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Wilson at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of Midnight in Paris
Owen Cunningham Wilson
November 18, 1968
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Texas at Austin (BA)|
|Occupation||Actor, producer, screenwriter, comedian|
Owen Cunningham Wilson (born November 18, 1968) is an American actor, producer, and screenwriter. He has had a long association with filmmaker Wes Anderson, with whom he shared writing and acting credits for Bottle Rocket (1996), Rushmore (1998), and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), the latter of which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay.
He has had leading roles in Shanghai Noon (2000), Shanghai Knights (2003), Marley and Me (2008), Midnight in Paris (2011) and a number of Frat Pack comedies, including Zoolander (2001), Starsky & Hutch (2004), Wedding Crashers, The Wendell Baker Story (both 2005), You, Me and Dupree (2006), Drillbit Taylor (2008), Little Fockers (2010), The Big Year (2011) and The Internship (2013). For his role as vulnerable screenwriter Gil Pender in Midnight in Paris, he earned a Golden Globe nomination. He has voiced Lightning McQueen in the Cars film series (2006-2017), Coach Skip in Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), the title character in Marmaduke (2010) and Reggie in Free Birds (2013). His older brother Andrew and younger brother Luke are also actors.
Wilson was born in Dallas, Texas on November 18, 1968, the middle of three sons of photographer Laura Wilson (née Cunningham) (born 1939) and Robert Andrew Wilson (1941-2017), an advertising executive and operator of a public television station. His parents, of Irish descent, were originally from Massachusetts. Wilson attended New Mexico Military Institute and the University of Texas at Austin, where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
After his film debut in Bottle Rocket (1996), Wilson co-wrote with Wes Anderson the script for Anderson's next two directorial films, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, for which they garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Wilson then landed a role in The Cable Guy, directed by Ben Stiller, an early admirer of Bottle Rocket. After appearing in supporting roles in action films like Anaconda and Armageddon and the horror film The Haunting, Wilson appeared in two dramatic roles: a supporting role 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 his future girlfriend, singer Sheryl Crow, was a co-star.
Wilson starred in the 2000 comedy action film Shanghai Noon alongside Jackie Chan. The film grossed nearly $100 million worldwide. His fame continued to rise after starring alongside Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell in the 2001 film Zoolander. Gene Hackman reportedly took notice of Wilson's performance in Shanghai Noon and recommended the actor 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, a financial and critical success. The film 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 did not perform well at the box office. He made a cameo appearance in the Girl Skateboards video Yeah Right! in 2003. He then reunited with Chan to make Shanghai Knights (2003), and co-starred in the film remake of the 1970s 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 film, 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 him. In 2004, he and his brother Luke played the Wright brothers in the 2004 film Around the World in 80 Days.
Wilson partnered with Vince Vaughn in the 2005 comedy film Wedding Crashers, which grossed over $200 million in the US alone. Also in 2005, Owen collaborated with his brothers in The Wendell Baker Story, written by Luke and directed by Luke and Andrew. In 2006, Wilson voiced 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 cowboy Jedediah.
Wilson has starred with Ben Stiller in twelve films, including 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), Little Fockers (2010), Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014) and Zoolander 2 (2016).
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. This was selected for a DVD and Blu-ray release by The Criterion Collection in October 2010. 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.
He provided the voice for the Whackbat Coach Skip in Wes Anderson's 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. The film was released in October 2011 by 20th Century Fox, and co-starred Jack Black, JoBeth Williams, Steve Martin and Rashida Jones.
In 2011, Wilson starred as a nostalgia-seized writer in the romantic comedy Midnight in Paris, written and directed by Woody Allen. The film premiered at the 64th Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim. Wilson earned a Golden Globe Award for his performance. The film became was Allen's highest grossing thus far, and was also well received by critics.
Wilson returned to voice McQueen in Cars 2. In March 2012, Wilson was signed to star in the John Erick Dowdle thriller The Coup, later renamed "No Escape", in which he played the role of the father of an American family that moves to Southeast Asia, only to find itself swept up in a wave of rebel violence that is overwhelming the city. The film was not released until 2015, and was Wilson's return to the action genre for the first time since Behind Enemy Lines in 2001. He also voiced turkey Reggie in Reel FX's first animated film, Free Birds.
In 2014, Wilson appeared in Wes Anderson's acclaimed ensemble comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel and in Paul Thomas Anderson's book adaptation of Inherent Vice. In 2015, he starred with Jennifer Aniston in Peter Bogdanovich's film She's Funny That Way, and in the action thriller film No Escape alongside Lake Bell and Pierce Brosnan. Wilson's films have grossed more than US$2.25 billion domestically (United States and Canada), with an average of US$75M per film. In 2017, Wilson again voiced Lightning McQueen in Cars 3, played a suburban father in the drama Wonder, and co-starred with Ed Helms in the comedy Father Figures.
In November 2017, Wilson became the face of a new £20 million advertising campaign for the UK sofa retailer Sofology. He returned to work with Sofology in 2019 for a second advertising campaign.
