replaced by Matthew McConaughey.

On October 4, 2007, Wilson made his first public appearance since the incident at the Los Angeles premiere of The Darjeeling Limited.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1996 Bottle Rocket Dignan Also Executive producer/Writer
Also appeared in the short of the same name
The Cable Guy Robin's date
1997 Anaconda Gary Dixon
1998 Permanent Midnight Nicky
Armageddon Oscar
1999 Heat Vision and Jack Heat Vision Voice Only
Television film
The Haunting Luke Sanderson
Breakfast of Champions Monte Rapid
The Minus Man Vann Siegert
2000 Meet the Parents Kevin Rawley
Shanghai Noon Roy O'Bannon
2001 Behind Enemy Lines Lt. Chris Burnett
The Royal Tenenbaums Eli Cash Also Executive producer/Writer
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay

Zoolander Hansel McDonald Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo
2002 I Spy Alex Scott
2003 Shanghai Knights Roy O'Bannon Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo
Yeah Right! Himself Cameo
2004 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Ned Plimpton Nominated - Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Meet the Fockers Kevin Rawley Cameo
Around the World in 80 Days Wilbur Wright Cameo
Starsky & Hutch Ken Hutchinson MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo
The Big Bounce Jack Ryan
2005 The Wendell Baker Story Neil King
Wedding Crashers John Beckwith MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
2006 Night at the Museum Jedediah Smith Uncredited
You, Me and Dupree Randolph Dupree Also Producer
Cars Lightning McQueen Voice Only
2007 The Darjeeling Limited Francis Whitman
2008 Drillbit Taylor Drillbit Taylor
Marley & Me John Grogan
2009 Night at the Museum 2 Jedediah Smith
Fantastic Mr. Fox Coach Skip Voice Only
2010 Little Fockers Kevin Rawley
2011 Cars 2 Lightning McQueen Voice Only


References

  1. filmreference.com biography
  2. Stuever, Hank. "The Brothers Grin." The Washington Post, 20 July, 2006.
  3. AskMen.com - Owen Wilson


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