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Gary Cooper was the American Hero and his tall lanky build endeared himself to us on the silver screen. His first acting roles were in the silent movies starting with "The Winning of Barbara Worth" in 1926. He made over 100 films in his lifetime with his last being "The Naked Edge" in 1961, shortly before his death.

Frank James Cooper was born in Helena, Montana on May 7, 1901 and was the youngest child of two boys. He spent the first seven years of his life in England living with his mother and older brother, Arthur, until his mother’s health improved. Then they came back to Montana to live.

His first experience on stage was in school productions. After he finished college, he worked for one year as a film extra before he landed his first acting role. His down to earth manner made him very popular among the people who watched his films.

Because of his rigorous work schedule in the 1930’s, doctors told Gary Cooper that he needed rest as he was working too hard. He went to Europe to get some much-needed rest and while he was gone, Cary Grant stepped into the limelight. This didn’t hurt Cooper’s career and in 1939, Gary Cooper was the nation's top wage earner and enjoyed fishing, hunting, and horseback riding when he wasn’t acting.

Shortly before his death, Gary Cooper won an Honorary Academy Award. Because he was ill with cancer, his friend Jimmy Stewart accepted on his behalf. On May 13, 1961 in Los Angeles, California, Gary Cooper passed from this life and was laid to rest at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Southampton, Long Island, New York.