Owen Wilson

Owen Cunningham Wilson (born November 18, 1968 in Dallas, Texas) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor and writer. Wilson was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the screenplay of The Royal Tenenbaums, but he is perhaps best known for his roles as Roy O'Bannon in Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights and as the voice of Lightning McQueen in Cars.

Owen, along with his brothers Luke and Andrew, moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting careers. Although he found initial success as a film actor after his turn as Dignan in Bottle Rocket, Wilson remained a key creative collaborator to Wes Anderson's next two directorial efforts. Rushmore was the two writers' second script, and was partially based on Wilson's own expulsion from St. Mark's as a teenager. Although he didn't appear in the film, he and Anderson acknowledged on the Criterion Collection DVD audio commentary that Wilson has a sort of quasi-cameo as Rosemary Cross's dead husband, Edward Appleby. The photographs of Appleby in Ms. Cross's room are ones taken of Wilson as a boy.

Owen landed minor roles in big budgeted movies very quickly, such as The Cable Guy, directed by Ben Stiller, an early admirer of Bottle Rocket. After minor appearances in action films like Anaconda, Armageddon and The Haunting, Owen got his big break with the 2000 comedy action hit Shanghai Noon starring opposite Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan, which grossed nearly US$100 million worldwide.

Gene Hackman took notice of Owen's performance in Shanghai Noon and recommended him to play opposite him in the 2001 action film Behind Enemy Lines, Wilson's only dramatic starring role. Also in 2001, Wilson and Anderson wrote their third film, The Royal Tenenbaums, which was a financial and critical success. The comedy featured an all-star cast, including Hackman, Ben Stiller, Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, and Danny Glover. Wilson had a memorable supporting role in the film as a professor-turned-bestseller Eli Cash. It earned the writing team an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Owen returned to the buddy comedy genre in 2002 with the action comedy I Spy, co-starring this time with Eddie Murphy. The big screen remake of the television series flopped at the box office. He then reunited with Chan to make Shanghai Knights (2003), teamed up with Ben Stiller in Zoolander (2001) and the movie remake of the television series Starsky & Hutch (2004), and partnered with Vince Vaughn in the 2005 Wedding Crashers which grossed over $200 million dollars in the US alone. In 2006, Wilson voiced Lightning McQueen in Cars, starred in You, Me, and Dupree, and will appear with Ben Stiller in Night at the Museum, to be released in December 2006.

Due to his busy schedule as an actor, he was unable to collaborate on the script for Wes Anderson's fourth feature, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and the film was ultimately co-written by filmmaker Noah Baumbach. Wilson eventually did star in the film as Bill Murray's would-be son, Ned Plimpton, which was a role written specifically for Wilson.

Wilson, along with his brother Luke, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, and Steve Carell are considered members of the Frat Pack. Owen is the first "Frat Pack" member to receive an Academy Award nomination. He has been in seven movies with Stiller to date: The Cable Guy (1996), Permanent Midnight (1998), Meet the Parents (2000), Zoolander (2001), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Starsky & Hutch (2004) and Meet the Fockers (2004).

In early 2005, Wilson rushed to the defense of his long-time friend and fellow frat-packer Ben Stiller, after The New Yorker published a disparaging characterization of Stiller's film performances, calling him "the latest, and crudest, version of the urban Jewish male on the make." The magazine published a letter written by Wilson, charging that the critic David Denby was a "bully" who blithely dismissed all of Stiller's filmography with a touch of personal rancor. In Wilson's words, he jumped to defend Stiller "not because the article was good or fair toward my friend but exactly because it wasn’t."

Owen Wilson dated Sheryl Crow when he was making The Minus Man. The couple separated in 2000. Currently, Wilson is reportedly dating Kate Hudson, his co-star from You, Me and Dupree. Wilson is also a big Willie Nelson fan, and enjoys playing ping pong. He once played a publicized match against Regis Philbin on Regis and Kelly. Owen also likes to skateboard and appears in Yeah Right!, a 2003 skateboarding movie, and he is also seen teaching kids how to drop in on a half pipe in You, Me & Dupree.

As a child, Wilson attended a single year of band class at his high school. He hasn't touched an instrument since.

Movie salaries:

* You, Me and Dupree (2006) $15,000,000
* Cars (2006) $2,000,000
* Wedding Crashers (2005) $10,000,000
* Starsky & Hutch (2004) $10,000,000
* Behind Enemy Lines (2001) $3,000,000
* Zoolander (2001) $2,000,000
* Shanghai Noon (2000) $4,000,000Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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