Owen Cunningham Wilson (born November 18, 1968) is an American actor and screenwriter born in Dallas, Texas. He is the middle child of three brothers; siblings Andrew and Luke Wilson are also actors. Wilson is known for his long association with the filmmaker Wes Anderson, having shared co-writing and acting credits in the films Bottle Rocket (1996), which was his acting debut, and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and for his collaborations with fellow actor Ben Stiller. The two have appeared in eight films together.
Wilson is best known for his roles in Meet the Parents (2000), Zoolander (2001), Wedding Crashers (2005), Night at the Museum (2006), Marley & Me (2008), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), Midnight in Paris (2011), and The Internship (2013), as well as for his voice role as Lightning McQueen in Pixar's Cars (2006) and Cars 2 (2011).
Wilson was born in Dallas, Texas, to photographer Laura (Cunningham) Wilson and Robert Andrew Wilson, 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. His family, originally from Massachusetts, is of Irish descent. Wilson attended New Mexico Military Institute and the University of Texas at Austin, where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English.
After his film debut, Bottle Rocket, Wilson co-wrote with 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 also made a cameo appearance in the Girl Skateboards video Yeah Right! in 2003.
Wilson got his big break with the 2000 comedy action film Shanghai Noon, starring opposite Hong Kong action star 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 took notice of Wilson's performance in Shanghai Noon and recommended Wilson 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, which was a financial and critical success. The comedy featured an all-star cast, including Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danny Glover, Seymour Cassel and brother Luke. Owen had a memorable supporting role in the film as Eli Cash, a drug-addled bon vivant who becomes a literary celebrity. 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 flopped at the box office. He then reunited with 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. In 2004 Wilson worked with his brother Luke Wilson in the 2004 film Around the World in 80 Days as the Wright brothers.
Wilson partnered with Vince Vaughn in the 2005 Wedding Crashers which grossed over $200 million in the US 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 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 Jedediah, the cowboy, an uncredited role.
He also appeared in ten films with Stiller (a long-time friend) to date: 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) and Little Fockers (2010).
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.
The Darjeeling Limited, starring Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman was selected for a DVD and Blu-ray release by The Criterion Collection in October 2010.
Wilson provided the voice for the Whackbat Coach Skip in Wes Anderson's version of 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. His films have grossed more than $2.25 billion domestically (United States and Canada), with an average of $75 million per film. Wilson made a guest appearance on the NBC comedy Community with fellow Frat Pack member Jack Black.
Most recently, Wilson 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. In March 2012, Wilson landed the leading role in the John Erick Dowdle Thriller The Coup. In the film he is slated to play the role of the father in 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. With this role, Wilson returns to the action genre for the first time since 2001's Behind Enemy Lines.
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. His lawyer confirmed that he had been undergoing treatment for depression. A few days after his hospitalization, Wilson withdrew from his role in Tropic Thunder (being replaced by Matthew McConaughey), produced by and co-starring his friend and frequent collaborator Ben Stiller. He had been dating Kate Hudson since 2006, and the pair had broken up. After his hospital stay, Wilson participated in limited publicity and promotion for his films.
In 2008, it was reported that Wilson and Hudson had got back together and were planning to marry. 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.
On January 10, 2011, Wilson's representative announced that Wilson and his girlfriend Jade Duell were expecting a baby. Four days later, on January 14, it was confirmed that Duell had given birth in Hawaii to a baby boy, Robert Ford Wilson. Wilson and Duell had ended their relationship by June 2011. 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. Lindqvist gave birth to son, Finn Lindqvist Wilson on January 30, 2014.
Wilson is a fan of several Dallas-area professional sports teams, and has been spotted at Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers games.
Wilson's bumpy nose is the result of breaking it twice, once during a high school fight, and once playing football with friends.
List of acting credits in film and television
executive producer and co-writer with Wes Anderson
The Cable Guy
Co-writer with Wes Anderson
Heat Vision and Jack
Voice only, Television film
Breakfast of Champions
The Minus Man
Meet the Parents
Nominated - Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Supporting Actor - Comedy
Nominated - Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Action Team,
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor: Musical or Comedy
Behind Enemy Lines
Lt. Chris Burnett
The Royal Tenenbaums
Also executive producer and co-writer with Wes Anderson,
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
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo
Nominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Couple/Ensemble
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Nominated - Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast,
Nominated - Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Meet the Fockers
Around the World in 80 Days
Starsky & Hutch
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
The Big Bounce
The Wendell Baker Story
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
Night at the Museum
You, Me and Dupree
Darjeeling Limited, TheThe Darjeeling Limited
Over Her Dead Body
Guy on Phone
Marley & Me
Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Liplock
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
TV Show: 1 Episode
Fantastic Mr. Fox
How Do You Know
Midnight in Paris
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
Nominated - People's Choice Award for Favorite Animated Movie Voice
The Big Year
Freezing People Is Easy
You Are Here
John Harvey Kellogg
Season 1 Episode 6: Detroit
The Grand Budapest Hotel
She's Funny That Way
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Christmas in L.A.