Bradley first gained recognition in the television shows Alias and Jack & Bobby. He later appeared in a supporting role in Wedding Crashers (2005), Yes Man (2008), and He's Just Not That Into You (2009). He achieved fame with his roles in The Hangover trilogy (2009–2013), The A-Team (2010), Limitless (2011), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), The Place Beyond the Pines (2013), and American Hustle (2013). His work in David O. Russell's films Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively. In 2011, People magazine named him the "Sexiest Man Alive".
Cooper was born in Philadelphia and grew up in nearby Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. His mother, Gloria (née Campano), is of Italian descent and worked for the local NBC affiliate. His father, Charles J. Cooper (died 2011, age 71), was of Irish descent, and worked as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch. He has one sister named Holly. Cooper was raised Catholic. While attending Germantown Academy, Cooper worked at the Philadelphia Daily Newss.  After graduating from Germantown Academy in 1993, he attended Villanova University for his first year, then transferred to Georgetown University, from which he graduated with honors with a BA in English in 1997. Cooper became fluent in French at Georgetown and spent six months as an exchange student in Aix-en-Provence, France. Later in 2000, he received an MFA in acting from Actors Studio Drama School]] at The New School in New York City.  Alumni News, May 2010, published by The New School, accessed August 28, 2011  While he was studying at The New School, Cooper worked as a doorman at the Morgans Hotel.
- Bradley Cooper Is People's Sexiest Man Alive!, People magazine article, accessed November 18, 2011, by Alexis Chiu and Charlotte Triggs, November 16, 2011.
- CHARLES J. COOPER Obituary: View CHARLES COOPER's Obituary by Philadelphia Inquirer & Philadelphia Daily News, Legacy.com,January 15, 2011.
- Bradley Cooper Says He Is An Old Romantic, The Insider (.com), September 7, 2009, accessed March 31, 2010.
- Hangin' with Mr. Cooper: Jenkintown native Bradley Cooper stars in the hilariously dirty "The Hangover" , Philadelphia Daily News, by Dan Gross, May 26, 2009 also accessed May 29, 2009.
- Hangin' with Mr. Cooper: Jenkintown native Bradley Cooper stars in the hilariously dirty "The Hangover" , webarchive.org reference of story by Philadelphia Daily News, by Dan Gross, May 26, 2009 also accessed May 29, 2009.
- August 11, 2011. Archive from webarchive.org, August 28, 2001 article, The New School (newschool.edu) article