Gary Cooper

(1901—1961) American actor

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US film star. Born in Helena, Montana, Cooper was the son of a British-born Montana Supreme Court judge. He was educated in England at his father's old school in Bedfordshire and in the USA at Wesleyan College, Montana, and Grinnell College, Iowa. After an unsuccessful attempt to become a cartoonist, he turned to acting, working as an extra in westerns and in various small parts. In 1926 he was cast as second lead in Goldwyn's The Winning of Barbara Worth, starring Ronald Colman. The success of the film assured Cooper's career. Such films as It (1927), with Clara Bow, and Lilac Time (1928) followed.

His slow, somewhat hesitant, delivery did not prevent his successful transfer to the talkies in The Virginian (1929). Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms (1932), Mr Deeds Goes to Town (1936), and Sergeant York (1940), for which he received an Academy Award for best actor, are among his many other films. He won a second Academy Award for High Noon (1952). Outstanding among his later films was Ten North Frederick (1958). His last film, The Naked Edge (1961), was made in England. Shortly before his death his friend James Stewart accepted a Special Academy Award on his behalf in recognition of Cooper's ‘memorable screen performance’.

From Who's Who in the Twentieth Century in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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