Cuba Gooding Jr. is a firm fan favorite who has been active in the movie industry for close to 40 years. He has appeared in some excellent movies and played a series of magnificent roles. Happily, as he gets towards his 60s, he remains in demand and busy.
The Cuba Gooding Jr net worth is substantial and a result of all his hard work. He deservedly lives the Hollywood lifestyle, but before I take a look at that, let’s first find out more about the man and his life.
Early Life and Education
Cuba Mark Gooding Jr. was born on the second of January 1968 in New York City. His mother and father were both singers. His mother performed as a backing singer for ‘The Sweethearts.’ His father was the lead vocalist for the R4B and Soul group, ‘The Main Ingredient.’
Cuba only spent a few years of his childhood in New York. This was because when ‘The Main Ingredient’ had a hit in 1972 with “Everybody Plays the Fool,” his father took the decision to relocate to Los Angeles to further his and the group’s careers.
The marriage between his mother, Shirley Sullivan, and his father, Cuba Gooding Sr., didn’t last the distance, with the couple parted ways just a few years after the family arrived in Los Angeles. That left his mother to bring up Cuba and his siblings April, Omar, and Thomas single-handedly.
Despite the trauma of his parent’s divorce, it did not affect his overall positive outlook. He was a good student and was popular at school, which no doubt had a large part in him being elected as the class president in three of the four high schools that he attended.
His school life was formative in two key areas…
The first was in consolidating his choice in becoming a born-again Christian. The second was in establishing a relationship with Sara Kapfer, whom he would later go on to marry. That is something I will cover in more detail a little later.
After leaving school, Cuba did go straight into acting. In fact, he initially showed a strong interest in dancing and martial arts. He even worked as a dancer with Paula Abdul and performed with legendary Lionel Ritchie at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics during the closing ceremony.
However, three years after leaving full-time education, he turned his undoubted talents to acting. This would prove to be the focus for the rest of his career, and this is what we are now going to take a closer look at.
Cuba made his first TV appearance in 1986 on the American TV comedy sitcom, “Better Days.” He played a bully in the episode titled “Wooly Bully.” His first movie role was a couple of years later in a small part where he played a boy getting a haircut in “Coming to America.”
It is fair to say that he started with minor roles, but as his reputation and natural ability grew, his parts got bigger and bigger. This was the case for his acting roles on the big as well as the small screen.
In the early part of his career…
…he landed roles on “Hill Street Blues” in 1987, “Amen” in 1988, and “MacGyver” from 1988 to 1990. These parts helped to get him established and win his first major acting role in the 1991 movie, “Boyz n the Hood.” He played the lead of Tre Styles, and the movie was not only a big success but also won him much critical acclaim.
Cuba followed up on his success with some great parts in movies, including “Outbreak” and “Gladiator” However. I believe his best role of this era was as Corporal Carl Edward Hammaker in the 1992 Drama “A Few Good Men,” which also starred Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, and Demi Moore.
During this period, he landed his best-known role. That was as an arrogant football player in the Comedy Drama, “Jerry McGuire” in 1996. He reunited with Tom Cruise, who was at the time very much in his prime and a huge box office draw. Therefore, hardly surprisingly, the movie was extremely successful, though that was in no small part down to Cuba’s charismatic performance. Happily, the critics loved his portrayal of Rod Tidwell, and he was justly awarded an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Tom Cruise has incidentally never won an Oscar though he has been nominated for three.
Cuba’s role in “Jerry McGuire” opened even more doors in Hollywood to a plethora of great roles and opportunities. One of the many things I like about Cuba is that he selected some excellent parts in some excellent movies. A great example of this is that he immediately followed his Oscar success by playing a supporting role in another Comedy Drama, “As Good as It Gets,” in 1997.
This time he was reunited with Jack Nicholson, who starred alongside Helen Hunt. They both received Oscars and though Cuba wasn’t nominated, he certainly made a big contribution to the movie’s success.
Over the next ten years…
…he continued to play a series of interesting roles and appeared in some great movies. These included “Men of Honor” in 2000, in which he played the lead role with Robert DeNiro as the supporting actor. Additionally, he appeared in “Pearl Harbor” in 2001 and “Radio” in 2003.
Cuba was rarely out of work and always had one project or another on the go. However, as the noughties began to come to a close, he became less in demand and started to appear in smaller-budget movies, and his appearances alongside the Hollywood elite became few and far between.
Why was this?
I have no idea, as he has always remained a good actor. However, Hollywood can be fickle like this, so who knows, maybe more big roles and movies will be just around the corner.
I, for one, sincerely hope so.
Until recently, Cuba had very little controversy in his life and seemed to have an extremely settled home life. He married his childhood sweetheart, Sara Kapfer, in 1995, and they had three children together, Spencer, Piper, and Mason.
Of his three children, Mason has followed him into acting and has been an actor since he was 20 years old, which was in 2016. His first TV appearance was in “Spring Street” in 2017. His debut movie was in the 2019 Comedy, “Booksmart,” directed by Olivia Wilde.
Sadly after 20 years of marriage, which is equivalent to 200 years for Hollywood couples, Cupa and Sara separated. They eventually filed for divorce, which was finalized in 2017.
Cuba is dating Claudine De Niro, no relation to Robert De Niro, if that is what you are thinking. The couple have been dating for a while, but there is no sign of marriage on the cards as yet.
Cuba kept his personal life exactly that for a very long time. In fact, until he turned 50, you would be very hard-pressed to find anything about him in the gossip columns. You would also never find anything controversial or negative written about him.
