Cole Mitchell Sprouse is an American actor, best known for playing Cody Martin in the ‘Disney’ sitcom ‘The Suite Life of Zack and Cody’ in which he was seen alongside his twin brother Dylan Sprouse. Born to American parents, Matthew Sprouse and Melanie Wright, Cole was named after jazz singer Nat King Cole. Cole appeared in a diaper commercial when he was eight months old. He began his acting career, playing a role in the ‘ABC’ series ‘Grace Under Fire’ when he was just eight months old. He then went on to star alongside Adam Sandler in the 1999 comedy film ‘Big Daddy,’ where he played the role of Sandler’s adopted son. He played Ross Geller’s son Ben Geller in seven episodes of ‘NBC’ sitcom ‘Friends.’ Cole reprised his role as Cody in the ‘Disney’ sitcom ‘Suite Life on Deck’ and also starred in its film ‘The Suite Life Movie.’ He and his brother were among the list of wealthiest children alive in 2007 and also the highest-paid teenage actors in 2011. As charming teenagers with stellar performances, Cole and his brother became ‘heartthrobs’ among pre-teen audience.
Childhood & Early Life
Cole Mitchell Sprouse was born on August 4, 1992, in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy, to Matthew Sprouse and Melanie Wright. He has a twin brother, Dylan Thomas Sprouse, who is elder to him by 15 minutes. Cole is of English, Scottish, Danish, and German descent.
Just four months after the twins were born, the Sprouse family shifted to their family home in the United States in Long Beach, California.
Cole’s maternal grandmother Jonine Booth Wright was an actress and a drama teacher. She encouraged her grandsons and convinced Cole’s parents to let their sons try acting.
In 1993, when they were just eight months old, Cole and his brother appeared in a diaper commercial and went on to star in the ‘ABC’ series ‘Grace Under Fire.’
In June 2010, Cole graduated from ‘Laurel Springs High School.’ In 2011, he enrolled at New York University’s ‘Gallatin School’ and developed an interest in archaeology and humanities.
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Cole’s acting career began in 1999 when he appeared in his first major film, ‘Big Daddy,’ alongside Adam Sandler. He played the role of Sandler’s (Sonny Koufax) five-year-old adopted son, Julian McGrath. Cole was nominated for multiple awards owing to his performance in the film.
In 2000-01, Cole made several guest appearances in TV shows, such as ‘The Nightmare Room,’ ‘Mad TV,’ and ‘That '70s Show.’ He also appeared in the movie ‘The Master of Disguise.’ He appeared as Ben Geller in the hit ‘NBC’ sitcom ‘Friends.’ The role proved pivotal for his career as an actor.
Cole was seen acting in an independent movie titled ‘The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things’ in 2004. The movie grossed $29,000 domestically and Cole received acclamation for his outstanding performance in the movie.
In 2005, Cole appeared in ‘Disney Channel’ original series, ‘The Suite Life of Zack & Cody’ where Dylan and Cole Sprouse played identical twins, Zack Martin and Cody Martin. The series continued for three years and a sequel series titled ‘The Suite Life on Deck’ was aired from 2008 to 2011.
The year 2006 saw Cole voicing a character in the animated film ‘Holidaze: The Christmas That Almost Didn’t Happen.’ The following year, he played the role of Eddie Tudor in ‘A Modern Twain Story: The Prince and the Pauper.’
In 2008, Cole and his brother, Dylan, starred in the film adaptation of Mark Twain's novel ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.’ The theatrical film was named ‘The Kings of Appletown’ and was released on April 2010 at the ‘Newport Beach Festival.’
In 2009-10, Cole appeared as the new face of the children’s yogurt brand, ‘Dannon Danimals.’ He also began endorsing ‘Nintendo DS.’
In 2011, Cole decided to take a break from acting and joined ‘NYU’ for his further studies. He also started focusing on photography and began working as a photographer in his spare time.
In January 2016, it was decided that Cole would be cast to play the role of Jughead Jones in CW’s new teen drama series ‘Riverdale.’ The series is based on ‘Archie Comics.’
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Cole starred as the lead in the romantic-drama film ‘Five Feet Apart’ in 2019. In the film, he portrayed the character of a patient who is diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and falls in love with a girl having the same disease. It was his second lead role on the silver screen after his outing in ‘Big Daddy.’ ‘Five Feet Apart’ turned out to be a commercial success.
Cole has collaborated with major publications for his photography. These publications include ‘Teen Vogue,’ ‘W Magazine,’ ‘L'Uomo Vogue,’ and ‘The Sunday Times Style.’
Cole and his brother launched a range of clothing, merchandise, and comic books series in 2005. Their brand ‘Sprouse Bros’ mostly targeted teenagers and continued selling till 2012.
As per ‘MSN,’ Cole and Dylan were the richest twins in the world in the 2000s. In 2008, Cole was paid $20,000 per episode while he was working for ‘The Suite Life on Deck.’ He was one of the highest-paid teenage actors.
Cole was appointed as the international ambassador of the ‘Koyamada Foundation.’ He toured to empower and encourage the youth in Japan and strengthen the ties and develop a sense of camaraderie between Japan and America. The foundation also offered support to the needy.
Awards & Achievements
Cole was nominated five times for the ‘Favorite Television Actor’ award at ‘Kids’ Choice Awards’ for his role in ‘The Suite Life of Zack & Cody’ and ‘The Suite Life on Deck.’
He was nominated along with his brother Dylan for ‘Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Comedy Film,’ ‘Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy,’ and ‘Best On-Screen Duo’ for his role of Julian McGrath in ‘Big Daddy.’
He was nominated twice for ‘Young Artist Award’ under the category ‘Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actor’ for playing the role of Cody Martin in ‘The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.’
Along with his brother, Cole featured on the cover of ‘People’ magazine in May 2009 when the magazine came up with a special 80-page edition dedicated to ‘The Suite Life on Deck.’
Personal Life & Legacy
Cole was tutored on the sets as he was unable to attend school regularly due to his filming schedules. During his last year at school, Cole took an advanced placement in psychology and government.
Since the child labor laws in America have stipulated limited working hours for children, Cole would often share his acting role with his twin brother Dylan. Notably, Cole and Dylan played the same role in the Dennis Dugan-directed film ‘Big Daddy.’
As a kid, Cole worked with Adam Sandler multiple times. He developed a liking for him and describes Sandler as an inspiration.
In 2010, Cole was accepted into the ‘New York University’ where he intended to pursue a major in film and television production and a minor in drama. However, he chose to attend the ‘Gallatin School of Individualized Study’ where he could choose his own curriculum.
Cole took his passion for photography to another level by launching a website called ‘Cole Sprouse Photography’ in 2011. He also worked for ‘Meltdown Comics’ in Los Angeles, California as an event photographer.
In May 2015, he graduated from NYU’s ‘Gallatin School of Individualized Study’ with a major in archaeology. After his graduation, he was excited to get back to his acting career.
He was in a relationship with his ‘Riverdale’ co-star Lili Reinhart. Cole and Lili went their separate ways in July 2019.