Gary Cooper

Highest Rated: 100% Man of the West (1958)
Birthday: May 7, 1901
Birthplace: Helena, Montana, USA
American actor Gary Cooper was born on the Montana ranch of his wealthy father, and educated in a prestigious school in England -- a dichotomy that may explain how the adult Cooper was able to combine the ruggedness of the frontiersman with the poise of a cultured gentleman. Injured in an auto accident while attending Wesleyan College, he convalesced on his dad's ranch, perfecting the riding skills that would see him through many a future Western film. After trying to make a living at his chosen avocation of political cartooning, Cooper was encouraged by two friends to seek employment as a cowboy extra in movies. Agent Nan Collins felt she could get more prestigious work for the handsome, gangling Cooper, and, in 1926, she was instrumental in obtaining for the actor an important role in The Winning of Barbara Worth. Movie star Clara Bow also took an interest in Cooper, seeing to it that he was cast in a couple of her films. Cooper really couldn't act at this point, but he applied himself to his work in a brief series of silent Westerns for his home studio, Paramount Pictures, and, by 1929, both his acting expertise and his popularity had soared. Cooper's first talking-picture success was The Virginian (1929), in which he developed the taciturn, laconic speech patterns that became fodder for every impressionist on radio, nightclubs, and television. Cooper alternated between tie-and-tails parts in Design for Living (1933) and he-man adventurer roles in The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) for most of the 1930s; in 1941, he was honored with an Oscar for Sergeant York, a part for which he was the personal choice of the real-life title character, World War I hero Alvin York. One year later, Cooper scored in another film biography, Pride of the Yankees. As baseball great Lou Gehrig, the actor was utterly convincing (despite the fact that he'd never played baseball and wasn't a southpaw like Gehrig), and left few dry eyes in the audiences with his fade-out "luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech. In 1933, Cooper married socialite Veronica Balfe, who, billed as Sandra Shaw, enjoyed a short-lived acting career. Too old for World War II service, Cooper gave tirelessly of his time in hazardous South Pacific personal-appearance tours. Ignoring the actor's indirect participation in the communist witch-hunt of the 1940s, Hollywood held Cooper in the highest regard as an actor and a man. Even those co-workers who thought that Cooper wasn't exerting himself at all when filming were amazed to see how, in the final product, Cooper was actually outacting everyone else, albeit in a subtle, unobtrusive manner. Consigned mostly to Westerns by the 1950s (including the classic High Noon [1952]), Cooper retained his box-office stature. Privately, however, he was plagued with painful, recurring illnesses, and one of them developed into lung cancer. Discovering the extent of his sickness, Cooper kept the news secret, although hints of his condition were accidentally blurted out by his close friend Jimmy Stewart during the 1961 Academy Awards ceremony, where Stewart was accepting a career-achievement Oscar for Cooper. One month later, and less than two months after his final public appearance as the narrator of a TV documentary on the "real West," Cooper died; to fans still reeling from the death of Clark Gable six months earlier, it seemed that Hollywood's Golden Era had suddenly died, as well.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Flight of Fury Actor 2007
No Score Yet Judy Garland's Hollywood Actor 1997
