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Jackie Cooper Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 15 September 1922Los Angeles, California, USA
Date of Death 3 May 2011Santa Monica, California, USA
Birth NameJohn Cooper Jr.
Nickname America's Boy
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jackie Cooper was born John Cooper in Los Angeles, California, to Mabel Leonard, an Italian-American stage pianist, and John Cooper. Through his mother, he was the nephew of actress Julie Leonard, screenwriter Jack Leonard, and (by marriage) director Norman Taurog. Jackie served with the Navy in the South Pacific toward the end of World War II. Then, quietly and without publicity or fanfare, compiled one of the most distinguished peacetime military careers of anyone in his profession. In 1961, as his weekly TV series Hennesey (1959) was enhancing naval recruiting efforts, accepted a commission as a line officer in the Naval Reserve with duties in recruitment, training films, and public relations. Holder of a multi-engine pilot license, he later co-piloted jet planes for the Navy, which made him an Honorary Aviator authorized to wear wings of gold-at the time only the third so honored in naval aviation history. By 1976 he had attained the rank of captain, and was in uniform aboard the carrier USS Constellation for the Bicentennial celebration on July 4. In 1980 the Navy proposed a period of active duty at the Pentagon that would have resulted in a promotion to rear admiral, bringing him even with Air Force Reserve Brigadier General James Stewart. Fresh on the heels of a second directing Emmy, he felt his absence would impact achieving a long-held goal of directing motion pictures, and reluctantly declined. (The opportunity in films never materialized.) Holds Letters of Commendation from six secretaries of the Navy. Was honorary chairman of the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation and a charter member of VIVA, the effort to return POW-MIAs from Vietnam. Upon retirement in 1982, he was decorated with the Legion of Merit by Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr.. Other than Stewart, no performer in his industry has achieved a higher uniformed rank in the U.S. military. (Glenn Ford was also a Naval Reserve captain, and director and Captain John Ford was awarded honorary flag rank upon his 1951 retirement from the Naval Reserve).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (3)

Barbara Rae Kraus (29 April 1954 - 30 May 2009) (her death) (3 children)
Hildy Parks (18 March 1950 - 16 February 1954) (divorced)
June Horne (11 December 1944 - 5 November 1949) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (21)

Born at 12:35pm-PDT.
Nephew of director Norman Taurog and writer Jack Leonard.
Until 13-year-old Keisha Castle-Hughes was nominated for Best Actress in 2004, he was the only actor to earn a Best Actor/Actress nomination for an Academy Award before his/her 18th birthday. Seventeen other actors have earned Oscar nominations as children, but all except Keisha were in the supporting categories.
When he refused to do a crying scene on the set of Skippy (1931), director Norman Taurog, who was also his uncle, threatened to shoot his dog.
When his first son was to be signed to a long-term contract with MGM, Cooper's studio at the height of his fame as a child, he intervened and persuaded his ex-wife (the boy's mother) to decline: "It's no way for a kid to grow up." Adamantly opposed to children acting to the exclusion of a normal upbringing, based on his own life experiences. None of Cooper's four children were performers.
Father, with June Horne, of son John "Jack" Anthony Cooper (Jackie Cooper Jr.), born August 19, 1946.
Children with Barbara: Russell (born 1956), Julie (1957-1997), and Cristina "Crissy" (1959-2009).
Along with Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, and Marc McClure, he is one of only four actors to appear in the first four Superman films: Superman (1978), Superman II (1980), Superman III (1983), and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987).
As of 2010, he holds two Oscar records: Youngest performer nominated in a leading role (this record has stood for 79 years); and oldest nomination (1931) in any and all Academy categories for an individual still living.
Claimed in his autobiography that, while directing some of the first season episodes of M*A*S*H (1972), the only two actors there who weren't a pain to work with were Larry Linville and Wayne Rogers.
Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1507 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
Ex-son-in-law of James W. Horne and Cleo Ridgely.
Ex-brother-in-law of James Horne Jr..
Being interred with full honors in Arlington National Cemetery on November 22, 2011.
In the 1970s, he served as Instructor/Guest Lecturer at California State University Northridge in Radio/TV/Film Department on Film and Television Producing, Directing and Marketing.
Walked away from the industry in 1989 during his wife's brief illness, and never returned: "I'm sixty-seven, and worked sixty-four years." Has enjoyed retirement ever since, and refuses to participate in industry retrospectives which dwell too wistfully on the so-called good old days. [August 2003]
He guest starred in The Rockford Files: Claire (1975), which also featured Lane Smith. Both Cooper and Smith later played the "Superman" character Perry White, the editor of the Daily Planet: Cooper in Superman (1978), Superman II (1980), Superman III (1983) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) and Smith in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993).
From 1980-1982 season Cooper directed seven made-for-TV movies including one as Alan Smithee.
Acting mentor and friend of Julie Gregg. In her early twenties she met him when she was guest-starring on several of the TV shows by Screen Gems, where he was vice president of program development.
His paternal grandparents were Louise and John Cooper. His maternal grandfather, John Leonard (born John Polito), was born in New York, to Italian parents. His maternal grandmother, Marie Babbino, was born in California, also of Italian origin.

Personal Quotes (1)

[In 1976] Sometimes I'll wake up in the middle of the night and I'll hear a voice that sounds familiar . . . my wife has fallen asleep with the tube on, and I'll finally start recognizing the dialogue, look up, and Jesus Christ, it's me at 14, or 12, or 9, or whatever. Sometimes I'll sit there and watch it and I can tell myself what's coming next . . . I remember the dialogue, the scene and the set very well, and then there'll be a part of the picture I never remembered at all. Because there were times as a kid, as a teenager especially, when I'd be terribly occupied with what I was doing--with my boat, or on a circuit of rodeos and horseshoes, or with my car--very often on some of this stuff when I'd have to go to work. I'd just give the script a cursory glance. I had no training, and I was a quick study, so nobody knew how involved or not involved I was. But I look at that stuff now and I can see I wasn't involved, and I wasn't very good.

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