|Born:||15 September 1922|
|Birthplace:||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Birthname:||John Cooper, Jr.|
|Spouse:||June Horne (1944–1949) |
Hildy Parks (1950–1951)
Barbara Kraus (1954-)
|Yearsactive:||1929 — 2006|
|Academy Awards:||Kramer vs. Kramer|
|Emmyawards:||Outstanding Directing - Comedy Series|
Outstanding Directing - Drama Series
1978 The White Shadow
Jackie Cooper (born September 15, 1922) is an American Academy Award-nominated actor, Emmy Award-winning TV director, and TV producer and executive. He was a child actor who managed to transition to an adult career. As of 2009, Cooper's Oscar-nominated performance in Skippy is the oldest nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor of which the nominee is still living.
Cooper was born John Cooper, Jr. in Los Angeles, California. His father, John Cooper, left the family when Jackie was two years old. His mother, Mabel Leonard Bigelow (née Polito), was a stage pianist and former child actress. Cooper's maternal uncle, Jack Leonard, was a screenwriter, and his maternal aunt, Julie Leonard, was an actress married to director Norman Taurog. Cooper's stepfather was C. J. Bigelow, a studio production manager. Cooper was an illegitimate child; his mother was Italian American (her family's surname was changed from "Polito" to "Leonard") and his father was Jewish.   
Cooper first appeared in the short Boxing Gloves in 1929, one of the Our Gang comedies. He was signed to a three year contract that was to expire in 1932. He initially was only a supporting character in 1929, but by early 1930 he had done so well with the transition to sound films that he had become a major character. He was the main character in the episodes The First Seven Years, When the Wind Blows, and others. His most notable Our Gang shorts explore his crush on Miss Crabtree, the schoolteacher played by June Marlowe, which included the trilogy of shorts Teacher's Pet, School's Out, and Love Business.
Other movie studios liked Cooper's work. In the Spring of 1931, Paramount signed him as well as recurring Our Ganger Donald Haines to a long term contract to star in features. Both Jackie Cooper and Donald Haines walked off the Our Gang set during the production of the second to last episode Bargain Day to begin work on their first feature film over at Paramount. His first non-Our Gang role was in 1931, when Norman Taurog hired him to star in Skippy, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor—the youngest actor ever (at the age of 9) to be nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor. Jackie would remain at Paramount while at the same time Donald Haines would leave Paramount to return to the more child-friendly Hal Roach Studios and resume his recurring Our Gang role on time for the start of the 1931–1932 season (when Our Gang was depleted because several long-time major characters would not return for the new season) until 1933 and continue on in other Roach short subjects after that.The movie catapulted young Cooper to super-stardom. Our Gang producer Hal Roach sold Jackie's contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in mid-1931, as he felt the youngster would have a better future in features. He began a long on-screen relationship with actor Wallace Beery in such films as The Champ (1931), The Bowery (1933) ,The Choices of Andy Purcell (1933), Treasure Island (1934), and O'Shaughnessy's Boy (1935). A legion of film critics and fans have lauded the relationship between the two as an example of classic movie magic. However, Cooper later revealed that Beery was a violent, foul-mouthed drunkard who was disliked by those with whom he worked. Cooper said Beery had been abusive toward him and was one of the cruelest, most sadistic people he has ever known.
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 series, The People’s Choice and Hennesey.
From 1964-69, 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 seemed to thrive at this job, acting only once during this period, in his TV-movie debut "Shadow on the Land" (ABC, 1968). Cooper left Columbia in 1969 and started yet another phase of his career, one in which he would act occasionally in key character roles (namely 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 M*A*S*H (TV series) and The White Shadow earned him Emmy awards.
Cooper has been married three times: to June Horne (1944–1949) (with whom he has one son, John "Jack" Cooper, born 1946); Hildy Parks (1950–1951), and (since 1954) to Barbra Krause (with whom he has three children - Russell (born 1956), Julie (1957–1997) and Crissy (born 1959)).
Cooper's autobiography, Please Don't Shoot My Dog, was published in 1982. The title comes from director Norman Taurog's threat to shoot young Jackie's dog if he could not cry in Skippy. Cooper has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1501 Vine Street.
Cooper announced his retirement in 1989, although he was still directing episodes of the syndicated series Superboy (TV series). He began spending more time raising horses at his home outside San Diego. He occasionally returned to the soundstage for retrospective and documentary programs about Hollywood in which he had toiled for the entire sound period to-date, and even some silent films.