Jackie Cooper facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Jackie Cooper
Jackie Cooper 1956.JPG
Cooper in 1956.
Born
John Cooper, Jr.

(1922-09-15)September 15, 1922
Died May 3, 2011(2011-05-03) (aged 88)
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery
Occupation Actor
Years active 1929–1990
Spouse(s) June Horne
(m. 1944–1949; divorced)
Hildy Parks
(m. 1950–1951; divorced)
Barbara Rae Kraus
(m. 1954–2009; her death)
Children 4

John Cooper, Jr. (September 15, 1922 – May 3, 2011) was an American actor, television director, producer and executive. He was a child actor who managed to make the transition to an adult career. Cooper was the first child actor to receive an Academy Award nomination. At age nine, he was also the youngest performer to have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role—an honor that he received for the film Skippy (1931). For nearly 50 years, Cooper remained the youngest Oscar nominee in any category, until he was surpassed by Justin Henry's nomination, at age eight, in the Supporting Actor category for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).

Acting career

Jackie Cooper in Broadway to Hollywood trailer
Cooper as he appeared in the film Broadway to Hollywood, 1933

Cooper first appeared in films as an extra with his grandmother. At age three, Jackie appeared in Lloyd Hamilton comedies under the name of "Leonard". He graduated to bit parts in feature films. His director recommended the boy to director Leo McCarey, who arranged an audition for the Our Gang comedy series produced by Hal Roach.

Cooper joined the series in 1929, signing to a three-year contract. He initially was only a supporting character in the series, but by early 1930 he had done so well with the transition to sound films that he had become one of the Gang's major characters.

According to his autobiography he was loaned in the spring of 1931 to Paramount to star in Skippy, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor—the youngest actor ever (at the age of nine) to be nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor.

Adult years

The handprints of Jackie Cooper in front of The Great Movie Ride at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park
Jackie Cooper in Gallant Sons trailer
Cooper in the trailer for Gallant Sons (1940)

Not conventionally handsome as he approached adulthood, Cooper had typical child-actor problems finding roles as an adolescent. Cooper served in the US Navy during World War II, becoming a Captain and receiving the Legion of Merit.

In 1950, he was cast in a production of Mr. Roberts in Boston, Massachusetts in the role of Ensign Pulver. From 1964 to 1969, Cooper was vice president of program development at the Columbia Pictures Screen Gems TV division. He was responsible for packaging series (such as Bewitched) and other projects and selling them to the networks. He reportedly cast Sally Field as Gidget. Cooper acted only twice during this period, once in 1964 when he appeared in Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, and again in the 1968.

Cooper found renewed fame in the 1970s and 1980s as Daily Planet editor Perry White in the Superman film series, starring Christopher Reeve. Cooper's final film role was as Ace Morgan in the 1987 film Surrender, starring Sally Field, Michael Caine, and Steve Guttenberg.

Death

Cooper died on May 3, 2011 after a short illness, in Santa Monica, California. He was interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in honor of his naval service.

Filmography

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1929 Fox Movietone Follies of 1929 Little Boy Uncredited
1929 Sunny Side Up Jerry McGinnis Uncredited
1931 Skippy Skippy Nominated- Academy Award for Best Actor
1931 Young Donovan's Kid Midge Murray
1931 The Champ Dink
1931 Sooky Skippy
1932 When a Feller Needs a Friend Edward Haverford 'Eddie' Randall
1932 Divorce in the Family Terry Parker
1932 Broadway to Hollywood Ted Hackett Jr.
1933 The Bowery Swipes McGurk
1933 Lone Cowboy Scooter O'Neal
1934 Treasure Island Jim Hawkins
1934 Peck's Bad Boy Bill Peck
1935 Dinky Dinky Daniels
1935 O'Shaughnessy's Boy Joseph 'Stubby' O'Shaughnessy
1936 Tough Guy Frederick Martindale 'Freddie' Vincent, III
1936 The Devil Is a Sissy 'Buck' Murphy
1937 Boy of the Streets Chuck Brennan
1938 White Banners Peter Trimble
1938 That Certain Age Kenneth 'Ken' Warren
1938 Gangster's Boy Larry Kelly
1938 Newsboys' Home Rifle Edwards
1939 Scouts to the Rescue Bruce Scott
1939 The Spirit of Culver Tom Allen
1939 Streets of New York James Michael 'Jimmy' Keenan
1939 Two Bright Boys Rory O'Donnell
1939 What a Life Henry Aldrich
1939 The Big Guy Jimmy Hutchins
1940 Seventeen William Sylvanus Baxter
1940 The Return of Frank James Clem
1940 Life with Henry Henry Aldrich
1940 Gallant Sons Byron 'By' Newbold
1941 Ziegfeld Girl Jerry Regan
1941 Her First Beau Chuck Harris
1941 Glamour Boy Tiny Barlow
1942 Syncopation Johnny Schumacher
1942 Men of Texas Robert Houston Scott
1942 The Navy Comes Through Joe 'Babe' Duttson
1943 Where Are Your Children? Danny Cheston
1947 Stork Bites Man Ernest (Ernie) C. Brown
1947 Kilroy Was Here John J. Kilroy
1948 French Leave Skitch Kilroy
1961 Everything's Ducky Lt. J.S. Parmell
1964 Calhoun: County Agent Everett Calhoun Television film
1968 Shadow on the Land Lt. Col. Andy Davis Television film
1971 The Love Machine Lt. J.S. Parmell
1971 Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring Ed Miller Television film
1972 The Astronaut Kurt Anderson Television film
1972 Stand Up and Be Counted Doctor Uncredited, Also director
1973 Of Men and Women Ted Television film
1974 Chosen Survivors Raymond Couzins
1974 The Day the Earth Moved Steve Barker Television film
1975 Journey into Fear Eric Hurst
1978 Having Babies III Director
1978 Perfect Gentlemen Director
1978 Superman Perry White
1978 Rainbow Director
1979 Sex and the Single Parent Director
1980 White Mama Director
1980 Superman II Perry White
1980 Rodeo Girl Director
1981 Leave 'em Laughing Director
1982 Moonlight Director
1982 Rosie: The Rosemary Clooney Story Director
1983 Superman III Perry White
1984 The Night They Saved Christmas Director
1985 Izzy & Moe Director
1987 The Ladies Director
1987 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Perry White
1987 Surrender Ace Morgan his final film

Jackie Cooper Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.