Starsky and Hutch
American comic actor/screenwriter Owen Wilson, who is recognized for his improvisational abilities, attracted attention from the public for his bright portrayal of TV cop Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson in the big screen adaptation of the 1970s cop series Starsky and Hutch (2004, opposite Ben Stiller), where he took home an MTV movie Award. One of “The Frat Pack” members, Wilson is also best-known among his fans as Jackie Chan’s reluctant partner Roy O’Bannon in Shanghai Noon (2000) and Shanghai Nights (2003). His film credits include The Wendell Baker Story (2005), Wedding Crashers (2005), the hit sequels Meet the Fockers (2004) and Meet the Parents (2000), I Spy (2002), Behind Enemy Lines (2001), Zoolander (2001), The Haunting (1999), The Minus Man (1999) and Bruce Willis’ Armageddon (1998). Owen, who earned $10,000,000 for Starsky & Hutch (2004) and Wedding Crashers (2005), will also add the upcoming animated Cars (2006), the comedy You, Me and Dupree (2006) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2006), to his resume.
One of the most promising new talents to emerge in the 1990s, Wilson initially garnered attention when he co-scripted (with Wes Anderson) and starred in the wide screen version of the acclaimed festival-screened short Bottle Rocket (1996). Due to his bravura work, Owen picked up a Lone Star Film & Television Award. With Anderson, he later wrote the critical acclaimed comedy-drama Rushmore (1998), in which he took home a Lone Star Film & Television Award, and an Oscar-nomination for Best Original Screenplay for The Royal Tenenbaums (2001, also acted in).
Off screen, left-handed Wilson was among nine other actors to top “Hollywood’s Hottest Bachelor,” which including Jesse Metcalfe, Kanye West, Adrian Grenier, Joaquin Phoenix, Keith Urban, Vince Vaughn, Wentworth Miller, John Cusack and Ben McKenzie. Owen was once rumored to be an alcoholic and undergoing intensive treatment to overcome his addiction, but he strongly denied the reports. As for his romantic life, 5’ 11” inch tall Owen was formerly linked to singer/actress Sheryl Crow (born on February 11, 1962), but they are no longer together. The couple met while on the set of the 1999 The Minus Man. Currently, Owen is reportedly searching for a wife because he’s ready to settle down and start a family.
“I thought that I’d be married by the time I was 30 and be starting a family, but it just hasn’t worked out that way. I think that there's something about being in Hollywood. I don’t know if I’m shallow, but you want to make sure that you make the right choice because you know that it's forever and I didn’t realize that I have such a strong scientific side that demands that I experiment with and compare women.” Owen Wilson
Childhood and Family:
Owen Cunningham Wilson was born in November 18, 1968, in Dallas, Texas. He was reared under the care of his father, Robert Wilson, an advertising executive, and his mother, Laura Wilson, a photographer. Along with his brothers, Andrew (the oldest) and Luke (the youngest), Owen enjoyed a typical American boyhood.
“We spent so much time together that I can remember us being in our teens and our dad saying we should try to find some other friends because he thought we were our own lowest common denominator when we got together.” Owen Wilson on his brothers
Self-proclaimed troublemaker Owen Wilson, whose nickname is O, was expelled from St. Mark’s Academy in Dallas, Texas, in the tenth grade and transferred to Thomas Jefferson High School in Austin, Texas. After finishing his sophomore year, Owen headed to a military academy in New Mexico. He next enrolled as an English major at the University of Texas in Austin, in which he graduated with a BA degree in 1991. It was there that Owen met his future mentor and friend Wes Anderson.
Son to Irish Catholic descendant parents, Owen grew up in a non-religious family. As a baby, he was not baptized, but later on he was received into the Roman Catholic Church and is now a practicing Catholic.
“I guess a lot of me in the sense is like Dignan, that’s my sense of humor. The stuff that Dignan is doing is what I would do. When we test-screened the movie, I realized that not everybody laughed where I did. I realized there's not a big audience for my type of humor. Dignan doesn't have self-awareness. Donald Trump has none either. When I read “The Art of the Deal,” I laughed at that because neither of them realize how funny they are.” Owen Wilson on his character Dignan in Bottle Rocket
Known for his assortment of roles and his slightly crooked nose, Owen Wilson made a grand entrance to the cinematic industry with the 1994 short Bottle Rocket, which he co-wrote with like-minded, artistic, aspiring filmmaker Wes Anderson and co-starred with his brothers Luke and Andrew. Debuting at the Sundance Film Festival in 1993, the well-received, festival-screened short caught the attention of producer Polly Platt and writer/director James L. Brooks, which eventually led to the full-length version in 1996. Though it made little impression at the box office, Bottle Rocket received several positive responses from critics for its originality and even handed Wilson a Lone Star Film & Television for Debut of the Year. Additionally, Wilson’s performance as aspiring criminal Dignan won him notice and became his Hollywood calling card.
