COOPER, Gary

(1901–1961)
   Born in Montana, Gary Cooper had a long career in Hollywood, starring in nearly every film genre. He was nominated for five Academy Awards and won two. He was also awarded an Honorary Academy Award just months before his death in 1961. Cooper began his career in the silent era and played a bit part in The Vanishing American (1925), but his first major film was The Virginian (1929), one of the earliest sound Westerns. This film, based on Owen Wister’s 1902 novel, has one of the most famous lines in any Western. In a saloon, Trampas (Walter Huston) calls the Virginian (Cooper) a “son of a bitch.” Cooper whips out his gun and slowly drawls, “If you want to call me that, smile.” Most agree, however, that Gary Cooper’s greatest Western was High Noon (1952), the great cold war Western. Cooper’s character, sheriff Will Kane, finds himself alone in a desperate attempt to save the town from Frank Miller and his boys, who are out to exact revenge after years in prison. Everywhere he turns, Kane is rejected: His wife leaves him. His deputy abandons him. People at the church simply pray. The saloon crowd jeers. Meanwhile the clock ticks down to noon when, by himself, Kane faces the outlaws. Cooper won one of his Oscars for this role.
   Gary Cooper is known for his solid, masculine persona — a man of few words. Essentially, he represents the stereotypical strong and silent cowboy hero of the classic Western. Perhaps his tendency toward few words results from his role as mediator between peace-loving townspeople and violent savages outside the town. Sometimes it appears that Cooper has fewer words in the script than anyone else. “Like his gun, language is a weapon the hero rarely uses, but when he does, it is with precise and powerful effectiveness. In addition, the hero’s taciturnity reflects his social isolation and his reluctance to commit himself to the action that he knows will invariably lead to another violent confrontation” (Cawelti 1999, 41).
   See also VERA CRUZ; THE VIRGINIAN.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cooper, Gary — orig. Frank James Cooper born May 7, 1901, Helena, Mont., U.S. died May 13, 1961, Los Angeles, Calif. U.S. film actor. He moved to Hollywood in 1924 and played minor roles in low budget westerns before becoming a star with The Virginian (1929).… …   Universalium

  • Cooper, Gary — (1901 1961)    Born Frank James Cooper in Helena, Montana, the movie star was educated in England and was 21 when he went to Grinnell College in Iowa. In 1924, he began work as a cowboy in Tom Mix Westerns. He changed his name in 1926 and finally …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Cooper, Gary — ► (1901 61) Seudónimo de Frank J. Cooper, actor cinematográfico estadounidense. Películas: Sargento York y Solo ante el peligro, entre otras. * * * orig. Frank James Cooper (7 may. 1901, Helena, Mont., EE.UU.–13 may. 1961, Los Ángeles, Cal.)… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cooper, Gary — pseud. di Cooper, Frank James …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Cooper, Gary — • КУ ПЕР (Cooper) Гари (наст. имя Фрэнк Джеймс) (7.5.1901 13.5.1961)    амер. актёр. Учился в Великобритании и в США. Был художником карикатуристом. Первая крупная роль в ф. Завоевание Барбары Уорт (1926). В нач. 30 х гг. стал одним из ведущих… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Cooper,Gary — Coo·per (ko͞oʹpər, ko͝opʹər), Gary. 1901 1961. American actor who gained fame for his portrayals of strong, quiet heroes. He won an Academy Award for Sergeant York (1941) and High Noon (1952). * * * …   Universalium

  • Gary Cooper — en High Noon en 1952. Nombre real Frank James Cooper Nacimiento 7 de mayo de 1901 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gary Cooper (MLB third baseman) — Gary Cooper was born on Thursday, August 13, 1964, in Lynwood, California. Cooper was 27 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 15, 1991, with the Houston Astros. =Birth Name: Gary Clifton Cooper Nickname: None Born On: 08 13… …   Wikipedia

  • Cooper — Cooper, Gary Cooper, James Fenimore Cooper, Leon N. * * * (as used in expressions) Cooper Creek, río Cooper Union (for the Advancement of Science and Art) Cooper, Alfred Duff, 1 vizconde Norwich de Aldwick Cooper, Dame Gladys Cooper, Gary Frank… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gary Cooper — This article is about the film actor. For other uses, see Gary Cooper (disambiguation). Gary Cooper in High Noon (1952) Born Frank James Cooper May 7, 1901 …   Wikipedia

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