Wilson will next appear in The French Dispatch, directed by Wes Anderson,Bliss, directed by Mike Cahill opposite Salma Hayek for Amazon Studios, and Marry Me, alongside Jennifer Lopez directed by Kat Coiro for Universal Pictures.
Wilson's distinctive nose is the result of an unexplained injury in his youth. While not exactly specified, Wilson has hinted that it was the result of either his rowdy behavior or from playing football. He nevertheless admits that he is proud of his features.
In April 2002, the 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 account of Wilson and Crow's relationship.
In August 2007, Wilson attempted suicide and was subsequently treated for depression at St. John's Health Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. A few days after his hospitalization, Wilson withdrew from his role in Tropic Thunder, which was produced by and co-starred his friend and frequent collaborator Ben Stiller, and was replaced by Matthew McConaughey. The incident resulted in much unwanted publicity for Wilson and he has been wary of doing interviews ever since.
In January 2011, Wilson and his girlfriend Jade Duell had a son. Wilson and Duell ended their relationship later that year. In January 2014, Caroline Lindqvist gave birth to Wilson's second son. He had a third child, a daughter, in October 2018, with ex-girlfriend Varunie Vongsvirates. According to Vongsvirates, Wilson has never met his daughter as of November 2019.
|1996||Bottle Rocket||Dignan||Also writer|
|The Cable Guy||Robin's Date|
|As Good as It Gets||N/A||Associate producer|
|Rushmore||N/A||Co-writer; Wilson also appeared in a photograph in the film.|
|1999||The Haunting||Luke Sanderson|
|Breakfast of Champions||Monte Rapid|
|The Minus Man||Vann Siegert|
|2000||Shanghai Noon||Roy O'Bannon|
|Meet the Parents||Kevin Rawley|
|The Royal Tenenbaums||Eli Cash||Also writer|
|Behind Enemy Lines||Lt. Chris Burnett|
|2002||I Spy||Alex Scott|
|The Sweatbox||Himself||Archive footage; haven't been released to the public|
|2003||Shanghai Knights||Roy O'Bannon|
|2004||The Big Bounce||Jack Ryan|
|Starsky & Hutch||Ken Hutchinson|
|Around the World in 80 Days||Wilbur Wright|
|The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou||Ned Plimpton|
|Meet the Fockers||Kevin Rawley|
|2005||The Wendell Baker Story||Neil King|
|Wedding Crashers||John Beckwith|
|Mater and the Ghostlight||Voice; Short|
|You, Me and Dupree||Randolph Dupree||Also producer|
|Night at the Museum||Jedediah||Uncredited|
|2007||The Darjeeling Limited||Francis Whitman|
|2008||Drillbit Taylor||Drillbit Taylor|
|Marley & Me||John Grogan|
|Over Her Dead Body||Guy on Phone||Uncredited|
|2009||Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian||Jedediah|
|Fantastic Mr. Fox||Coach Skip||Voice|
|How Do You Know||Matty Reynolds|
|Little Fockers||Kevin Rawley|
|2011||Hall Pass||Richard "Rick" Mills|
|Midnight in Paris||Gil Pender|
|Cars 2||Lightning McQueen||Voice|
|The Big Year||Kenny Bostick|
|2013||The Internship||Nick Campbell|
|Are You Here||Steve Dallas|
|2014||The Grand Budapest Hotel||M. Chuck|
|The Hero of Color City||Ricky The Dragon||Voice|
|Inherent Vice||Coy Harlingen|
|Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb||Jedediah|
|2015||She's Funny That Way||Arnold Albertson|
|No Escape||Jack Dwyer|
|2016||Zoolander 2||Hansel McDonald|
|2017||Lost in London||Himself|
|Cars 3||Lightning McQueen||Voice|
|Father Figures||Kyle Reynolds|
|2020||The French Dispatch||Herbsaint Salzerac||Post-production|
|Marry Me||Charlie Gilbert||Post-production|
|1999||Heat Vision and Jack||Heat Vision||Voice; Short|
|2001||King of the Hill||Rhett Van Der Graaf||Voice; Episode: "Luanne Virgin 2.0"|
|2010||Community||Other Study Group's Leader||Episode: "Investigative Journalism"; uncredited|
|2013||Drunk History||John Harvey Kellogg||Episode: "Detroit"|
|2014||Cars Toons: Tales From Radiator Springs||Lightning McQueen||Voice; Episode: "The Radiator Springs 500 ½"|
|2016||Saturday Night Live||Hansel McDonald||Episode: "Larry David/The 1975"|
|2019||Documentary Now!||Father Ra-Shawbard||Episode: "Batsh*t Valley" (2 parts)|
|2012||Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure|
|2014||Cars: Fast as Lightning|
|2018||Lego The Incredibles|
|1996||Bottle Rocket||Lone Star Film & Television Award||Debut of the Year (shared with Wes Anderson & Luke Wilson)||Won|
|1998||Rushmore||New York Film Critics Circle Award||Best Screenplay (shared with Wes Anderson)||Nominated|
|1999||Lone Star Film & Television Award||Won|
|National Society of Film Critics Award||Nominated|
|2000||The Haunting||Blockbuster Entertainment Award||Favorite Supporting Actor - Horror||Nominated|
|Rushmore||Chlotrudis Award||Best Screenplay (shared with Wes Anderson)||Nominated|
|2001||The Royal Tenebaums||Awards Circuit Community Award||Best Cast Ensemble||Nominated|
|Meet the Parents||Blockbuster Entertainment Award||Favorite Supporting Actor - Comedy||Nominated|
