This guy. You know him, he’s appeared in all kinds of movies. He’s one of those actors whose face you know… but name, you may or may not. Notoriously cast in supporting roles, oh, about 90% of the time, he’s an excellent complement to every movie he’s made. Seriously, as a supporting character, he sure does steal the show. Have you seen “American Beauty?” I love (and I mean love) Kevin Spacey, but Chris Cooper‘s portrayal of Spacey’s neighbor was truly moving. No spoilers, his tragic side story makes you hate him fiercely and sob for him simultaneously. That takes skill.
And Chris owns a smorgasboard of a resume, traced all the way back to Kansas City, Mo. — born here, raised here, a Southwest High School (on Wornall Road) alumni. He studied ballet in Columbia, Mo., graduated from the University of Missouri with a dual degree in drama and agriculture (huh?), served in the Coast Guard Reserves and performed with the founded-in-1955 historic Barn Players theater in Mission, Kan. Whew.
Now Cooper is holder of multiple awards — Academies, Golden Globes, Screen Actor’s Guild, etc. — for outstanding (supporting) performances in movies like “Adaptation.” “The Bourne Identity.” “October Sky.” “Lone Star.” “Seabiscuit,” “Capote,” “Adaptation.” “The Town.” The list goes on, and on.
And Kansas City salutes you, Colonel Fitts*.
*Cooper’s character’s name in “American Beauty.” If you’ve never seen it, go. Just go. Drop everything and just go watch it.