Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jackie Cooper, 1922-2011

Jackie Cooper and Wallace Beery in The Champ (1931)

Jackie Cooper, whose career started as a child star and led to a whole bunch of other things, has died at the age of 88. Cooper became one of the youngest people to be nominated for a competitive Oscar for his performance in the 1931 movie Skippy; he lost to his costar in The Champ, Wallace Beery.

Cooper left Hollywood to fight in World War II, and found that things had changed when he returned from the war. So he went to New York and worked on stage and on the small screen, which among other things led to two Emmys not for acting, but for directing TV episodes. Cooper did do some movies later in his career, most notably playing Perry White, the editor of the Daily Planet, in the four Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve as the "man of steel".

Since Cooper worked at MGM, TCM ought to have relatively easy access to several of his movies for a tribute, but I haven't come across any news yet of a TCM schedule change.

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