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American John “Jackie” Cooper, Jr. was the first child actor to receive an Academy Award nomination, and he was one of a select group of child performers who went on to have a successful adult careers. He was incredibly gifted even as a tiny child of nine years old, and he became a superstar when he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his work in the film “Skippy.” He was raised by a single mother and saw his mother’s siblings work in the entertainment industry. Jackie was introduced to the film industry by his grandmother, who worked as an extra. At the age of three, he made his first cinematic appearance. Being surrounded by actors and screenwriters as a child benefited the lad greatly; he became a natural at acting and was self-assured and poised for his young age. Because of his age, he was initially featured in supporting roles, but his acting abilities persuaded his uncle Norman Taurog, a director, to cast him in the film ‘Skippy.’ For this role, the boy received widespread critical acclaim as well as multiple awards. Cooper was able to replicate his boyhood success as an adult actor because of his dedication and determination.

Childhood and Adolescence

John Cooper and Mabel Leonard were his parents. When Jackie was two years old, his father abandoned the family. His mother remarried C. J. Bigelow, a studio production manager, after she worked as a theater pianist.
Many members of his family, including his maternal uncle and maternal aunt, made a living in the entertainment industry. Jackie made his film debut when he was only three years old.

Career of Jackie Cooper

He was given modest roles as a child that did not require any acting. Films such as ‘Fox Movietone Follies of 1929’ and ‘Sunny Side Up’ featured him. Jackie, on the other hand, had a lot of talent for his age and was soon getting offers to play supporting roles.

His professional debut was in the short comedy film ‘Boxing Gloves,’ which he made in 1929. By 1930, he had established himself as a talented young actor, starring in the comedy picture ‘The First Seven Years.’
In the 1931 picture ‘Skippy,’ he portrayed the titular role, in which his character tries to assist a new friend in rescuing a dog. Norman Taurog, Jackie’s uncle, directed this film, which was a tremendous smash and received multiple Academy Award nominations.

Following the popularity of ‘Skippy,’ he was inundated with film offers, and in 1931 he appeared in the picture ‘The Champ.’ It was the story of an alcoholic boxer who wished to reclaim his life for his small son’s sake.

In 1934, he played Jim Hawkins in the film ‘Treasure Island,’ which was based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s renowned eponymous tale about a youngster who discovers a treasure map and sets off to find the hidden jewels.

As he grew older, his popularity as a child actor began to decline. He was not attractive enough to play an adult leading man, despite his cuteness as a child. During WWII, he served in the United States Navy. He rose through the ranks to Captain and was awarded the Legion of Merit.

He returned to acting after serving in World War II, but he failed to obtain good roles. In addition, he began to have marital issues and began to drink. When he managed to retake his life, he was on the edge of catastrophic breakdown.

He began performing on television because he couldn’t obtain good film roles. He appeared in the NBC sitcom ‘The People’s Choice’ as well as the CBS sitcom ‘Hennesey.’ In 1954, he appeared as a guest star on the NBC legal drama ‘Justice.’

He was named vice president of program development at Columbia Pictures’ Screen Gems TV subsidiary in 1964, a position he held until 1969. He had reduced the number of acting roles he took on and was now just acting on a periodic basis.

During the 1970s and 1980s, he returned to acting on a regular basis. During this time, he also directed a number of television shows. His portrayal of Perry White in the ‘Superman’ film franchise helped him reclaim his lost status and money. In the 1987 film ‘Surrender,’ he had his final role.

Major Projects of Jackie Cooper

Despite his successful adult acting career, he is best remembered for his appearance as a young kid in the film ‘Skippy.’ The story of a young child who tries his hardest to raise money to buy a dog’s license before it is put to sleep struck a chord with both the public and the critics.

Achievements & Awards

He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his depiction of Skippy in the film of the same name, ‘Skippy,’ when he was nine years old (1931). He was the youngest actor to get this accolade at the time.

Personal history and legacy

In 1944, he married June Horne and had a child with her. In 1949, the couple divorced.
In 1950, he married Hildy Parks. This marriage ended in divorce as well.

In 1954, he married Barbara Rae Kraus for the third time. Barbara died in 2009, however, the pair had three children and remained together till Barbara’s death.
Cooper lived a long life and died after a brief illness in May 2011.

Jackie Cooper Net Worth

Jackie Cooper is a well-known actress. Jackie Cooper had a net worth of $18 million USD as an American actor, television director, producer, and executive. Jackie Cooper was born in Los Angeles, California on September 15, 1922. He was a child actor who went on to have a successful adult career. Cooper was the first child actor to be nominated for an Academy Award.