Cooper was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. His mother, Gloria (née Campano), is Italian-American, and his father, Charles J. Cooper, was Irish-American and worked as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch. He has one sister named Holly. Cooper was raised Catholic. While attending Germantown Academy, Cooper worked at the Philadelphia Daily News. After graduating from Germantown Academy in 1993, he attended Villanova University for his freshman year, then transferred to Georgetown University, from which he graduated with honors with a BA in English in 1997. Cooper became fluent in French at Georgetown and spent six months as an exchange student in Aix-en-Provence, France. Later, in 2000, he received an MFA in acting from Actors Studio Drama School at The New School in New York City.
Cooper began his professional acting career on the television series Sex and the City in 1999, and also served as a presenter for Globe Trekker. Cooper made his film debut in Wet Hot American Summer in 2001, before landing his role as Will Tippin in the successful television drama Alias. He returned twice to Alias as a guest star after leaving the show in 2003, and he also guest-starred on the short-lived TV series Miss Match in the same year. Cooper shot scenes for the 2002 psychological thriller Changing Lanes; the footage was removed from the finished film but is featured on the film’s DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Cooper co-starred in the ABC Family film I Want to Marry Ryan Banks with Jason Priestley, and appeared as a regular guest star in the WB series Jack & Bobby. He played the popular villain Sack Lodge in the hit comedy Wedding Crashers and appeared in the film Failure to Launch as a friend of Matthew McConaughey‘s character. Cooper played the lead role in the Fox sitcom Kitchen Confidential, based on a memoir by chef Anthony Bourdain, which debuted in September 2005. However, despite critical acclaim, Fox announced after just four episodes that the series had been canceled.
In March 2006, Cooper starred in Three Days of Rain on Broadway with Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater. Cooper also appeared on stage as Jake in the 2008 production of Theresa Rebeck‘s play The Understudy at the Williamstown Theatre Festival alongside Kristen Johnston.
In 2007, Cooper starred in Season 5 of Nip/Tuck as Aidan Stone, a television star on the fictional show Hearts ‘N Scalpels. Cooper also starred in Yes Man with Jim Carrey. He also made an appearance in the movie The Rocker with Rainn Wilson in 2008.
On February 7, 2009, Cooper hosted Saturday Night Live with musical guest TV on the Radio. Cooper impersonated Christian Bale in a fake commercial for a DVD featuring celebrities yelling at movie crew members called, “No, Bruce! Let Me Finish! The Best of Celebrity Tirades.” In 2009, Cooper starred in the films He’s Just Not That into You, Case 39 and The Hangover. The Hangover was a financial success; it opened first at the box office in the United States and grossed over $467 million worldwide from a production budget of $35 million. In October 2009, Cooper received the Hollywood Comedy Award at the 13th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards. The success of The Hangover led to new opportunities for Cooper, but in an interview with Shave Magazine, Cooper said: “It’s the same. I mean, look, more doors have been opened for sure but it’s not like I sit back with a cigar on Monday morning and go through the scripts that have been offered.”
In 2010, Cooper appeared in two films. He appeared in the ensemble romantic comedy Valentine’s Day, directed by Garry Marshall, which also starred Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, and former Alias co-star Jennifer Garner, among others. The film was a commercial success, grossing over $215 million worldwide. He then played the role of Templeton “Faceman” Peck in the feature film version of The A-Team. He guest co-hosted WWE Raw on June 7, 2010 along with his The A-Team co-stars Sharlto Copley and Quinton Jackson.
In 2011, Cooper starred in the techno-thriller Limitless, based on the 2001 novel The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn, as well as the comedy sequel The Hangover Part II, which earned over $580 million at the worldwide box office. In September 2011, GQ UK presented Cooper with the “International Man of the Year” award. On November 16, 2011, People magazine named him Sexiest Man Alive.
In 2012, he appeared in the drama The Words, as well as David O. Russell‘s Silver Linings Playbook, an adaptation of Matthew Quick‘s serio-comic novel, with Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence. In January 2012, plans were announced for Cooper to reunite with The Silver Linings Playbook co-star Jennifer Lawrence for the Susanne Bier adaptation of Ron Rash‘s period novel Serena. He will also star in The Place Beyond the Pines, as an early 1990s police officer. In March 2012, Cooper and Warner Bros. entered into a two-year first look deal for his production company 22 & Indiana Pictures.
Cooper married actress Jennifer Esposito in late 2006. In May 2007, it was announced that Esposito had filed for divorce.
In September 2010, it was reported that Cooper and actress Renée Zellweger had been in a relationship for over a year. On March 18, 2011, People reported that the couple had ended their relationship.
He is currently dating actress Zoe Saldana.
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