Owen Wilson

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Owen Wilson
Owen Wilson Cannes 2011.jpg
Wilson at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of Midnight in Paris
Born Owen Cunningham Wilson
(1968-11-18) November 18, 1968 (age 50)[1]
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
  • Actor
  • writer
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active 1996–present
Children 2

Owen Cunningham Wilson (born November 18, 1968)[2] is an American actor, writer, producer and screenwriter.

His older brother Andrew and his younger brother Luke are also actors. He has had a long association with filmmaker Wes Anderson, whom he shared writing and acting credits with for Bottle Rocket (1996) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), the latter being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He also starred with Ben Stiller in ten films.

Wilson is best known for his roles in Bottle Rocket (1996), Shanghai Noon (2000), Zoolander (2001), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Shanghai Knights (2003), The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004), Cars (2006), Night at the Museum trilogy (2006, 2009 and 2014), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Marley & Me (2008), Midnight in Paris (2011), Cars 2 (2011), The Internship (2013), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), No Escape (2015) and Zoolander No. 2 (2016).

Early life and education

Wilson was born in Dallas, Texas, to photographer Laura (née Cunningham) Wilson (born October 17, 1939) and Robert Andrew Wilson (born 1941), an advertising executive and operator of a public television station. He has an older brother, Andrew, and a younger brother, Luke. Both brothers are also involved in filmmaking.[3] His family, originally from Massachusetts, is of Irish descent.[4] Wilson attended New Mexico Military Institute and the University of Texas at Austin, where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English.[5]


After his film debut in Bottle Rocket, Wilson co-wrote with Wes Anderson the script for Anderson's next two directorial efforts, 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 minor roles in action films like Anaconda, Armageddon and 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. He made a cameo appearance in the Girl Skateboards video Yeah Right! in 2003.

Wilson at the London premiere of You, Me and Dupree, 2006

Wilson starred in the 2000 comedy action film Shanghai Noon, with 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 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.[6]

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 Jackie Chan to make Shanghai Knights (2003), and co-starred in 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.[7] In 2004, he and his brother, Luke played the Wright brothers in the 2004 film Around the World in 80 Days.

Wilson in May 2007

Wilson partnered with Vince Vaughn in the 2005 film Wedding Crashers, which grossed over US$200M in the U.S. 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.[8] In the 2006 Disney/Pixar film Cars, Wilson voiced Lightning McQueen, starred in You, Me and Dupree with Kate Hudson, and appeared with Stiller in Night at the Museum as cowboy Jedediah.

Wilson starred with Ben Stiller in eleven 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) and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014).

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.[9] 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.[10]

He also starred in The Darjeeling Limited with Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman, which was selected for a DVD and Blu-ray release by The Criterion Collection in October 2010.[11] 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.[12] 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 US$2.25  billion domestically (United States and Canada), with an average of US$75M per film. Wilson made a guest appearance on the NBC comedy Community with fellow Frat Pack member Jack Black.[13] He starred as a nostalgia-seized writer in the romantic comedy Midnight in Paris, written and directed by Woody Allen. The film was Allen's highest grossing thus far,[14] and was also well received by critics.[15]

In March 2012, Wilson starred in the John Erick Dowdle thriller The Coup,[16] in which he is slated to play 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. Wilson later returned to the action genre for the first time since Behind Enemy Lines in 2001.[17] He also voiced turkey Reggie in Reel FX's first animated film, Free Birds.[18][19]

In 2014, Wilson starred in Wes Anderson's acclaimed ensemble comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel and in Paul Thomas Anderson's book adaptation of Inherent Vice.[20]

In 2015, he starred with Jennifer Aniston, in Peter Bogdanovich's film She's Funny That Way.

Personal life

Wilson at the Hall Pass red carpet, 2011

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 and Crow's relationship.

On August 26, 2007, Wilson was taken to St. John's Health Center for what was rumored to be a suicide attempt. He was then transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.[21] His lawyer confirmed that he had been undergoing treatment for depression.[22]

A few days after his hospitalization, Wilson withdrew from his role in Tropic Thunder,[23] which was produced by and co-starred his friend and frequent collaborator Ben Stiller. He was replaced by Matthew McConaughey. After his hospital stay, Wilson participated in limited publicity and promotion for his films.[24]

In 2008, it was reported that Wilson and girlfriend, Kate Hudson, were planning to marry.[25] However, they did not marry, but instead repeatedly broke up and got together again during 2008 and 2009 before finally breaking it off for good.[26]

