Jeff Coopwood

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Jeff Coopwood
Born (1958-06-29) June 29, 1958 (age 61)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
University of Miami (B.F.A.)
University of California, Los Angeles
California State University, Dominguez Hills (M.A.)
OccupationActor, singer, broadcaster, educator
Years active1977–present

Jeff Coopwood (born June 29, 1958) is an American actor,[1] singer, broadcaster and educator.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Coopwood was born in Chicago, Illinois to Louise Riley and Jesse Coopwood. His mother was a former gospel radio broadcaster, and talk show hostess in markets from Chicago and Texas, to Miami, Florida. She had also been an actress, who understudied Eartha Kitt in "Mrs. Patterson" on Broadway and a model, charm school owner, and successful newspaper and magazine editor and publisher.[3][4][5][6] For decades, his father, Jesse Coopwood, was a legendary jazz and talk radio broadcaster in Gary, Indiana.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]

Although born in Chicago, he grew up in Miami, Florida, where he attended Archbishop Curley High School[15] and graduated from Miami High School. His senior year, he was named "Best Actor" in the State of Florida by the International Thespian Society. He was also a three-time state speech and debate champion and two-time national speech and debate finalist.[2]

Coopwood graduated from the University of Miami, a private university in Coral Gables, Florida, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatre. While obtaining a B.F.A., he also sang for four seasons with the Greater Miami Opera, now the Florida Grand Opera, where he performed with such international artists as Luciano Pavarotti, Jon Vickers, Cesare Siepi, James Morris, Dominic Cossa, Joanna Simon, Judith Blegen, Tatiana Troyanos, Renata Scotto, Mirella Freni, and Plácido Domingo, among many others.[2]


Upon graduation, he appeared across the country in the Broadway National Tour of "Timbuktu!," starring the legendary Eartha Kitt, and subsequently starred in several major stage productions in theatres throughout the United States and Canada.[1][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]

Coopwood went on to teach, coach and lecture in speech and debate at various high schools and colleges across the country, including Harvard University, Northwestern University, Georgetown University, Marquette University, and Emory University, as well as the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago and the University of Miami. During his coaching career, his students won several regional, state and national championships in speech & debate at both the high school and college level, and he was twice named National Coach of the Year.[3]

Upon his return to Chicago, he was the Emmy-nominated, original host of the $100,000 Fortune Hunt and also hosted Know Your Heritage, both nationally syndicated television game shows, airing primarily on Chicago television station and cable superstation WGN-TV.[23][24][25]

Moving to Los Angeles, he studied broadcast journalism and television production at the University of California, Los Angeles. For several years, he was a regular host of the pledge drives for the PBS member television station in Los Angeles, KCET.[1] He also obtained a Master of Arts degree, with distinction, from the California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Carson, California.[2][26] As an alumnus, he has also hosted several public events for that alma mater.[27][28][29]

Star Trek and Star Wars voicework[edit]

His work has included stage, television, film, commercials, broadcasting, and a significant body of work doing voice-overs in television and feature films.[1] He has been an Emmy nominee for his voice-over work and a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.[16]

Coopwood is one of the few performers to list work on both the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises among his credits. His most notable voiceover work includes voicing the role of the Borg, in the film Star Trek: First Contact. His voice was used for the film's Borg speech ending with the now iconic line, "Resistance is futile."[30][31] His performance was digitally layered through multiple original takes to create the unique "Borg" effect.[16]

He was also the voice of Captain Panaka[32][33] in four ‘’Star Wars’’ videogames: ‘’Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace’’; ‘’Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds’’, ‘’Star Wars: Obi-Wan’’[34] and in addition to playing the role in ‘’Star Wars: Episode I: Battle for Naboo’’, he also voiced the game's narrator.[35]


