Friday, April 28, 2017
Friday Finery: Gary Cooper
A happy Friday to all from Gary Cooper, here in pensive profile, attired in a very stylish suit and enjoying a smoke.
Could anyone top his casual nonchalance? (Um, no!) The answer is in his nickname - - Coop. He's a man's man, but he possessed a charming naivete. Men wanted to be friends with him, women wanted . . a little more. And could he ever wear a suit.
This Helena, Montana native made his first film appearance as an extra in 1923 and would have many uncredited roles until 1927, when he was credited in no less than six films that year. You might have heard of one of them - - Wings, which would go on to win the Oscar for Best Picture (the only silent film, until The Artist did so in 2011.) Coop may have only been on screen for two minutes but those two minutes would make him a star. And start him on the road to many, many affairs, beginning with co-star Clara Bow. If you haven't heard, Gary Cooper was a legendary ladies' man.
He was also well known around Hollywood for his prodigious appetite for food. The always slim Coop would somewhat jokingly say that his "starvation diet" (before he became a star) consisted of a dozen eggs a day, a couple loaves of bread, a platter of bacon and just enough pork chops between meals to keep him going until supper. He was also known to eat a cherry pie and drink a quart of milk for lunch. Milk . . . it certainly did this man's body good.
Coop was also an avid athlete, dog lover, guitar and harmonica player and grew corn and avocados on his Encino ranch. He counted Jimmy Stewart, Henry Hathaway, Jack Benny, William Goetz, Jerry Wald, Charles Feldman, Bing Crosby, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway among his closest friends, with Stewart being his best friend.
What's your favorite Gary Cooper movie?