Owen Wilson Biography

Owen Wilson Biography
Owen Wilson (born November 18, 1968) is an American actor and writer. He is best known for his roles in buddy comedy movies. With the most distinctive nose in Hollywood, Owen may not have the most chiseled looks, but his raw comedic talent and easygoing nature have propelled him into stardom in a relatively short time.


Owen Wilson was born in Dallas, Texas to Robert Andrew Wilson a PBS executive and Laura Cunningham a photographer, both of whom were of Irish Catholic descent. Owen is the middle sibling of three brothers: Andrew, the eldest, and Luke, the youngest, who is also a well-known actor.

Owen Wilson attended the St. Mark's School of Texas before graduating from high school at the New Mexico Military Institute. He was expelled from St. Mark's in tenth grade after stealing his teacher's textbook in an attempt to help him finish his math homework quicker. Afterwards, he attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he met future collaborator Wes Anderson. Owen dropped out two courses shy of a degree. He needed a math and a Spanish class to graduate.

In 1993, Wilson co-wrote and starred in the short film version of Bottle Rocket, which was directed by Wes Anderson. After being screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Wilson and Anderson were recruited by filmmaker James L. Brooks to expand the Bottle Rocket short to feature-length for Gracie Films. The young team of filmmakers were given $5 million dollars to make the film, about a group of innocents who try their hands at being petty thieves. Although not a financial success upon its release in 1996, the film became a cult favourite and introduced Wilson's offbeat acting style to American audiences. Owen, along with his brothers Luke and Andrew, moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting careers. Owen landed minor roles in big budgeted movies very quickly such as The Cable Guy which was directed by Ben Stiller, who was an early admirer of Bottle Rocket. After minor appearances in action films like Anaconda, Armageddon and The Haunting, Owen got his big break with the 2000 comedy action hit Shanghai Noon starring opposite Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan. After the success of Rush Hour, producers thought the buddy formula could work again with Jackie Chan being paired with a white man this time. And they were right. The film was a success grossing nearly $100 million dollars worldwide. However just like Jackie, it typecasted Owen Wilson as a buddy movie actor that he hasn't been able shake off to this day.

Gene Hackman took notice of Owen Wilson's performance in Shanghai Noon and recommended him to play opposite him in the 2001 action film Behind Enemy Lines - it remained the only big budgeted film which Owen had a starring role that deviated from buddy comedy roles that Owen has since embraced.

Owen returned to the buddy comedy genre in 2002 with the action comedy I Spy, co-starring this time with Eddie Murphy. The big screen remake of the television series flopped at the box office but brought much attention to Owen. He then reunited with Chan to make Shanghai Knights (2003), teamed up with Ben Stiller in the movie remake of the television series Starsky & Hutch (2004), and partnered with Vince Vaughn in the 2005 box office smash the Wedding Crashers which grossed over $200 million dollars in the US alone.

Although he found initial success as a film actor after his turn as "Dignan" in Bottle Rocket, Wilson remained a key creative collaborator to Wes Anderson's next two directorial efforts. Rushmore was the two writers' second script, and was partially based on Wilson's own expulsion from St. Mark's as a teenager. Although he didn't appear in the film, he and Anderson acknowledged on the Criterion Collection DVD audio commentary that Wilson has a sort of quasi-cameo as Rosemary Cross's dead husband, Edward Appleby. The photographs of Appleby in Ms. Cross's room are ones taken of Wilson as a boy.

In 2001, Wilson and Anderson wrote their third film, The Royal Tenenbaums, which was a financial and critical success. The comedy featured an all-star cast, including Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, and Danny Glover. Wilson had a memorable supporting role in the film as a Professor-turned-bestseller "Eli Cash." It earned the writing team an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Due to his busy schedule as an actor, he wasn't able to collaborate on the script for Wes Anderson's fourth feature, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, which was ultimately co-written by filmmaker Noah Baumbach. However, Wilson eventually did star in the film as Bill Murray's would-be son, Ned Plimpton, which was a role written specifically for Wilson.

Wilson's roles have varied between small, quirky comedy collaborations with Anderson and bigger budget box office fare, including eight movies made with comedic actor Ben Stiller. He and Stiller along with Luke, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn are considered members of the Frat Pack. Owen is the first "Frat Pack" member to receive an Academy Award nomination.

He has been in eight movies with Ben Stiller, up to this date. They are The Cable Guy(1996), Permanent Midnight (1998), Heat Vision and Jack (1999) (TV), Meet the Parents (2000), Zoolander (2001), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Starsky & Hutch (2004) and Meet the Fockers (2004).

In early 2005, Wilson rushed to the defense of his long-time friend and fellow frat-packer after The New Yorker published a disparaging characterization of Stiller's film performances, calling him "the latest, and crudest, version of the urban Jewish male on the make." The esteemed magazine published a letter written by Wilson, charging that the critic David Denby was a "bully" who blithely dismissed all of Stiller's filmography with a touch of personal rancor. In Wilson's words, he jumped to defend Stiller "not because [the article] was good or fair toward my friend but exactly because it wasn’t."

His trademark crooked nose was caused by having his nose broken once in high school and again in college during a flag football game at the University of Texas.

Owen Wilson dated Sheryl Crow back when he was making the film Minus Man. The couple separated in 2000. He is also a big Willie Nielson fan. Owen also enjoys playing Ping Pong and played a publicized match against Regis Philbin on Regis and Kelly once.



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