Cuba Gooding Sr., a popular R&B singer in the early 1970s and the father of Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., died on Thursday at the age of 72. He was found deceased inside of his parked Jaguar on a Woodland Hills, California street after pulling up into the parking spot at approximately 3:30 AM. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate him, but their efforts were unsuccessful. According to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, bottles of alcohol and drug paraphernalia were found in the car with Gooding Sr. Due to those incidents, early reports cite a drug overdose as a potential cause of death. However, the coroner’s office stressed that they are still waiting on the toxicology report before making a final announcement on the matter.
Gooding Sr. was most famous for his hit “Everybody Plays the Fool”, performed as the lead singer of one-hit wonder bamd “The Main Ingredient”. He married Shirley Gooding twice, and they had four children together across their two stints. In addition to Cuba, they also have Omar, April and Tommy, who have followed the Gooding family business into showbiz. Omar and April have made their livings in comedy television acting for the most part.
Gooding Jr. shared positive anecdotes of his father in the later years of his life. For example, on an episode of Inside the Actors Studio recorded earlier this year, he said, “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 would pull me up on stage with him and make me finish the song because I’d seen him perform all the time. It was a lot of feeling like, ‘I come from royalty.”’