Cooper, Gary

1901–1961

American Actor

Alongside John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, and Jimmy Stewart, the actor Gary Cooper has become one of the foremost masculine archetypes in classic American film. In his most memorable roles, Cooper manifested a quiet, self-effacing, and long-suffering strength that earned him the epithet, “The Last American Hero.” Best known for his Oscar-winning performances in Sergeant York (1941) and High Noon (1952), as well as for his portrayal of Lou Gehrig in The Pride of the Yankees (1942), Cooper became an ideal of American masculinity for moviegoers from the 1930s through the early 1950s.

Born Frank Cooper, Gary Cooper began his film career as a stunt rider in early Westerns. As his fame grew, Cooper became acutely conscious of cultural expectations, explaining at one point that ...

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