Cuba Gooding Sr., soul singer and father of Oscar winner, dead at 72
Cuba Gooding Sr., the lead singer of the soul group the Main Ingredient and father to the Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., was found dead in a car in Woodland Hills, California, on Thursday afternoon, according to TMZ and KABC. He was 72.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department did not identify Gooding by name but confirmed to EW that officers responded to a call on the 22100 block of Ventura Blvd. shortly after 1 p.m. and found an adult male deceased in a vehicle. The coroner’s office is still investigating the cause of death, but there was no indication of foul play.
Gooding and the Main Ingredient’s biggest hits were “Everybody Plays the Fool” and “Just Don’t Want to be Lonely,” both of which were released in the early 1970s.
A native of New York City, Gooding was twice married to Shirley Gooding (née Sullivan); they separated in 1974 but remarried in 1995. Together they had four children: Cuba Jr., an Oscar winner for Jerry Maguire; Omar, an actor and rapper; April, an actress and comedian; and Tommy, a musician.
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Earlier this year, Cuba Gooding Jr. spoke of his father on Inside the Actors Studio.
“I remember, one of my earliest memories … he would perform at Disneyland, and after his performances, they would close it off to the general public, and all the performers’ kids would go on the rides as many times as they’d want,” he recalled. “He would pull me up on stage with him and make me finish the song because I had seen him perform it all the time, and in the household all the time. It was a lot of feeling like, ‘I come from royalty.'”