Jackie Cooper
(09/15/1922 - 05/03/2011)

Jackie Cooper was born John Cooper, Jr. in Los Angeles, California.

Cooper first appeared in the short Boxing Gloves in 1929, one of the Our Gang comedies. He was signed to a three year contract that was to expire in 1932. He initially was only a supporting character in 1929, but by early 1930 he had done so well with the transition to sound films that he had become a major character. He was the main character on episodes like The First Seven Years, When The Wind Blows, and others. His most notable Our Gang shorts explore 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.

Other movie studios liked Cooper's work. In the Spring of 1931, Paramount signed him as well as recurring Our Ganger Donald Haines to a long term contract to star in features. Both Jackie Cooper and Donald Haines walked off the Our Gang set during the production of the second to last episode Bargain Day" to begin work on their first feature film over at Paramount. His first non-Our Gang role was in 1931, when Norman Taurog hired him to star in Skippy, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor - the youngest actor ever (at the age of 9) to be nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor.

The movie catapulted young Cooper to super-stardom. Our Gang producer Hal Roach sold Jackie's contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in mid-1931, as he felt the youngster would have a better future in features. He began a long on-screen relationship with actor Wallace Beery in such films as The Champ (1931), The Bowery (1933), Treasure Island (1934), and O'Shaughnessy's Boy (1935).

Not conventionally handsome as he approached adulthood, Cooper had the typical child-actor problems finding roles as an adolescent, and he served in World War II, so his career was at a nadir when he starred in two popular television series, The People's Choice and Hennesey. His television experience convinced him that he could become a director and he successfully moved behind the camera to become one of the busier Emmy Award-winning television directors.

Available Films

Peck's Bad Boy (1934)