DEAD: Gary Cooper

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Gary Cooper (aged 60)
American actor

Gary Cooper (born Frank James Cooper; May 7, 1901 – May 13, 1961) was an American actor.

Cooper began his career as a film extra and stunt rider, but soon landed acting roles. After establishing himself as a Western hero in his early silent films, he became a movie star in 1929 with his first sound picture, The Virginian. In the early 1930s, he expanded his heroic image to include more cautious characters in adventure films and dramas such as A Farewell to Arms (1932) and The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935). During the height of his career, Cooper portrayed a new type of hero—a champion of the common man—in films such as Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Meet John Doe (1941), Sergeant York (1941), The Pride of the Yankees (1942), and For Whom the Bell Tolls(1943). In the postwar years, he portrayed more mature characters at odds with the world in films such as The Fountainhead (1949) and High Noon(1952). In his final films, Cooper played non-violent characters searching for redemption in films such as Friendly Persuasion (1956) and Man of the West(1958).

DEATH: In his last public statement on May 4, Cooper said, “I know that what is happening is God’s will. I am not afraid of the future.” He received the last rites on May 12. Cooper died quietly the following day, Saturday, May 13, 1961, at 12:47 p.m., six days after his sixtieth birthday.

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