  1. ^ a b c d Biography. CBS Interactive. 20`3. Retrieved November 13, 2013
  2. ^ a b c d Education a Key Role for Actor, Alumnus Jeff Coopwood California State University, Dominguez Hills. Dateline Dominguez. Campus News Center. May 20, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2014
  3. ^ a b Biography 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013
  4. ^ Miami Times. (May 23, 1969) Page 7. George M. Smathers Libraries. University of Florida Digital Collections. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  5. ^ Miami Times (May 16, 1969) Page 16. George M. Smathers Libraries. University of Florida Digital Collections. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  6. ^ Schenectady Gazette - Jul 11, 1970 Google News. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  7. ^ Chicago Legends. The Best Music of Your Life. 2006. Retrieved November 13, 2013
  8. ^ R & B Roundup. Billboard. May 11, 1963 Google Books. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  9. ^ Gary's first black radio star dies at 73 Richard Grey. Post-Tribune (Indiana). December 12, 2001. Highbeam. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  10. ^ Gary, Indiana. Edward Komara. Encyclopedia of the Blues. Oct 28, 2005. Google Books. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  11. ^ Journal, WWCC AFTRA strike, by Jesse Coopwood, 1969. Calumet Regional Archives. Indiana University Northwest. Trustees of the Indiana University. 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  12. ^ Coopwood Sessions. The Chance Label Robert Pruter, Armin Büttner, and Robert L. Campbell. Clemson University. January 28, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  13. ^ Michael Jackson. King of Pop. A Celebration of the Life of Michael Jackson 1958-2009 Michael Jackson Program. Page 16. University of Arizona. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  14. ^ Interviewees. Charles Walton papers. The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories. The American Folklore Center. Research Centers. The Library of Congress. May 15, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  15. ^ Curley Wins Forensic Meet St. Thomas University Library. The Voice. Page 19. February 18, 1972
  16. ^ a b c Alumni Bios. University of Miami. Theatre Arts. 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013
  17. ^ Marcovicci & Maguire Go Over Reprise's Rainbow David Lefkowitz. Playbill. September 26, 1997. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  18. ^ Review: ‘Finian’s Rainbow’ Julio Martinez. Variety. September 26, 1997. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  19. ^ Marcovicci Makes Things Fine With 'Finian's Rainbow'. Laurie Winer. Los Angeles Times. September 26, 1997. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  20. ^ Fats' Role Expands in 'Ain't Misbehavin' ' Revival : Theater: The Orange County Black Actors Theater hopes to put its mark on the story of the jazz great. The play opens tonight at Saddleback College. Malaika Brown. Los Angeles Times. July 31, 1992. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  21. ^ Readers’ Photos: ‘Godspell’. Theatre. New York Times. 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  22. ^ A Black-and-white `Wiz`? Why? Clarence Page. Chicago Tribune. January 11, 1987. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  23. ^ Interview with Jeff Coopwood Greg Palmer. Slow Boat to The Land of Parting Gifts. March 29, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  24. ^ Jeff Coopwood Bob Herguth. Chicago Sun-Times. Highbeam. November 17, 1989. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  25. ^ Alumni Biographies A-D. Department of Theatre Arts. College of Arts and Sciences. University of Miami. 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  26. ^ Humanities Master of Arts Degree California State University, Dominguez Hills. 2008. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  27. ^ PRESS RELEASE - California State University Dominguez Hills Named All-Steinway School Anthony Gilroy. Steinway & Sons. December 22, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  28. ^ Steinway by Starlight Concert Celebrates University’s ‘All-Steinway’ Designation Paul Browning. Dateline Dominguez Hills. California State University, Dominguez Hills. December 15, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  29. ^ Summer Steinway by Starlight concert transports audience to bygone era Emily Olson. Dateline Dominguez Hills. California State University, Dominguez Hills. June 18, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  30. ^ Guest Celebrities Creation Entertainment's Grand Slam Convention: The Star Trek & Sci-Fi Summit. Creation Entertainment. 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  31. ^ Assimilation Worthy Monica Lorenz. Siskiyou Daily News. Aug. 20, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  32. ^ Jeff Coopwood Behind the Voice Actors. 2009-2016. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  33. ^ Jeff Coopwood Voice Chasers. 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2016
  34. ^ Star Wars: Obi-Wan. Full Cast & Crew IMDB. 1990-2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015
  35. ^ Panaka. Star Wars Reference Guide Who's Who. 2006. Retrieved September 13, 2014.

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