What The Hell Happened To ... Cuba Gooding Jr.?

Show him the money.

The Early Years

  • 62% -- Coming To America (1988)
  • N/A -- Hitz (1989)
  • 43% -- Sing (1989)

    Like most young actors, Cuba Gooding Jr. spent time paying his dues, nabbing bit parts on television shows and films like 227 and MacGyver and Eddie Murphy's Coming to America. (Remember the kid getting a haircut in the barbershop? That was him.) His first speaking role came in 1989's Footloose/Dirty Dancing clone Sing, playing an inner city drama student who gets knocked out cold right before the big show; the part found him supporting bigger names -- stars like Lorraine Bracco, Cover Me's Peter Dobson, and the pilot chick from Armageddon. (The schlocky 1989 urban crime film Hitz, in which he appears briefly, wouldn't be released until Gooding's star had risen, three years later.)

    It was a slow start for the future Oscar-winner, but not too shabby for a kid whose first gig was break-dancing behind Lionel Richie at the 1984 Olympics. And stardom was just on the horizon, as Cuba signed up for a trip to the hood...

    Next: Cuba In the Hood

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