Chris Cooper will narrate the historical portions of Intelligent Lives. Cooper won the 2003 Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his 2003 role in Adaptation. He has been an actor on stage, screen, and television for three decades, with notable roles inLone Star, American Beauty, Seabiscuit, The Bourne Identity, October Sky, August Osage County, Lonesome Dove, and dozens of other films.
In 1987, Cooper and his wife, Marianne Leone, had their son, Jesse. Jesse loved to windsurf and write poetry, and he also had cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Cooper and Leone became advocates for inclusive education, and Jesse became a high school honor student. In 2005, Jesse died suddenly from a seizure at age 17. Leone wrote the 2010 book Jesse: A Mother's Story, and she and Cooper continue to volunteer their time and resources for non-profits focused on disability rights.