Jackie Cooper - Adult Years

Adult Years

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 sitcoms, NBC's The People’s Choice with Patricia Breslin and CBS's Hennesey with Abby Dalton. In 1954, he guest starred on the NBC legal drama Justice. Later, he appeared on ABC's The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, and also guest starred with Tennessee Ernie Ford on The Ford Show and played the role of America's Uranium King, Charles A. Steen in I Found 60 Million Dollars on the Armstrong Circle Theater.

In 1950, he appeared in Mr. Roberts in Boston, Massachusetts, as Ensign Pulver.

From 1964 to 1969, Cooper was vice president of program development at Columbia Pictures Screen Gems TV division. He was responsible for packaging series (such as Bewitched) and other projects and selling them to the networks. He reportedly cast Sally Field as Gidget. Cooper acted only twice during this period, once in 1964 when he appeared in Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone" episode Caesar and Me, and again in the 1968 TV-movie Shadow on the Land.

Cooper left Columbia in 1969 and started yet another phase of his career, one in which he would act occasionally in key character roles. He appeared in Candidate for Crime starring Peter Falk as Columbo in 1973 and the short-lived 1975 ABC series Mobile One, a Jack Webb/Mark VII Limited production, but mostly he devoted more and more of his time to directing dozens of episodic TV and other projects. His work as director on episodes of M*A*S*H and The White Shadow earned him Emmy awards.

Cooper found renewed fame in the 1970s and 1980s as Daily Planet editor Perry White in the Superman film series starring Christopher Reeve. In the commentary track for Superman, director Richard Donner reveals that Cooper got the role because he had a passport, and thus was able to be on set in a few hours, after Keenan Wynn, who was originally cast, suffered a heart attack.

Cooper's final film role was as Ace Morgan in the 1987 film Surrender, starring Sally Field, Michael Caine, and Steve Guttenberg.

Read more about this topic:  Jackie Cooper

Famous quotes containing the words adult and/or years:

    A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people’s patience.
    John Updike (b. 1932)

    I was born a mechanic, and made a barrel before I was ten years old. The cooper told my father, “Fanny made that barrel, and has done it quicker and better than any boy I have had after six months’ training.” My father looked at it and said, “What a pity that you were not born a boy so that you could be good for something. Run into the house, child, and go to knitting.”
    Frances D. Gage (1808–1884)