Trying To Hit The Big Time
His real breakthrough came in the film that also established Clara Bow as a firm favorite, the silent epic: “Wings”. It was rumored that the two had an affair when they worked together, and frankly – who could blame Bow for falling for his charms, Cooper had instant sex appeal – tall, dark, handsome, with just a hint of an English accent behind the All American Cowboy. A sad but true fact is that when Clara died in 1965, she had been watching an old Cooper film just before she took her last breath.
Cooper’s Biggest Mistakes!
He had a simple philosophy as to why he and his films were popular: “To get folks to like you, I figured you had to sort of be their ideal. I don't mean a handsome knight riding a white horse, but a fellow who answered the description of a right guy” and it worked. All in all, Cooper starred in more than one hundred films spanning both eras of silents and talkies – of those movies his best known were the Westerns, of which he made twenty, three of them being silent.
Cooper died in 1961 after a battle with cancer – eight years later he was still topping television personality lists in such publications as “Variety” magazine. This just shows how popular and respected he was, and all from relatively small beginnings in Montana.
Coop was a hunting pal of my father's. I have a photograph of him at the duck club they all belonged too near Oxnard, California. In it he is painfully thin. No doubt from the cancer. A real gentleman that Montana cowboy.