Actor - Born Frank James Cooper on May 7, 1901 in Helena, MT - Died May 13, 1961 of cancer in Holmby Hills, CA
Gary Cooper, considered one of Hollywood's homespun heroes, was another product of its big star era — the same era in which names like Clark Gable, John Wayne, Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power became household words to millions.
In a career that spanned 35 years, he won two Academy Awards and made 75 major pictures. His most memorable roles were as "Sergeant York" in 1941 and as the frontier marshal in "High Noon" in 1952. He won an Oscar for each. He was also nominated for his performances in "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936), "Pride of the Yankees" (1942) and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1943).
Cooper brought to the screen a personality that was all his own. His taciturn drawl, shy grin and the loose-jointed way he carried his 6-foot, 3-inch frame came to typify something as American as buckwheat cakes.
Moreover he was Hollywood's own creation. He came here almost directly from a ranch near Helena, Mont., his birthplace, rather than by way of the stage, radio or other entertainment.
Acting earned Cooper $10 million over the course of his career, and in 1939 he was the highest-paid American wage earner at $482,819. He was also considered one of the most popular actors among his Hollywood peers and contemporaries.
— Los Angeles Times May 14, 1961