Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Big Screen in The Sky

Yesterday marked the passing of someone who experienced Old Hollywood from a child's-eye view. Jackie Cooper was only 7 years old when he first starred in Fox Movietone Follies of 1929. A budding childhood star, he became a regular cast member of the beloved Our Gang shorts and earned his first and only Oscar nomination for the 1931 film, Skippy. He would later go on to fight in WWII in the South Pacific and enjoyed a healthy television career before he got the role that introduced him to a younger generation as the irascible Perry White in the Superman movies. The loss of Cooper and his peers is devastating in that their firsthand knowledge of Hollywood "legend" is priceless. Cooper's story about how director Norman Taurog threatened to kill Cooper's dog so that he could get him to cry during a scene is a prime example of how we must record the stories of those that are still left from the Golden Age of Hollywood in order to preserve that unique history.

For more on Jackie, check out Steve Vaught's brilliant blog:

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