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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Gary Cooper

The actor Gary Cooper was born Frank James Cooper on May 7, 1901, at 730 Eleventh Avenue in Helena, Montana.

His parents were English immigrants Alice (née Brazier, 1873–1967) and Charles Henry Cooper (1865–1946).

As a boy, he spent four years in England attending Dunstable Grammar School.

Gary Cooper aged 2 dressed as a cowboy

When Gary Cooper (1901-1961) was 13, he broke his hip in a car accident. He returned to his parents' ranch near Helena to recuperate by horseback riding at the recommendation of his doctor.

His bow-legged walk, which the LA Times wrote "made him seem like a cowboy even in a business suit", was the lasting legacy of this accident.

Gary Cooper worked as a Yellowstone Park guide for several seasons before becoming an actor.

Cooper began as an extra in the film industry, usually being cast as a cowboy, he is known to have had an uncredited role in the Tom Mix 1925 Western Dick Turpin. He worked as an extra in nine other films.

Knowing that other actors were using the name "Frank Cooper", the young actor decided to adopt the performing name of "Gary" after his agent's hometown of Gary, Indiana. He changed his name legally to "Gary Cooper" in August 1933.

Cooper in The Winning of Barbara Worth, 1926

Cooper he made his official film debut in a featured role in The Winning of Barbara Worth, with Ronald Colman and Vilma Bánky. The film was released on October 14, 1926.

He was referenced in the 1929 Irving Berlin song "Puttin' on the Ritz."

Gary Cooper was fond of dogs, at various times he owned Boxers, Dobermans and Great Danes. He and his wife also raised Sealyhams.

He was raised in the Episcopal Church in the United States, Cooper was slowly drawn to Catholicism after an audience with Pope Pius XII in 1953. The actor was finally baptized as a Roman Catholic on April 9, 1959 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills.

From 1936 to 1957, Cooper ranked 18 times among the top ten box office attractions—a record at the time of his death in 1961.

Cooper appeared on the Motion Picture Herald exhibitors poll of top ten film personalities every year from 1936 to 1958.

Gary Cooper died in Beverly Hills on May 13, 1961, Over his 36 years as an actor, Cooper garnered five Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, winning Oscars for his roles in Sergeant York and High Noon.

Cooper's popularity is directly responsible for the popularity of the given name Gary from the 1930s to the present day.

Source Wikipedia

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