Riding high in his initial success, Wilson soon received offers to play more roles in movies. He was seen as a loathsome date for leading lady Leslie Mann in Ben Stiller’s dark comedy The Cable Guy (1996), became snake food in the Amazonian action thriller Anaconda (1997), appeared as one of the oil drillers, Oscar Chio, in the mega blockbuster Armageddon (1998) and made an impressive cameo as the drug-addled buddy in Permanent Midnight (1998, starring Ben Stiller). He was also an associated producer of Brooks’ Academy Award-nominated As Good As It Gets (1997).
Rejoining Anderson, Wilson co-scripted and produced the comedy-drama Rushmore (1998). The Anderson-helmed film, which starred Bill Murray as miserable millionaire Blume and Jason Schwartzman as young genius Max Fischer, garnered acclaim from critics and nabbed a Lone Star Film & Television for Best Screenplay. Unfortunately, its critical reviews were not followed by success at the box office.
In the following year, after providing his voice for the television movie Heat Vision and Jack (1999), Owen returned to acting with the lead role of delightful serial killer Vann Siegert in Hampton Fancher’s gripping drama The Minus Man (1999). His fine performance won the actor critical raves from film critics. The same year, Owen had a small supporting role in Alan Rudolph’s poorly received Breakfast of Champions (1999) before finding himself acting opposite Liv Taylor and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the ensemble cast of The Haunting (1999).
Entering the new millennium, Owen was put in the Hollywood mainstreams when he joined Hong Kong action hero and Hollywood heavyweight Jackie Chan to star in the “chop-sockey” Western Shanghai Noon (2000). His uproarious performance as Chan’s reluctant partner Roy O’Bannon practically stole the movie although Shanghai Noon was one of Jackie Chan’s vehicles. Wilson followed it up with a feature role opposite Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro in the blockbuster hit Meet the Parents (2000), a comedy film directed by Jay Roach.
Owen further established his reputation as a comedic actor when he rejoined Ben Stiller to play empty-headed male model Hansel, who becomes the rival of Stiller, in Zoolander (2001). The hilarious performance was followed by another when he portrayed the colorful supporting role of off-kilter novelist Eli Cash, opposite Gene Hackman, Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow and his brother Luke, in the unusual family story The Royal Tennenbaums (2001). In addition to acting, Wilson also produced and co-scripted the film with Wes Anderson. The two even received a nomination at the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. 2001 also saw the comedian actor pick up the mantle of action hero when he took home the starring role of Navy pilot Lt. Chris Burnett, opposite Gene Hackman, in the war-theme drama Behind Enemy Lines. Returning to the comedy genre, Wilson teamed up with Eddy Murphy for the big screen adaptation of the action comedy I Spy (2002) and reprised his role of Roy O’Bannon in the sequel Shanghai Knights (2003).
In 2004, Wilson once more attracted fans when he was cast opposite Ben Stiller as TV cop Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson in the comedic, parody-minded, silver screen version of the 1970s cop series Starsky & Hutch (2004). Wilson’s good performance handed him a MTV Movie for Best Kiss. With his long-time companion Stiller, Owen also received a nomination for Best On-Screen Team at the MTV Movie Awards.
The same year, he also appeared as a con man, alongside Morgan Freeman, in the less-successful comedy The Big Bounce (2004), made a cheery cameo appearance, alongside his brother Luke, in the Disney live action feature Around the World in 80 Days (2004), starred with Bill Murray and Cate Blanchett in the Wes Anderson-directed The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) and experienced his next box-office exposure with the second installment of the 2000 hit Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers (2004).
Recently, moviegoers could watch Owen as Neil King in The Wendell Baker Story (2005) and coupled with Vince Vaughn as cute cads who crash weddings to pick up forlorn, defenseless women in the hilarious comedy Wedding Crashers (2005). In 2006, Wilson will add four movies to his impressive resume. He will first lend his voice to Lightning McQueen in the Disney Pixar animated film Cars (2006), then play Matt Dillon’s best man in the comedy You, Me and Dupree (2006) and play the title character in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2006). Wilson will also join Harold Ramis for an untitled project in 2006.
- MTV Movie: Best Kiss (shared with Carmen Electra, Amy Smart), Starsky &Hutch, 2004
- Lone Star Film & Television: Best Screenplay, Rushmore, 1999
- Lone Star Film & Television: Special Award, Debut of the Year, Bottle Rocket, 1996