|Shanghai Noon||Favorite Action Team - Internet Only (shared with Jackie Chan)||Nominated|
|The Royal Tenebaums||New York Film Critics Circle Award||Best Screenplay (shared with Wes Anderson)||Nominated|
|Shanghai Noon||Satellite Award||Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical||Nominated|
|Zoolander||The Stinkers Bad Movie Award||Worst On-Screen Hairstyle||Nominated|
|The Royal Tenebaums||Toronto Film Critics Association Award||Best Screenplay (shared with Wes Anderson)||Nominated|
|2002||Academy Award||Best Original Screenplay (shared with Wes Anderson)||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Award||Best Screenplay - Original (shared with Wes Anderson)||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association Award||Best Screenplay (shared with Wes Anderson)||Nominated|
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award||Nominated|
|Zoolander||MTV Movie + TV Award||Best On-Screen Team (shared with Ben Stiller)||Nominated|
|The Royal Tenenbaums||Online Film & Television Association Award||Best Original Screenplay (shared with Wes Anderson)||Nominated|
|Online Film Critics Society Award||Nominated|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society Award||Best Screenplay - Original (shared with Wes Anderson)||Nominated|
|Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|
|Satellite Award||Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical||Nominated|
|Writers Guild Award||Best Original Screenplay (shared with Wes Anderson)||Nominated|
|2003||I Spy||Golden Raspberry Award||Worst Screen Couple (shared with Eddie Murphy)||Nominated|
|Shanghai Knights||MTV Movie + TV Award||Best On-Screen Team (shared with Jackie Chan)||Nominated|
|2004||The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou||Boston Society of Film Critics Award||Best Ensemble Cast||Nominated|
|Starsky & Hutch||MTV Movie + TV Award||Best On-Screen Team (shared with Ben Stiller)||Nominated|
|Best Kiss (shared with Carmen Electra & Amy Smart)||Won|
|Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Actor - Comedy||Nominated|
|Choice Movie - Chemistry (shared with Ben Stiller)||Nominated|
|2005||The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou||Critics Choice Movie Award||Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|
|N/A||Oldenburg Film Festival Award||German Independence Honorary Award (shared with Ken Russell, Andrew Wilson & Luke Wilson)||Won|
|Starsky & Hutch||People's Choice Award||Favorite On-Screen Chemistry (shared with Ben Stiller)||Nominated|
|2006||Wedding Crashers||MTV Movie + TV Award||Best Comedic Performance||Nominated|
|Best On-Screen Team (shared with Vince Vaughn)||Won|
|People's Choice Award||Favorite On-Screen Match-Up (shared with Vince Vaughn)||Won|
|Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie - Liplock (shared with Rachel McAdams)||Nominated|
|2009||Marley & Me||Choice Movie - Liplock (shared with Clyde the dog)||Nominated|
|2011||N/A||Dubai International Film Festival Award||International Star of the Year||Won|
|Midnight in Paris||Phoenix Film Critics Society Award||Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|
|2012||Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award||Most Egregious Age Difference Between the Leading Man and the Love Interest (shared with Lea Seydoux)||Nominated|
|Gold Derby Award||Ensemble Cast||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical||Nominated|
|Cars 2||People's Choice Award||Favorite Animated Voice||Nominated|
|Midnight in Paris||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2013||The Internship||CinemaCon Award||Comedy Duo of the Year (shared with Vince Vaughn)||Won|
|2014||The Grand Budapest Hotel||Detroit Film Critics Society Award||Best Ensemble||Won|
|Florida Film Critics Circle Award||Won|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society Award||Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|
|San Diego Film Critics Society Award||Best Ensemble||Nominated|
|Southeastern Film Critics Association Award||Won|
|Washing DC Area Film Critics Association Award||Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|
|2015||Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award||Best Ensemble||Won|
|Georgia Film Critics Association Award||Won|
|Gold Derby Award||Ensemble Cast||Nominated|
|Inherent Vice||Independent Spirit Award||Won|
|The Grand Budapest Hotel||Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2017||Zoolander 2||Golden Raspberry Award||Worst Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Worst Screen Combo (shared with Ben Stiller)||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award||BFFs (Best Friends Forever) (shared with Ben Stiller)||Nominated|
|Cars 3||Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Actor - Comedy||Nominated|
|Choice Summer Movie Star - Male||Nominated|