Owen Wilson

Owen Wilson
Owen Wilson

Wilson at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival
Born Owen Cunningham Wilson
November 18, 1968 (1968-11-18) (age 43)
Dallas, Texas, USA
Occupation Actor, voice-over artist, writer
Years active 1994–present

Owen Cunningham Wilson (born November 18, 1968)[1] is an American actor and writer, known for his roles in the films The Haunting, The Royal Tenenbaums,[2] Zoolander, Meet the Parents, Wedding Crashers, You, Me and Dupree, Bottle Rocket, the Cars series, The Darjeeling Limited, Marley & Me, Midnight in Paris, Shanghai Noon, Behind Enemy Lines, and Drillbit Taylor.


Early life

Wilson was born in Dallas, 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 brothers were also involved in filmmaking.[3] His family, originally from Massachusetts, is Irish American and Catholic.[4] Wilson attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English.[5]


Wilson debuted as an actor in the role of "Dignan" in the Wes Anderson film Bottle Rocket, which he co-wrote with Anderson. He also worked with Anderson as a creative collaborator on his next two directorial efforts, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, for which they were nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Wilson subsequently landed a role in 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 the lead role as a serial killer in The Minus Man, in which future girlfriend, singer Sheryl Crow was a co-star. He also made a cameo in the Girl Skateboards video Yeah Right! in 2003.

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 Kong 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 film 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.[6] In 2004 Wilson worked with his brother Luke Wilson in the 2004 film Around the World in 80 Days as the Wright brothers.

Wilson in May 2007

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.[7] 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 Jedediah, the cowboy, an uncredited role.

Wilson has appeared in ten films 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 sequels Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) and Little Fockers (2010).

Wilson 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.[8] Wilson next starred in the Judd Apatow comedy, Drillbit Taylor, released in March 2008. He appeared in a film adaptation of John Grogan's best-selling memoir, Marley & Me (2008), co-starring Jennifer Aniston.[9]

The Darjeeling Limited, starring Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman was selected for a DVD and Blu-ray release by The Criterion Collection in October 2010.[10]

Wilson provided the voice for the Whackbat Coach Skip in Wes Anderson's version of Fantastic Mr. Fox. He starred in the film The Big Year, an adaptation of Mark Obmascik's book The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession.[11] The film was released in October 2011 from 20th Century Fox and co-starred Jack Black, JoBeth Williams, Steve Martin, and Rashida Jones.

Wilson is a member of the comedic acting brotherhood colloquially known as the Frat Pack. His films have grossed more than $2.25 billion domestically (United States and Canada), with an average of $75 million per film. Wilson made a guest appearance on the NBC comedy Community with fellow Frat Pack member Jack Black.[citation needed]

Most recently, Wilson starred as a nostalgic writer in the romantic comedy Midnight in Paris. Written and directed by Woody Allen, the film has become Allen's highest grossing film at the box office[12] and was also well received by critics.[13]

Personal life

The 2002 release of the album C'mon C'mon by former girlfriend Sheryl Crow features the song Safe and Sound which is dedicated to Wilson in the liner notes and is said to be an autobiographical account of Wilson's and Crow's relationship.

On August 26, 2007, Wilson was taken to St. John's Health Center amid reports of a suicide attempt. He was later transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.[14] His lawyer later confirmed that he had been undergoing treatment for depression.[15] A few days later, Wilson withdrew from starring in Tropic Thunder, produced by and starring his friend and frequent collaborator Ben Stiller.[16] Following the suicide attempt, Wilson had participated in limited publicity and promotion for his films.[17]

On January 10, 2011, Wilson's representative announced that Wilson and his girlfriend, Jade Duell, were expecting a baby.[18] Just four days later, on January 14, it was confirmed that Duell had given birth in Hawaii to a baby boy, Robert Ford Wilson.[19][20]


  • 2011: Luke Large's Voiced in The Large Family's New Episode in 2011 in Season 3 in The Large Family.


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 Armageddon Oscar Choice
Rushmore – (None) Executive Producer/Writer
Permanent Midnight Nicky
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
2004 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Ned Plimpton Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Meet the Fockers Kevin Rawley
Around the World in 80 Days Wilbur Wright
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 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
Over Her Dead Body Guy on Phone Uncredited cameo
Marley & Me John Grogan
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Jedediah
Fantastic Mr. Fox Coach Skip Voice Only
2010 How Do You Know Matty Reynolds
Little Fockers Kevin Rawley
Marmaduke Marmaduke Voice Only
2011 Hall Pass Rick
Cars 2 Lightning McQueen Voice Only
MAD Jason, Baby Edward, Various
Midnight in Paris Gil
Turkeys Reggie Voice Only
The Big Year Kenny Bostick
Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales Lightning McQueen Voice Only/Season 3


  1. ^ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15606466/
  2. ^ "Owen Wilson, Academy Award-nominated writer". Amritt. http://www.amritt.com/Owen-Wilson.html. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  3. ^ filmreference.com biography
  4. ^ Stuever, Hank. "The Brothers Grin." The Washington Post, 20 July 2006.
  5. ^ "Owen Wilson: Snapshot". http://www.people.com/people/owen_wilson. 
  6. ^ Topel, Fred (2004-12-23). "Interview: Wes Anderson". CHUD.com. http://www.chud.com/index.php?type=interviews&id=954. Retrieved 2006-09-29. 
  7. ^ Murray, Rebecca. "The Wendell Baker Story is a Real Wilson Family Affair". About.com. http://movies.about.com/od/thewendellbakerstory/a/wendell051407.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  8. ^ Staff writers (2007-08-19). "The Darjeeling Limited to premiere in NYC". Business of Cinema. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20070928051709/http://www.businessofcinema.com/boc/?file=story&id=4830. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  9. ^ Fleming, Michael (2007-08-19). "Wilson, Aniston fetch Fox feature Pair to star in 'Marley & Me'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117970494.html?categoryid=1236&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  10. ^ Shoun, Holly (2010-07-17). "The Darjeeling Limited up for Criterion Release". Owenation.com. http://www.owenation.com/?p=559. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  11. ^ Shoun, Holly (2010-03-13). "Steve Martin Goes Birdwatching". Owenation.com. http://www.owenation.com/?p=513. Retrieved 2010-06-23. 
  12. ^ O'Neal, Sean (2011-06-23). "Midnight in Paris could finally make something of this Woody Allen guy". AVclub.com. http://www.avclub.com/articles/midnight-in-paris-could-finally-make-something-of,58012/http://www.avclub.com/articles/midnight-in-paris-could-finally-make-something-of,58012/. Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  13. ^ "Midnight in Paris - Rotten Tomatoes". rottentomatoes.com. 2011-06-10. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/midnight_in_paris/. Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  14. ^ Owen Wilson Suicide Attempt Confirmed
  15. ^ "Owen Wilson: Battling Depression". Newsweek. 2007-10-14. http://www.newsweek.com/id/42927. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  16. ^ "Owen Wilson drops out of film". Yahoo News. 2007-08-29. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070829/ap_en_ce/people_owen_wilson. Retrieved 2008-02-27. [dead link]
  17. ^ Los Angeles Times
  18. ^ Hammel, Sara. "Baby on the Way for Owen Wilson", People, January 10, 2011.
  19. ^ "Owen Wilson becomes a father". USA Today. 2011-01-15. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2011/01/owen-wilson-becomes-a-father/1. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  20. ^ "Revealed: Owen Wilson Names Son Robert Ford". People. 2011-01-19. http://celebritybabies.people.com/2011/01/19/revealed-owen-wilson-names-son-robert-ford/. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 

External links

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