Handsome and irreverently funny, Bradley Cooper's combination of romantic leading man and hilarious character actor chops helped him progress from TV guest spots to memorable parts in features in a relatively short amount of time. After attracting attention for his likable role as Jennifer Garner's reporter friend on "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06), Cooper fearlessly made his first major big screen impression as the unlikable groom in "Wedding Crashers" (2005). He regained audience's affection in lesser fare like "Failure to Launch" (2006) and, in testament to his charisma, emerged unscathed from Sandra Bullock's notorious bomb "All About Steve" (2008). Cooper ensured his own launch with the lead in the critical and box office juggernaut "The Hangover" (2009) and proved an invaluable member of the romantic, dramatic ensemble "He's Just Not That Into You" (2009) and "Valentine's Day" (2010) casts. Graduating to full-fledged stardom with a flashy role in "The A-Team" (2010), Cooper continued to rise as a bankable, talented and very much in-demand movie star, which was confirmed with a return to box-office prominence with "The Hangover Part II" (2011) and his star turn in David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012) opposite Jennifer Lawrence. That trio reunited twice more for "American Hustle" (2013) and "Joy" (2015), while Cooper continued starring in films ranging from Clint Eastwood's drama "American Sniper" (2014) to James Gunn's blockbuster action-comedy "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014) and its 2017 sequel, in which he provided the voice of Rocket, a raccoon-like mutant with serious anger management issues. Whether starring in comedies, thrillers or romantic dramas - as well as making a tabloid splash in the wake of rumored romances with some of Hollywood's loveliest leading ladies - Cooper propelled himself into becoming one of Hollywood's most bankable stars.
Born Jan. 5, 1975 in Philadelphia, PA, Cooper was inspired to pursue acting after watching John Hurt play the title role in David Lynch's "The Elephant Man" (1980), a role Cooper would later tackle for his thesis performance at the Actors Studio Drama School. After graduating from Georgetown University in 1997 with a degree in English, he relocated to New York City and enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program at the Actors Studio at New School University. While still a student, Cooper made his television debut in a 1999 episode of "Sex and the City" (HBO, 1998-2004) and snared a hosting gig on the Travel Channel series, "Treks in a Wild World" (2000). "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star remembered Cooper's work and cast him on the financial drama, "The $treet" (Fox, 2000-01) which lasted only 12 episodes. But the actor was not unemployed for long, taking part in the cult comedy "Wet Hot American Summer" (2001) and appearing with the film's creative team, comedy troupe STELLA, in a series of short films released on DVD as "Stella Shorts: 1998-2002."
Roles in several independent films followed, including the unsettling horror film "My Little Eye" (2002) and the unreleased "Carnival Knowledge," as well as likable turns in TV movies like "The Last Cowboy" (2003) opposite "$treet" co-star Jennie Garth and "I Want to Marry Ryan Banks" (ABC, 2004), a romantic comedy with Jason Priestly that spoofed reality television shows. Cooper's first high-profile gig was playing reporter Will Tippin on the first two seasons of "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06). He left the show in 2003 and stepped into recurring roles on "Touching Evil" (USA Network, 2004), "Jack and Bobby" (The WB, 2004-05), and a two-part "Law and Order" story that carried over from "Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ) to "Trial By Jury" (NBC, 2005).
In 2005, Cooper landed his biggest feature role to date in the raunchy summer smash "Wedding Crashers." Cast as Rachel McAdams' obsequious, cheating fiancé, Cooper showcased both his comedic and dramatic skills in a single role, sometimes even stealing scenes from his gifted co-stars, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. After this knockout role, his talent was not overlooked by the industry. Cooper was soon cast as the lead in Fox's "Kitchen Confidential" (2005), a sitcom based on Chef Anthony Bourdain's best-selling tell-all novel. Despite his charming presence and a fine supporting cast, the show floundered and was cancelled after 13 episodes. Cooper rebounded with another amusing turn as one of Matthew McConaughey's eccentric friends in the hit romantic comedy "Failure to Launch" (2006), where many critics singled out Cooper's performance in otherwise lukewarm reviews. Jumping from screen to stage in early 2006, Cooper appeared on Broadway alongside Paul Rudd and Julia Roberts, in the actress's much publicized and sold out Broadway debut "Three Days of Rain."
The steadily working actor ramped up his visibility in 2008, beginning with a recurring role on the FX series "Nip/Tuck" (2003-2010). His starring role in an adaptation of Clive Barker's thriller "The Midnight Meat Train" only made it to DVD, but "Yes Man" (2008), in which he co-starred as the best friend of an agreeable Jim Carrey, debuted at No. 1 at the box office. Cooper kicked off a lucrative 2009 with a role as a husband with a wandering eye in the ensemble comedy "He's Just Not That Into You" (2009). Rumors he was dating co-star Jennifer Aniston were quickly eclipsed by the monster summer hit "The Hangover" (2009). Cooper shared the lead with Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis in the buddy comedy about bachelor partygoers trying to piece together the events of a drunken blackout gone wild, and aside from a strong box-office take, it earned excellent critical reviews. Cooper stayed in the public eye with his follow-up "All About Steve" (2009), starring as a cameraman overzealously pursued by a woman (Sandra Bullock) after just one blind date. Critics were brutal, heaping zero stars on the movie and declaring it the worst of the year, but somehow Cooper came out of the film fiasco unscathed. He rounded out his breakout year with a role in the ensemble "New York, I Love You" (2009).