However, that all changed in 2019 when he was charged for allegedly groping a lady in a Times Square bar in 2018. Once the charge became public, another 30 women came forward to accuse him of unwanted sexual advances.
Alleged or real?
It is not clear how many of these charges were real or otherwise, but ultimately, he was found guilty, by his own admission, of kissing a woman on her lips without her consent, along with another two episodes of unwanted sexual contact.
In a plea bargain, he was spared jail time and was only found guilty of a harassment charge rather than something more serious. As part of his sentence, he had to agree to six months of compulsory counseling. Additionally, it is known that he voluntarily stopped drinking alcohol which may have been an exacerbating factor, though no excuse, in his previous poor behavior.
In 2020 he was also accused of raping a woman in 2013 in New York. This was a private lawsuit that appears to have gone nowhere, so the validity of the accusation cannot be assumed to be real or otherwise until more details come to light.
Hopefully, this saga is over, and there will be nothing else in his past that comes to haunt him.
Net Worth and Salary
So, What is Cuba Gooding Jr’s Net Worth?
It is estimated that it is somewhere around $15 million. Most of that money came from his appearances in movies. His best-paying part was in “Instinct,” where he earned a cool $2.5 million. His worst movie payday was not surprising for his debut in “Boyz n the Hood,” earning a mere $32,000.
His pay days for movies following his debut gradually increased until he appeared in Jerry McGuire, for which he was paid $600,000. After this movie and as an Oscar winner, his salary and wage demands climbed dramatically. Although he never reached the massive salaries of some of his co-stars like Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, and Robert De Niro, he still received some solid fees for his work.
Cuba has been a shrewd mover as far as the real estate market is concerned. Much of his wealth has been created by some shrewd house sales and purchases. His biggest win was in the sale of his seven bedroomed English-style country mansion in Pacific Palisades. Complete with a hockey ring, gym, and wine cellar, it sold for $9.8 million in 2014 but was bought for ‘just’ $3.5 million in 2000. That’s more than $6 million profit which is one hell of a good result.
He has also sold homes in Studio City, which sold for $1.4 million in 2009, and a home in Porter Ranch, which sold for $735,000 in 2013. Currently, his present residence has gone unreported though it is assumed that he is still in the Hollywood area as he is frequently spotted out and about in Los Angeles.
Cuba’s legacy will forever be entwined with his role as Rod Tidwell in “Jerry McGuire.” We will not only remember him for a wonderful piece of acting but also for his Oscar and, of course, for the killer catchphrase, ‘Show me the Money!’.
Cuba will also be remembered for his appearances in a series of wonderful movies in which he often played serious but softly-spoken characters. Plus, how could we ever forget his distinctive soft and croaky voice?
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What is the Cuba Gooding Jr Net Worth?
Cuba Gooding Jr’s current net worth is estimated at around $15 million. It’s been a lot of fun taking a trip down memory lane and looking at a few of Cuba’s classic movies from the 80s and 90s. However, it has also been a blast acquainting myself with some of his more recent roles.
I believe that his acting skills have improved with age. Consequently, I think that despite Cuba Gooding Jr’s net worth, which is currently not insignificant, it could still rise quite markedly over the next 20 years or so.
I hope there is a lot more to come from this wonderful and charismatic actor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cuba Gooding Jr’s most memorable role?
Without a doubt, Gooding’s most memorable role was in the movie Jerry Maguire, where he played the character of Rod Tidwell. The role earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
How much money has Cuba Gooding Jr earned throughout his career?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Cuba Gooding Jr’s net worth is estimated at $14 million. He is also known to take home a healthy salary for his movies and television shows.
What challenges has Cuba Gooding Jr faced in his career?
While Gooding has enjoyed a successful career, the recent allegations of sexual assault have affected his personal and professional life. It remains to be seen how the situation will pan out in the future.
Is Cuba Gooding Jr married?
Gooding has been married to his high school sweetheart, Sara Kapfer, since 1994. The couple has three children together, but they announced their separation in 2014.
Where does Cuba Gooding Jr live?
Gooding owns a mansion in Pacific Palisades, California, which he put up for rent at $18,000 per month. The house has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a beautiful swimming pool.
How many awards has Cuba Gooding Jr won?
Cuba Gooding Jr has won several awards throughout his career. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Jerry Maguire. He also won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
What is Cuba Gooding Jr’s ethnicity?
Cuba Gooding Jr is of African-American ethnicity.
What is Cuba Gooding Jr’s height?
Gooding stands at a height of 5 feet 10 inches (178 cm).
What is Cuba Gooding Jr’s middle name?
Gooding’s middle name is Michael.
What is Cuba Gooding Jr’s first movie?
Gooding’s first movie was a romantic drama called Coming Out of the Dark, which was released in 1990.
Who is Cuba Gooding Jr’s father?
Cuba Gooding Jr’s father was Cuba Gooding Sr., a soul singer.
What is Cuba Gooding Jr’s Zodiac sign?
Gooding was born on January 2, 1968, and his Zodiac sign is Capricorn.
What is Cuba Gooding Jr’s favorite movie?
Gooding has named The Godfather and The Shawshank Redemption as his favorite movies.
How many siblings does Cuba Gooding Jr have?
Gooding has three siblings, two brothers, and a sister.
What was Cuba Gooding Jr’s first major acting role?
Gooding’s first major acting role was in the movie Boyz n the Hood, where he played the character of Tre Styles. The role earned him critical acclaim and put him on the path to stardom.
What is Cuba Gooding Jr’s favorite music?
Gooding is a big fan of soul music and has even collaborated with some musicians in the past. He has named Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and Otis Redding as some of his favorite artists.