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Gary Cooper

Martin Munkacsi, 1896 - 1963
Gary Cooper, 7 May 1901 - 13 May 1961
Gelatin silver print
Image/Sheet: 40.2 x 34.2cm (15 13/16 x 13 7/16")
Mount: 50.6 x 40.5cm (19 15/16 x 15 15/16")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9cm (28 x 22")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
© Estate of Martin Munkacsi, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Object number
Exhibition Label
Here’s how Life magazine described Gary Cooper in 1952, after he won his second Oscar for his performance in the western thriller High Noon: "Doesn’t have to say a word. Doesn’t even have to smile. One look at Gary Cooper and the weak take heart, the villains take cover, and the women faint." Starting in the movies as a stunt man who excelled at falling off horses, he emerged in the 1930s as Hollywood’s leading man. In films such as The Virginian (1929) and Sergeant York (1942), Cooper often played the strong, silent hero who brings order and justice where lawlessness had previously reigned. A hunting buddy of Ernest Hemingway, he also starred in A Farewell to Arms (1932) and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), two movies adapted from Hemingway novels. As Cooper’s fame increased, he embraced his on-screen taciturnity in his private life as a defense against intrusions.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection