Hollywood actor Jackie Cooper dead at 88

Wed May 4, 2011 6:48pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Jackie Cooper, the former child star who enjoyed renewed fame years later as Daily Planet editor Perry White in the Christopher Reeve "Superman" movies, has died near Los Angeles, his attorney said on Wednesday. He was 88.

Cooper died on Tuesday at a convalescent home in the coastal city of Santa Monica. "He just kinda died of old age," attorney Roger Licht told Reuters. "He wore out."

He rose to fame as a prominent cast member of Hal Roach's "Our Gang" short comedy films, appearing in such notable releases as "Teacher's Pet" and "Love Business."

Cooper holds the record as the youngest actor to receive an Oscar nomination for his title role, at age 9, in the 1931 film "Skippy," an adaptation of the comic strip about a lively youngster.

Later that year, he co-starred in "The Champ" as the innocent son of a washed-up boxer played by Wallace Beery.

After a stint as a television executive during the 1960s and as a TV director during the 1970s, Cooper won over a new generation of fans playing grizzled newspaperman Perry White in the 1978 film "Superman" and its three sequels.

He co-wrote his memoirs, "Please Don't Shoot My Dog," in 1981. He was married three times, and is survived by two of his four children.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; editing by Steve Gorman)