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Owen Wilson

Owen Wilson

American actor and screenwriter
The basics
Occupation Film actor Actor Screenwriter Voice actor Television actor Actor
Country United States of America
AKA Owen Cunningham Wilson
Date of birth Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, U.S.A.
Mother: Laura Wilson
Brother(s): Luke Wilson Andrew Wilson
Height: 1.7907 m
Education University of Texas at Austin
Authority ISNI id Library of congress id IMDB id Musicbrainz id NNDB id Discogs id VIAF id
The details

Owen Cunningham Wilson (born November 18, 1968) is an American actor, producer, screenwriter and comedian. He has had a long association with filmmaker Wes Anderson, with whom he shared writing and acting credits for Bottle Rocket (1996) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), the latter of which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. His older brother Andrew and younger brother Luke are also actors, with whom he has collaborated a number of times. He starred with Ben Stiller in numerous films, and is known for his roles in Frat Pack comedies and as well as voicing Lightning McQueen in the Cars franchise.

Early life

Wilson was born in Dallas, Texas, to photographer Laura (née Cunningham) Wilson (born October 17, 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 minor 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 at the London premiere of You, Me and Dupree in 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.

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 Jackie 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 Wilson. 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 comedy 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. 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 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. 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 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. 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 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. Wilson made a guest appearance on the NBC comedy Community with fellow Frat Pack member Jack Black. 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, and was also well received by critics.


Wilson at the Hall Pass red carpet, 2011

In March 2012, Wilson starred in the John Erick Dowdle thriller The Coup, 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. Wilson later returned 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 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.

Upcoming projects

In 2017, Wilson will be co-starring with Ed Helms in Bastards, and will also be working on a sequel to Shanghai Knights, marking his third collaboration with Jackie Chan. Wilson and brother Luke have co-written a Wright Brothers biopic, in which they also plan to star.

Personal life

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. He was replaced by Matthew McConaughey.

Wilson dated Kate Hudson in 2008 and 2009.

In January 2011, Wilson and his girlfriend Jade Duell had a son, Robert Ford Wilson. Wilson and Duell ended their relationship later that year.

In January 2014, Caroline Lindqvist gave birth to Wilson's second son, Finn Lindqvist Wilson.



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
2002 The Sweatbox Himself Archive footage; haven't been released to the public
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 role
2006 Mater and the Ghostlight Lightning McQueen Short; voice role
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 role
2010 Marmaduke Marmaduke Voice role
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
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2011 Cars 2 Lightning McQueen Voice role
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 role
2013 Are You Here Steve Dallas
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel M. Chuck
2014 The Hero of Color City Ricky The Dragon Voice role
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 Zoolander 2 Hansel
2016 Masterminds Steve Chambers
2017 Lost in London Himself
2017 Cars 3 Lightning McQueen Voice role
2017 Wonder Nate Pullman Post-production
2017 Father Figures Kyle Reynolds Completed
2018 Dolphins Himself Narrator


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Heat Vision and Jack Heat Vision Voice role; short
2001 King of the Hill Rhett Van Der Graaf Voice role; 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 role; episode: "The Radiator Springs 500 ½"
2016 Saturday Night Live Hansel Episode: "Larry David/The 1975"

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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