The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 7, 1997 · Page 152
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 152

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 7, 1997
Page 152
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Page 152 article text (OCR)

Even When things go wrong, Gooding finds a way to make them work. Says the director James L. Brooks: ( lita HUB ii rallUliSIUllUPiyi uh uiuiiyi n w lit Eiiii vhiin i f yiliij) CUBA GOODING JR.: With him below are (from left) his mother, Shirley, wite, Sara, and father, Cuba Gooding Sr., at this year's Academy Awards, where Cuba Jr. won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor tor Jerry Maguire. BY GAIL BUCHALTER ji Y MOM'S MAIN philosophy was, 'God has a great plan for you, and you will be a leader.' And that's what I concentrated on when I was growing up." 7nnp tap thought of the other side of things. I think Cuba has thought of everything from every place." Gooding, I I was dining at a restaurant in Sau-salito, Calif., with Cuba Gooding Jr., winner of the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire. He was telling me about losing his father, friends and affluent surroundings at 1 1, yet he never seemed to feel sorry for himself or make himself the victim. "As I was growing up," he said, "I would say to myself, 'I have to figure out these hard times, so I'll never let this happen to my family.'" Gooding, 29, had come from the set of What Dreams May Come, in which he plays Robin Williams' deceased friend and spirit guide. Gooding no longer has to audition for choice roles. He plays an art dealer in As Good As It Gets, starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt, which will be released on Dec. 23; and he's Anthony Hopkins' psychiatrist in Ishmael, which begins filming this winter. "Cuba makes you ashamed if you're periencing. All her faith held that he would take care of her. Then one day it all came to an end. My father left and moved back East She had to stand on her own two feet, and she didn't know how. She had three kids to support. We had to go on welfare." Gooding's mother, Shirley, moved her three children April, the oldest, Cuba and his younger brother, Omar to her mother's house in Victorville, a town in the Southern California desert. "My mom was working," Gooding recalled. "I was working. Together we kept the house. I started pulling weeds in the seventh grade. I'd go door-to-door, asking if I could clear the yard for $ 1 0. I'd work eight hours, and people would usually give me 20 bucks. It wasn't anything I thought about. It was more like: Here's the deal, and I have to take charge and take care of things to the best of my ability." quickly learned, was much happier talking about his recent glory days than the path that led him here. "Everything was going fine until it went downhill," he said succinctly. "I hate talking about that." With a little prodding, he added: "We lived in a huge house in Granada Hills a Los Angeles suburb. My father was the lead singer in The Main Ingredient, and they had a No. I record on the charts, 'Everybody Plays the Fool.' My mom had grown up in Harlem when it was a beautiful time to be there. My father was a romantic entertainer who took her away to a life she had never dreamed of ex "As I was grewlog op, I'd say to myself, 1 have to figure out these hard times, so 111 never let tills happen to my family.'" not fully enjoying your life," said James L. Brooks, who produced Jerry Maguire and directed Gooding in As Good As It Gets. "His taste for life is so great He's not afraid to let it in, and he's not afraid to let it out. "But he's not like Tidwell. Tidwell had a brashness and spontaneity, like a man who was energized with life and never But Gooding couldn't and wouldn't for- COVER PHOTOGRAPH By AARON MPOPORT; STYUST. PHILUP BIDCH; CLOTHING BYDKNY PAGE 4 DECEMBER 7, 1097 PARADE MAGAZINE

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