Gary Cooper

Market St. (W. of Main)

Honored in 1983

Gary Cooper (born Frank James Cooper, May 7, 1901 - May 13, 1961) was an American film actor. Noted for his stoic, understated style, Cooper found success in a number of film genres, including westerns (High Noon), crime (City Streets), comedy (Mr. Deeds Goes to Town) and drama (The Pride of the Yankees). Cooper's career spanned from 1925 until shortly before his death, and comprised more than one hundred films.

"Coop," as he was called by his peers, went on to appear in over 100 films. With help from established silent star Clara Bow, Cooper broke through in a supporting role in the late silent Wings (1927), the first film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, following it with Nevada (1927) co-starring Thelma Todd and William Powell, based on the Zane Gray novel. (This was remade as an early Robert Mitchum vehicle released in 1944, the only time Cooper and Mitchum played the same role.) Cooper became a major star with his first sound picture, The Virginian (1929) which features Walter Huston as the villainous Trampas. The Spoilers appeared the following year with Betty Compson (which was remade in 1942 with Marlene Dietrich, who resembled Compson, and John Wayne in Cooper's role). Cooper followed this action film with Morocco (1930), starring Dietrich, in which he played a Foreign Legionnaire. Devil and the Deep (1932) featured Cary Grant in a supporting role with Talullah Bankhead and Cooper in the leads alongside Charles Laughton. The following year, Cooper was the second lead in the sophisticated Ernst Lubitsch comedy production of No‘l Coward's Design for Living. He was billed under Fredric March in the kind of fast-talking role Cooper never played again after Cary Grant staked out the light comedy leading man field with The Awful Truth four years later. The screen adaptation of A Farewell to Arms (1932), directed by Frank Borzage, and the title role in Frank Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) furthered Cooper's box-office appeal.

 

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