GARY COOPER - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 10/06/1955 - HFSID 298722
Sale Price $765.00
2-page handwritten letter to friend and actress Elaine Shepard, describing the long hours spent filming Friendly Persuasion: "Cooper's ass is dragging." Full of movie tidbits!
Autograph Letter signed: "Gary", 2 onionskin pages, 6x20. No place, Thursday [October 6, 1955], accompanying envelope is postmarked Van Nuys, California, October 6, 1955. Envelope addressed in Cooper's hand to Elaine Shepard, New York City. In full: "Yer right - I'm a bum. But since I saw you I've had ten days off this grindstone. I went to [?] to see the family and came back and started this one - no days off - no scenes I'm not in - so Cooper's ass is dragging and will be till about Dec. 10th. 'Mitchell' came off well according to Jack Warner - very happy about it. This'n looks good too - I hope. It's really swell hearing from you. I hope I still have friends after this session. I'm writing this while they do a couple of closes. We leave for location 6:45 A. M., get home around seven P. M. and this goes on till the finish. You sound happy about your new set-up in New York - Washington. I'm glad to hear it baby. It's too early to make any plans yet but I'll keep in touch. All the best and thanks for your sweet note and for everything and take good care of your beautiful self. Always". The acting career of Gary Cooper (1901-1961) began with bit parts in 1925, but was firmly established after his role in The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926). He steadily rose to superstar status with his screen persona of a strong, silent man of action and few words. Nominated for Academy Awards five times, Cooper won the 1942 Academy Award for Best Actor for the title role in Sergeant York, and he won the Best Actor Oscar in 1953 for the role of Marshal Will Kane in High Noon. He was also nominated for the role of Longfellow Deeds in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Lou Gehrig in The Pride of the Yankees and Robert Jordan in For Whom the Bell Tolls. Cooper was awarded a Special Academy Award in 1961 "For his many memorable screen performances and the international recognition he, as an individual, has gained for the motion picture industry." Cooper was too ill to accept the Oscar in person and his close friend, a tearful Jimmy Stewart, accepted it in his name. A month later, Cooper died of cancer at the age of 60. Friendly Persuasion, released in 1956, cast Cooper as a Quaker husband and father whose commitment to pacifism was tested by the American Civil War. Cooper's reference in this letter to a family visit is interesting. He was married from 1933 until his death to Veronica "Rocky" Balfe Cooper, who appeared in films under the name of Sandra Shaw. The Cooper's separated in 1951, the result of his affair with actress Patricia Neal, but reconciled in 1954. The Cooper's daughter, Maria, had just turned 18 on September 15. The letter's recipient was actress Elaine Shepard (1913-1998), active in films from the mid-1930s through 1951. She never appeared in a film with Cooper. Normal mailing folds. Lightly frayed at top edge. Otherwise, fine condition.
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