Omar Gooding, an American actor and producer, is the youngest son of an African-American and Barbadian or Bajan (from Barbados) father, Cuba Gooding, and an African-American and Irish mother, Shirley Sullivan, both of whom were singers and entertainers. His father, now deceased, was the lead singer of the internationally known R&B group The Main Ingredient.
As the younger brother to an Oscar winner, Cuba Gooding Jr., and the son of two entertainers, you can say Omar Gooding was born into the world of the entertainment industry.
It all started when his older brother, Cuba Jr., had a dream of being an actor, so their mother took the family on the road and they settled 5 miles from Hollywood in a town called Toluca Lake. Omar's brother took acting classes and was signed to an agent. At 10, Gooding was sent to his brother's agent's office to pick up a script, where he was "discovered " by the Coralie Jr. Theatrical Agency. After months of begging his mother, Gooding was allowed to go on an audition. With no prior theatrical training, Gooding had two auditions in one day and booked one of them.
The rest is history, as Gooding's career has spanned more than 25 years in both TV and film.
Gooding become a series regular for three years on a Nickelodeon TV show, Wild & Crazy Kids (1990), followed by a five-year run on an ABC network series, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper (1992), and a three-year run on a series for the WB network, Smart Guy (1997). His next move was in movies. He starred in a major motion picture for Paramount Pictures, Baby Boy (2001), opposite Ving Rhames, Tyrese Gibson, Snoop Dogg, and Taraji P. Henson. Gooding received critical praise for his role as Sweatpea.
He has also followed in his father's footsteps musically, as a rapper. Gooding's stage name is Big O, and he has released an album with a record label in Los Angeles, California.
Gooding is the lead on Bounce TV's Family Time (2012) now in its sixth season. He is also a producer and a writer on the popular show.