Thursday, May 5, 2011

In Memorium: Jackie Cooper

Actor, director and producer Jackie Cooper spent most of his life in front of or behind the camera. He was one of the rare child actors who managed to make the transition to an adult career. He is 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 in (1931) at the age of nine. Producer Hal Roach had received $25,000 from Paramount Studios for loaning them Cooper's services, although he only paid Cooper his standard Roach salary of $50 per week.

Cooper had first joined Roach’s “Our Gang” cast in the short Boxing Gloves in 1929, originally signed to a three year contract. He was initially only a supporting character in the series, but by early 1930 he had done so well with the transition that he had become one of the Gang's major characters. He was the main character in the episodes The First Seven Years, When the Wind Blows, and many others. His most notable Our Gang shorts explored his crush on Miss Crabtree, the schoolteacher played by June Marlowe, which included the trilogy of shorts Teacher's Pet, School's Out, and Love Business.

He famously portrayed The Daily Planet editor Perry White in all four Christopher Reeve Superman films. Jackie Cooper passed away on May 3, 2011 in Santa Monica, California, at the age of eighty-eight. The Catacombs extends its sincerest condolences to his family, friends and fans.

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