This page uses content from the Gary Cooper biography page on the English version of Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. This list of authors can be seen in the page history. Rotten Tomatoes disclaims any and all warranties as to the accuracy or reliability of the content.
Gary Cooper (born Frank James Cooper May 7, 1901 â?? May 13, 1961) was a two-time Academy Award-winning American film actor of English heritage. His career spanned from the 1920s until the year of his death, and saw him make one hundred films. He was renowned for his quiet, understated acting style and his stoic, individualistic, emotionally restrained, but at times intense screen persona, which was particularly well suited for the many Westerns he made.
Cooper received five Oscar nominations for Best Actor, winning twice. He also received an Honorary Award from the Academy in 1961.
Cooper was born Frank James Cooper in Helena, Montana, but as a child lived in Dunstable, England, with his mother Alice, and elder brother Arthur Le Roy (1895 - 19??). The two boys attended Dunstable School, a Public School (this term is used in England for a prestigious, and usually old, private school) between 1910 and 1913.
When he was thirteen years old he was injured in an automobile accident, and had to move to his father's cattle ranch in Montana to recuperate, which is where he gained his riding skills. During this time he became friendly with 10 year old Myrna Loy, who lived nearby.
In 1924 Cooper moved to Los Angeles with the intention of becoming an artist for advertisements, but was not very successful. After three months he became an extra in the motion picture industry. A year later he had a chance at a real part in a two-reeler with actress Eileen Sedgewick as his leading lady. After the release of this short film he was called to Paramount Studios and offered a long-term contract, which he accepted. He changed his name to Gary in 1925, following the advice of his agent, who felt it evoked the "rough, tough" nature of Gary, Indiana.
"Coop", as he was called by his peers, went on to appear in over 100 films. He became a major star with his first sound picture, The Virginian, in 1929. In 1941, He won his first Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as the title character in Sergeant York. In 1952, Cooper won his second Best Actor Academy Award for his performance as Marshal Will Kane in High Noon, considered his finest role.
After high-profile love affairs with actresses Clara Bow, Lupe VÃ©lez, and the American-born socialite-spy Countess Carlo Dentice di Frasso (nÃ©e Dorothy Caldwell Taylor, formerly wife of British aviator Claude Grahame-White), Cooper finally married. He wed Veronica Balfe, a New York Roman Catholic socialite who worked briefly as an actress under the name of "Sandra Shaw". They had one child, Maria (also known as Maria Cooper Janis), and eventually his wife persuaded Cooper to become a Roman Catholic in 1958. After he was married and prior to his conversion, Cooper had affairs with several famous co-stars, including Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, and Patricia Neal. He pressured Neal to have an abortion in 1950Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life, since fathering a child out of wedlock could have destroyed his career. Cooper's daughter Maria famously spat at Neal when she was a little girl, but many years later the two reconciled and became friends. British photographer and designer Cecil Beaton in his autobiography and diaries also claimed to have had an affair with Cooper.
In 1961, Cooper died of prostate cancer six days after his 60th birthday, and was interred in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Southampton, New York. He had undergone surgery for prostate cancer and colon cancer in the previous year, but as there were no means of monitoring the progress of cancer in those days it spread first to his lungs and then, most painfully, to his bones. Cooper was too ill to attend the Academy Awards ceremony in April 1961, so his close friend James Stewart accepted the honorary Oscar on his behalf. Stewart's emotional speech hinted that something was seriously wrong, and on the next day newspapers all over the world ran the headline, "Gary Cooper has cancer". One month later, the revered star was dead.
For his contribution to the film industry, Gary Cooper has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6243 Hollywood Blvd. In 1966, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His name has also been immortalized in Irving Berlin's song "Puttin' on the Ritz" with the line, "Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper, (super duper)".
Alfred Hitchcock wanted him to star in Saboteur and Foreign Correspondent. Cooper later admitted he had made a "mistake" in turning down the director, and for the latter film Hitchcock cast look-alike Joel McCrea instead.
He also attended Grinnell College and graduated in the class of 1926.
His height was 6'3" (1.91 m).
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify the biographical information on this page under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.