On January 10, 2011, Wilson's representative announced that Wilson and his girlfriend Jade Duell were expecting a baby.[27] Four days later, on January 14, it was confirmed that Duell had given birth in Hawaii to a baby boy, Robert Ford Wilson.[28][28][29] Wilson and Duell ended their relationship in June 2011.[30]

In October 2013, Wilson's representative confirmed that he was expecting a child with personal trainer Caroline Lindqvist, though they were not in a relationship and Lindqvist was in the process of divorcing her husband.[31] Lindqvist gave birth to a son, Finn Lindqvist Wilson[32] on January 30, 2014.[33]

Wilson is a fan of several Dallas-area professional sports teams, and has been spotted at Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers games.[34][35]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Bottle Rocket Dignan Also writer
1996 The Cable Guy Robin's Date
1997 Anaconda Gary Dixon
1997 As Good as It Gets N/A Associate producer
1998 Armageddon Oscar Choice
1998 Permanent Midnight Nicky
1998 Rushmore N/A Also writer
1999 The Haunting Luke Sanderson
1999 Breakfast of Champions Monte Rapid
1999 The Minus Man Vann Siegert
2000 Shanghai Noon Roy O'Bannon Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Action Team
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor: Musical or Comedy
2000 Meet the Parents Kevin Rawley Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Supporting Actor – Comedy
2001 Zoolander Hansel McDonald Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo
2001 The Royal Tenenbaums Eli Cash Nominated – Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated – New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated – Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor: Musical or Comedy
Nominated – Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated – Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
2001 Behind Enemy Lines Lt. Chris Burnett
2002 I Spy Alex Scott Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Combo
2003 Shanghai Knights Roy O'Bannon Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo
2003 Yeah Right! Himself Cameo
2004 The Big Bounce Jack Ryan
2004 Starsky & Hutch Ken Hutchinson MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo
Nominated – People's Choice Award for Favorite On-Screen Chemistry
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Comedy Actor
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Chemistry
2004 Around the World in 80 Days Wilbur Wright
2004 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Ned Plimpton Nominated – Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
2004 Meet the Fockers Kevin Rawley
2005 The Wendell Baker Story Neil King
2005 Wedding Crashers John Beckwith MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo
People's Choice Award for Favorite On-Screen Match-Up
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Liplock
2006 Cars Lightning McQueen Voice
2006 Mater and the Ghostlight Lightning McQueen Short; voice
2006 You, Me and Dupree Randolph Dupree Also producer
2006 Night at the Museum Jedediah Uncredited
2007 The Darjeeling Limited Francis Whitman
2008 Drillbit Taylor Drillbit Taylor
2008 Marley & Me John Grogan Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Liplock
2008 Over Her Dead Body Guy on Phone Uncredited
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Jedediah
2009 Fantastic Mr. Fox Coach Skip Voice
2010 Marmaduke Marmaduke Voice
2010 How Do You Know Matty Reynolds
2010 Little Fockers Kevin Rawley
2011 Hall Pass Rick
2011 Midnight in Paris Gil Nominated – Comedy Award for Comedy Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy[36]
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture[37]
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2011 Cars 2 Lightning McQueen Voice
Nominated – People's Choice Award for Favorite Animated Movie Voice
2011 The Big Year Kenny Bostick
2013 The Internship Nick Campbell
2013 Free Birds Reggie Voice
2014 Are You Here Steve Dallas
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel M. Chuck
2014 The Hero of Color City Ricky The Dragon Voice
2014 Inherent Vice Coy Harlingen
2014 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Jedediah
2015 She's Funny That Way Arnold Albertson
2015 No Escape Jack Dwyer
2016 Masterminds Steve Chambes
2016 Zoolander No. 2 Hansel Post-production
2016 Bastards Filming
2017 Cars 3 Lightning McQueen Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Heat Vision and Jack Heat Vision Short; voice
2001 King of the Hill Rhett Van Der Graaf (voice) Episode: "Luanne Virgin 2.0"
2010 Community Other Study Group's Leader Uncredited
Episode: "Investigative Journalism"
2013 Drunk History John Harvey Kellogg Episode: "Detroit"
2014 Cars Toons: Tales From Radiator Springs Lightning McQueen Voice; Episode: "The Radiator Springs 500 ½"

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2006 Cars Lightning McQueen
2012 Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure Lightning McQueen
2014 Cars: Fast as Lightning Lightning McQueen

Music videos

Year Song Artist
2006 God's Gonna Cut You Down Johnny Cash
2013 Christmas in L.A. The Killers


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External links