No Score Yet The Naked Edge George Radcliffe 1961
No Score Yet The Wreck of the Mary Deare Gideon Patch 1959
No Score Yet Alias Jesse James Himself 1959
No Score Yet The Hanging Tree Doc Joe Frail 1959
No Score Yet They Came to Cordura Major Thomas Thorn 1959
100% Man of the West Link Jones 1958
88% Love in the Afternoon Frank Flannagan 1957
88% Friendly Persuasion Jess Birdwell 1956
100% The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell Col. Billy Mitchell 1955
83% Vera Cruz Benjamin Trane 1954
80% Garden of Evil Hooker 1954
No Score Yet Return to Paradise Mr. Morgan 1953
No Score Yet Blowing Wild Jeff Dawson 1953
No Score Yet Springfield Rifle Maj. Alex 'Lex' Kearney 1952
96% High Noon Will Kane 1952
No Score Yet Distant Drums Capt. Quincy Wyatt 1951
No Score Yet Starlift Guest Star 1951
No Score Yet It's a Big Country Texas 1951
No Score Yet You're in the Navy Now Lt. John Harkness 1951
No Score Yet Dallas Blayde Hollister 1950
No Score Yet Bright Leaf Brant Royle 1950
No Score Yet It's a Great Feeling Himself 1949
No Score Yet Task Force Jonathan L. Scott 1949
83% The Fountainhead Howard Roark 1949
60% Good Sam Sam Clayton 1948
80% Unconquered Capt. Christopher Holden 1947
No Score Yet Variety Girl Himself 1947
75% Cloak and Dagger Prof. Alvah Jesper 1946
No Score Yet Saratoga Trunk Col. Clint Maroon 1946
No Score Yet Along Came Jones Producer Melody Jones 1945
No Score Yet Casanova Brown Casanova (Cass) Brown 1944
No Score Yet The Story of Dr. Wassell Dr. Corydon M. Wassell 1944
77% For Whom the Bell Tolls Robert Jordan 1943
93% The Pride of the Yankees Lou Gehrig 1942
85% Sergeant York Alvin C. York 1941
100% Ball of Fire Prof. Bertram Potts 1941
89% Meet John Doe Long John Willoughby, John Doe 1941
100% The Westerner Cole Hardin 1940
No Score Yet The Real Glory Dr. Bill Canavan 1939
100% Beau Geste Michael 'Beau' Geste 1939
No Score Yet Land of Liberty Actor 1939
No Score Yet The Cowboy and the Lady Stretch Willoughby 1938
29% Bluebeard's Eighth Wife Michael Brandon 1938
No Score Yet The Adventures of Marco Polo Marco Polo 1938
No Score Yet Souls at Sea Michael 'Nuggin' Taylor 1937
No Score Yet The Plainsman Wild Bill Hickok 1936
No Score Yet The General Died at Dawn O'Hara 1936
89% Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Longfellow Deeds 1936
No Score Yet Desire Tom Bradley 1936
No Score Yet Peter Ibbetson Peter Ibbetson 1935
100% The Lives of a Bengal Lancer Lt. Alan McGregor 1935
No Score Yet The Wedding Night Anthony 'Tony' Barrett 1935
No Score Yet Now and Forever Jerry Day 1934
No Score Yet Operator 13 Capt. Jack Gailliard 1934
71% Design for Living George Curtis 1933
60% Alice in Wonderland White Knight 1933
No Score Yet Today We Live Bogard 1933
No Score Yet One Sunday Afternoon Biff Grimes 1933
93% A Farewell to Arms Lt. Frederic Henry 1932
No Score Yet Make Me a Star Guest Star 1932
No Score Yet If I Had a Million Steve Gallagher 1932
No Score Yet The House That Shadows Built Actor 1932
No Score Yet The Devil and the Deep Lt. Sempter 1932
80% City Streets The Kid 1931
No Score Yet The Stolen Jools Actor 1931
No Score Yet Fighting Caravans Clint Belmet 1931
100% Morocco Tom Brown 1930
No Score Yet Paramount on Parade Guest Star 1930
100% The Virginian The Virginian 1929
No Score Yet Lilac Time (Love Never Dies) Philip 1928
No Score Yet Doomsday Arnold Furze 1928
93% Wings Cadet White 1927
100% It Newspaper Reporter 1927
No Score Yet Nevada Nevada 1927
No Score Yet The Winning of Barbara Worth Abe Lee 1926
No Score Yet Old Ironsides Extra 1926
No Score Yet The Eagle Masked Cossack 1925
No Score Yet Wild Horse Mesa Bit part 1925
No Score Yet Dick Turpin Extra 1925
No Score Yet The Vanishing American Bit part 1925

QUOTES FROM Gary Cooper CHARACTERS