Jackie Cooper, former child star, dies at 88

Jackie Cooper, former child star, dies at 88. 44240.jpegHollywood legend and former child star Jackie Cooper has passed away at the age of 88. The actor died Tuesday at a hospital in Beverly Hills after a brief illness. Film and television fans will remember Cooper from a number of iconic (and memorable) performances and film work including his Oscar-nominated role as the titular character Skippy (at age 9), his Emmy winning direction on M*A*S*H, as well as the role that endeared him to comic book fans around the world - Perry White in the Christopher Reeve Superman films, according to Screen Rant.

"Of all the kid stars, I think I came through with more of my buttons intact," he wrote in his best-selling memoir, "Please Don't Shoot My Dog" (1981, with Dick Kleiner), titled after a director Norman Taurog got him to cry on camera by having his dog dragged off the set and "shot." Jackie did not win the Academy Award, but he was catapulted to stardom.

Besides "Treasure Island" (1934), in which he played Jim Hawkins to Wallace Beery's crusty Long John Silver, Jackie teamed with Beery in "The Champ" (1931), about a drunken fighter and his son, but facing teenage retirement, he joined the Navy and spent part of World War II in the Pacific, The Seattle Times reports.

He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

Cooper virtually retired from show business in 1989, saying, "I'm 67 and worked 64 years." He had mostly stayed out of the industry limelight since, forgoing tributes and retrospectives. In recent years, he raised horses in San Diego.

He was divorced twice: from June Horne, with whom he had a child, and Hildy Parks. In 1954, Cooper married Barbara Kraus, and the couple had three children. He is survived by two of this children, Hollywood Reporter says.


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