UPDATED as of 05/06/2011 – Jackie Cooper, best known as editor Perry White of The Daily Planet in four Superman movies, died on Tuesday May 3rd, 2011 at the age of 88 at a convalescent home in Santa Monica, California after complications due to old age.
Born in Los Angeles on the 15th of September 1922 in Los Angeles, California into an industry family, Cooper starting acting at the age of 6. By 1931, he became the first child actor ever to be nominated in the Academy Award’s Best Actor category for his role as mischievous Skippy in Skippy, directed by his uncle, Norman Taurog. Although he wasn’t the first child actor to win the Best Actor award, Cooper worked on the big and small screen, and the theater until 1990. The tougher-than-nails editor Perry White was his most recognizable role and made memorable with lines like “”A good reporter doesn’t get great stories – a good reporter makes them great.” In fact, the actor was a sub for the role as Keenan Wynn, the original Perry, had suffered a heart attack and Cooper had a passport to travel to the set.
On top of acting, Cooper was an award-winning television director for shows including M*A*S*H* (1974 Emmy for Best Directing in Comedy), The Rockford Files, The White Shadow (1979 Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series), Magnum, P.I., and Cagney & Lacey. From 1964-69, he was the vice president of program development at Screen Gems and responsible for packaging tv series like Bewitched to sell. Even with a successful Hollywood life, Cooper also had one of the most distinguished peacetime military careers after serving in the Navy during the end of WWII. Retiring from the military in 1982, he was decorated with the Legion of Merit.
He is survived by sons John “Jack” Cooper III with his first wife, June Horne, and Russell Cooper with his third wife, Barbara Rae Kraus.
Jackie Cooper will always be remembered as ‘chief’ to us…
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