Bradley Charles Cooper was born on January 5, 1975 to Gloria and Charles J. Cooper. His mother was Italian-American and his father was Irish-American. Bradley’s father worked as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch and unfortunately passed away at the age of 71 on January 15, 2011 after a long illness. Bradley also has 1 sibling: Holly Cooper. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Growing up he was raised Catholic. Coming from an Italian family, he grew up in a home with lots of food. His grandmother loved to cook and he even took part in the festivities, where he often helped make homemade spaghetti and ravioli. In the 2011 People’s Sexiest Men Alive issue, Bradley described his early years as “pretty awkward.” Whether or not he considered himself a nerd back in the day, he states: “I don’t think I was smart enough to be a nerd. I was just dorky.”
He attended Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. While still in high school, he worked at the Philadelphia Daily News. After graduating high school in 1993, he went on to attend Villanova University for his freshman year of college. Soon after he transferred to Georgetown University, where he wrote his senior thesis on the film adaptations of Vladamir Nabokov’s Lolita. He graduated in 1997 with an honors BA in English. While attending Georgetown, Bradley became fluent in French and actually spent 6 months as an exchange student in Aix-en-Provence, France. After completing his 4 years at a university, he went on to attend the Actors Studio Drama School at The New School in New York City. He graduated in 2000 where he received an MFA in acting.
Bradley landed his first role on Sex and in the City in 1999. He had a small guest spot as a character named Jake. He landed this role while still attending the Actors Studio Drama School. He soon landed him self a role in the short-lived Darren Star series The $treet. He kept his life well-balanced, however, spending time teaching acting to inner-city children through the Learning through the Expanded Arts Program and taking a job as host of the Discovery Channel show Extreme Treks in a Wild World, which took him on journeys to Peru and British Colombia.