Actor Bradley Cooper, star of numerous Hollywood blockbusters, was revealed to be a talented singer and musician when he played hard-drinking country-rocker Jackson Maine opposite Lady Gaga in the 2018 remake of A Star Is Born, his directorial debut.
Born in 1975 in Philadelphia, Cooper decided at a young age to become an actor. After graduating from Georgetown with a BA in English, he earned a master's in acting at the Actors Studio Drama School in New York City. His first TV appearance came in 1999 with a guest role on Sex and the City, and his cinematic debut in 2001's Wet Hot American Summer. He became better known with his recurring role as journalist Will Tippin on J.J. Abrams' popular espionage series Alias. Increasingly substantial film roles followed before his breakthrough performance in the R-rated comedy The Hangover, which spawned two sequels. Popular with audiences for his rugged good looks and warm, down-to-earth personality, he made the leap to leading man status with the sci-fi thriller Limitless, and solidified his reputation with films such as The Place Beyond the Pines, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, Serena, and American Sniper. He became one of a select few actors to be nominated for an Academy Award in for three consecutive years. Cooper made his directorial debut in 2018 with A Star Is Born, the second remake of the 1937 film. In the movie, which also featured Lady Gaga, he played hard-drinking country-rocker Jackson Maine. Cooper modeled the character's voice on Sam Elliott, and his mannerisms on Eddie Vedder. He undertook 18 months of coaching, some of it with Lukas Nelson, in order to become a bona fide singer and musician. His hard work paid off, as his performance was praised both by critics and by his co-star, and the film was tipped for Oscar success. ~ John D. Buchanan