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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Obituary: Jackie Cooper (September 15, 1922 – May 3, 2011)

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of Jackie Cooper, best known to all as the character Perry White in the Superman movies of the Seventies and Eighties.

Born John Cooper Jr. in Los Angeles, he first appeared in films as an extra with his grandmother, but soon became a star in his own right, appearing first as a supporting character in Hal Loach's Our Gang movies, then graduating to a major character. His major break came in the film 'Skippy' (1931), and from there, superstardom beckoned for the young Cooper.

However, this did not carry over into his adult career. Unconventionally handsome (a hindrance to a movie career back then), he soon found that he was more interested in work behind the scenes, and worked first at Screen Gems as a programme developer, moving on to directorial work (winning Emmys for work on M*A*S*H and The White Shadow), only occasionally appearing on-screen on shows such as Columbo.

Later years saw him concentrate on character roles, including the role that saw him claim renewed fame; Perry White, hard nosed editor of the Daily Planet, in the Superman movies. Cooper was perfectly cast, combining both the rough edge yet caring aspects of the character, and for many is still the definitive version of White.

Cooper's association with Superman didn't end with the movies; he went on to direct episodes of the Superboy series, even after his retirement in 1989, and spent his final years training and racing horses for the Del Mar racing season.

May all of us at the Nerdsphere convey our sympathies to Jackie's family and friends at this time.


Anonymous said...

it is sad to hear that he has passed away i love he in the four superman monies he was in and he was be miss

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