Owen Cunnigham Wilson was the second son of advertising executive Robert Wilson and photographer Laura Cunnigham. Wilson slowly gained public recognition by starring in big movies during the 90s and later stepping into comedies which earned him the popularity he truly deserved. When his career seemed unstoppable, Owen Wilson had to muddle his way back to people during the late 2000s. After several on and off-relationships and struggles with mental health, Wilson returned to his craft after recovering from his problems and keeping his head high.
As one of the most lovable actors in cinema, Owen Wilson’s return to the spotlight is cherished by many. He faced many hurdles during the process of self-recovery that made him grateful for the life he has today. He started as a screenwriter before deciding to act. Here’s a look at the story of Owen Wilson.
Troublemaker From Real To Reel
Wilson was born in Dallas, Texas, where he grew up with his siblings Andrew and Luke. Owen was always considered the troublemaker in the family as he was known for brawling and troubling everyone. Wilson was expelled in tenth grade from St. Mark’s School of Texas. He studied at New Mexico Military Institute before enrolling himself into the University of Texas, where his life changed.
At the University, Owen met a Houston-native junior philosophy student Wes Anderson who instantly became close over their love of writing. They wrote a screenplay that became a short feature Bottle Rocket in 1993, which starred Owen and his younger brother Luke. The film caught the attention of noted producers at the Sundance Film Festival, who gave a $5 million grant to the duo to prepare a full-feature film. In 1996, the film was released as a critical success despite being a commercial flop.
This motivated Wilson to move to Los Angeles with Wes, Luke, and Andrew to establish a career in Hollywood. Wilson’s first job was a small role in 1996’s Cable Guy starring Jim Carrey. He worked on several big-screen projects, including Anaconda (1996), Permanent Midnight (1998), The Haunting (1999), and The Minus Man (1999). He starred opposite Sheryl Crow in The Minus Man, which led the couple to date briefly before they ended things a year later.
He entered the comedy and action-war genre during the early 2000s with hits such as Wedding Crashers (2005) and Behind The Enemy Lines (2001), respectively. He provided his voice for the role of Lightning McQueen in the super-hit Pixar movie Cars in 2006. By the time his other 2006 movie You, Me, and Dupree hit the screen, he was dating his co-star Kate Hudson. They broke up shortly after, and he focused on his acting career. The year 2007 was the most significant transition in his life.
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Grappling With Mental Health
Owen Wilson was taken to a local Santa Monica hospital after a distressing call for medical assistance was made on August 26, 2007. The troubling call was made after he tried to commit suicide in his residence. From the hospital, Wilson issued a statement asking people for privacy during his recovery time. Several family and friends, including Wes Anderson and Woody Harrelson, made visits to the hospital. He was released within a week.
Wilson dropped out of several films and canceled his appearances from other television programs and interviews. While Wilson remained tightlipped about his attempt, he opened up about it more than a decade later. He credited his older brother Andrew Wilson who helped him through the process. His brother would make schedules every day to complete small tasks successfully, which led to his eventual recovery.
Between 2010 and 2018, Wilson fathered three kids Robert Ford Wilson, Finn Lindqvist Wilson, and Lyla Aranya Wilson. While the mothers of each child remain different, Wilson has healthy relationships with them as he co-parents his children.
A Much-Awaited Return
After a much-needed breather in 2007, Wilson returned to the big screen with a string of successful movies. He starred in Marley & Me alongside Jennifer Aniston in 2008, which was a commercial hit. He did movies with his usual ‘Frat Pack, ’ including his brother Luke, Woody Harrelson, and Vince Vaughn. He was a part of several Wes Anderson films, which has become a pinnacle of direct directing in cinema for his aesthetically enrapturing movie setups.
Besides his acting career, Wilson is an avid real estate investor with a portfolio with several homes in California and Hawaii. His net worth is an estimated $70 million, and almost $50 million of it comes from his properties. He also made a $15 million investment in the Australian tech start-up Canva in 2015 with Woody Harrelson. Today, Canva is one of the most successful graphic design platforms in the world.
Recently, Owen Wilson entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe to play the role of Mobius M. Mobius in the hit television show Loki starring alongside Tom Hiddleston. Wilson’s character was an instant hit with viewers who gushed over his character and performance in the show. He will reprise in his role for the second season.
Throughout the ups and downs of his career, Owen Wilson held faith in himself to overcome his challenges and become a better version of himself. His acting career only took a brief hiatus before it took off again. Owen Wilson’s story is that of self-belief, perseverance, and fighting every obstacle in life.
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Sources: Ace Show Bizz, The Famous People, Independent, Financial Review
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