Bradley Cooper’s very first acting role was a single-episode appearance on the television series Sex and the City in 1999. It was a small part, but it was the starting point of what would soon become an immensely successful acting career, and the beginning of his status as a bona fide celebrity.
Cooper landed his first film role in 2001 playing a summer camp counselor in the comedy Wet Hot American Summer—it was a true test for his skill as an actor because in this debut, he had to do a hot and heavy sex scene with another man. It paid off because the work kept coming in. Cooper went on to make appearances in films like Wedding Crashers (2005), Failure to Launch (2006), Yes Man (2008), and He’s Just Not That Into You (2009). He also enjoyed recurring roles on the television series Jack & Bobby and Alias.
The one film that truly catapulted Cooper into stardom was The Hangover. Released in 2009, the movie had a production budget of $35.0 million, but earned over $467.0 million in box office sales worldwide, and spawned two sequels.
Since the success of The Hangover, Cooper’s work schedule has gotten significantly busier. He’s also sharpened his acting skills by taking on more varied characters, like a scorned war vet in The A-Team, a fraudulent writer in The Words, a cop in The Place Beyond the Pines, and a recovering mental patient in Silver Linings Playbook.
The one role that didn’t quite work for him was the part of a loving husband—in real life, that is. Cooper walked down the aisle in 2006 with actress Jennifer Esposito, but the marriage lasted less than five months—she filed for divorce, although Cooper’s rep stated it was mutual and that they had actually been separated for a while. The actor later admitted in an interview that they both just realized that the marriage wasn’t going to work.
Cooper’s next serious relationship was with his Case 39 co-star, Renee Zellweger. They dated for a couple of years before calling it quits, reportedly because Cooper was more committed to his career than anything else. After Zellweger, Cooper was rumored to be hooking up with his The Words co-star Olivia Wilde, followed by what seemed to be a more serious relationship with actress Zoe Saldana—she also starred in The Words. But they too broke up in December 2012.
It didn’t take too long for Cooper to jump back into the dating game, and he definitely made a splash. The actor was never really one to go for younger women—in fact, many of his past relationships were with women who were older than him. But just a couple months after splitting with Saldana, Cooper, 38, revealed his new girlfriend: 21-year-old model Suki Waterhouse, who has appeared on the cover of several high-fashion magazines and has walked some of the hottest runways.
Cooper and Waterhouse were first spotted leaving a party together in February 2013—at the time, Waterhouse was thought to be in a long-term relationship with singer Miles Kane. But something must have worked in Cooper and Waterhouse’s favor, because, even with the 17 years between them, they’ve seemed to sustain a monogamous relationship ever since.
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