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1930s & Earlier / Our Gang - Jackie Cooper
The most successful member of the Our Gang troupe as far as post-Gang achievements in Hollywood was Jackie Cooper. He joined the Gang in 1929 at age seven, making his first appearance in 'Boxing Gloves.' He was the best of the troupe at adapting to the new sound technology. His most famous Our Gang roles have him smitten with Miss Crabtree, his school teacher. By 1931 Cooper was in demand for feature films, so Hal Roach sold his contract to Paramount Studios. Cooper received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for Skippy (1931) at age nine, making him the youngest actor ever to be nominated for that award. He is famous for playing opposite Wallace Beery in five films, most notably The Champ (1931). Although Cooper and Beery had a magical rapport in films, years later Cooper revealed that Beery was a foul-mouthed and sadistic person who was loathed by everyone on the set. Cooper served in the Second World War and later returned to Hollywood as a director. He won an Emmy for directing an episode of MASH. Cooper and Spanky McFarland are the only two Our Gang actors to have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Cooper was widowed in 2009 after 55 years of marriage to his third wife. He also outlived two of his four children. Cooper died at age 88 on May 3, 2011.