Gary Cooper - Rotten Tomatoes

Gary Cooper

Highest Rated:   100% Man of the West (1958)
Lowest Rated:   29% Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938)
Birthday:  
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

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
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
82% Vera Cruz
  • Benjamin Trane
1954
No Score Yet 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
No Score Yet Good Sam
  • Sam Clayton
1948
No Score Yet 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
92% 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
75% Design for Living
  • George Curtis
1933
No Score Yet Alice in Wonderland
  • White Knight
1933
No Score Yet Today We Live
  • Bogard
1933
No Score Yet One Sunday Afternoon
  • Biff Grimes
1933
92% 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
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
95% 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's Characters