As much a draw in romantic roles as he was in comedic ones, Cooper returned to the successful ensemble cast format for the star-packed "Valentine's Day" (2010). As a newly single man chatting up airline seatmate Julia Roberts, Cooper charmed alongside the queen of charmers, showing his range with an plot twist that reveals his character reconciling with his lover, Eric Dane. The actor's comic touch - effective in frothy romances as well as harder-edged adventures - came in handy as the smooth-talking man-of-action, Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck in the feature version of the 1980s TV mainstay, "The A-Team" (2010), in which the actor clocked a good amount of camera time shirtless, showing off his newly chiseled body, courtesy of studio trainers. At the same time, Cooper's ongoing but quiet romance with A-list actress Renee Zellweger became more and more a paparazzi attraction, especially as his star ascended. The high-profile relationship came to the fore after Cooper's marriage to actress Jennifer Esposito had ended in divorce in 2007. His romance with Zellweger began sometime in 2009 and was reported on a year later, only to end after six months in early 2011.
Meanwhile, Cooper rejoined Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis for the sequel "The Hangover II" (2011), which managed to become a major box office hit like its predecessor while spawning a future third installment. Following up, he starred opposite Robert De Niro as a struggling writer who makes a Faustian bargain by taking a top-secret drug that allows him to use 100 percent of his brain in the rather underwhelming action thriller "Limitless" (2011). After appearing opposite Olivia Wilde and Zoe Saldana in the critically maligned drama "The Words" (2012), Cooper had a supporting turn alongside a motley cast that included Kristen Bell, Kristen Chenowith, Tom Arnold and Beau Bridges in star Dax Shepard's action comedy "Hit and Run" (2012). He next earned praise for his comic performance as a bipolar man who strikes up an odd friendship with an equally damaged young widow (Jennifer Lawrence) while dealing with his Philadelphia Eagle-obsessed father (Robert De Niro) in David O. Russell's off-beat romantic comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012). The film garnered widespread critical acclaim and earned Cooper Indie Spirit, SAG, Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Actor.
After closing out the trilogy with the indifferently-received "The Hangover Part III" (2013), Cooper reteamed with Russell and Lawrence for the '70s-style dark comedy "American Hustle" (2013). Loosely based on the ABSCAM sting that took down seven members of Congress, "American Hustle" featured Cooper as a rough-edged FBI agent; his period-specific permed hair garnered nearly as much attention as co-star Amy Adams' plunging necklines. Cooper received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for the role. His next screen performance came in the blockbuster "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014), a Marvel Cinematic Universe installment in which he provided the voice for Rocket, a genetically-altered loose-cannon intergalactic bounty hunter. After that massive screen success, Cooper appeared opposite Lawrence again in the period romantic drama "Serena" (2014), then found himself in the middle of another Oscar season with his work on Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" (2014). In this commercially successful but culturally divisive film, Cooper portrayed Chris Kyle, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who claimed to be the most successful sniper in American wartime history. Cooper was again nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for the film. Cooper played the lead in Cameron Crowe's critically-derided romantic comedy "Aloha" (2015) before joining the rest of the "Wet Hot American Summer" cast in the long-awaited prequel series "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day at Camp" (Netflix 2015). After playing a tense chef opposite Sienna Miller in John Wells' indie drama "Burnt" (2015), Cooper reunited with Russell and Lawrence for another fact-based period drama, "Joy" (2015), in which Lawrence played real-life home shopping magnate Joy Mangano. Cooper next appeared in a supporting role opposite Jonah Hill and Miles Teller in Todd Phillips' Iraq War satire "War Dogs" (2016).
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Appeared as one of the trekkers in several episodes of "Treks in a Wild World"; aired on The Travel Channel
Hired for recurring role on the Fox drama "The $treet"; episodes never seen as series was cancelled after only seven airings
Featured in "Changing Lanes"
Co-starred with Jason Priestley and Emma Caulfield in the ABC TV-movie "I Want to Marry Ryan Banks"
Cast as a love interest for Christine Lahti's character on The WB's "Jack and Bobby"
Played the lead role on Fox's "Kitchen Confidential," based on renowned chef Anthony Bourdain's best-selling autobiography
Appeared in "Failure to Launch" as a friend of Matthew McConaughey's character
Joined Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd in the Broadway production of Richard Greenberg's "Three Days of Rain"
Guest starred on the fifth season of "Nip/Tuck" (FX)
Cast opposite Jim Carrey in the comedy "Yes Man"
Joined an ensemble cast for the feature adaptation of the bestselling book "He's Just Not That Into You"
Co-starred with Sandra Bullock in the critically panned comedy "All About Steve"
Joined an ensemble cast for the Garry Marshall-directed romantic comedy "Valentine's Day"
Starred in the feature film adaptation of "The A-Team" as Templeton 'Faceman' Peck, originally played in the '80s TV series by Dirk Benedict
Played the lead in the thriller "Limitless"
Reprised role of Phil in Todd Phillips' "The Hangover Part II"
Co-starred with Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard in action comedy "Hit and Run"
Starred as a writer who steals another man's work in "The Words"
Played an ambitious police officer opposite Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in "The Place Beyond the Pines"
Starred in "The Hangover Part III," the last film in the trilogy
Co-starred in a voice-only role as Rocket in science fiction comedy "Guardians of the Galaxy"
Reteamed with Jennifer Lawrence for period romance "Serena"
Co-starred with Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams in Cameron Crowe's "Aloha"
Appeared in the dramedy "War Dogs"