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GARY COOPER - DOCUMENT SIGNED 11/15/1957 - HFSID 291378

Curious document hiring Cooper as an associate producer for $100,000. What employee wouldn't relish a contract with a clause like this: "no failure by you to render any services herein provided shall be deemed a breach of this agreement."

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GARY COOPER Curious document hiring Cooper as an associate producer for $100,000. What employee wouldn't relish a contract with a clause like this: "no failure by you to render any services herein provided shall be deemed a breach of this agreement." Document signed: "Gary Cooper", 2 pages 8½x11. Beverly Hills, California, 1957 November 15. Cooper signs his assent to a documentary letter from Ashton Productions. The letter begins, "We employ you to render your non-exclusive services as an associate producer in connection with all of the motion pictures to be produced by us. You will perform such services as are customarily performed by associate producers. As compensation for your services hereunder, and provided THE BORDER JUMPERS may be produced with you recognizable therein, we agree to pay you the sum of $100,000." The document then qualified the agreement, depending on several contingencies, including progress in filming "the Wilder picture …" After further delineation of Cooper's compensation, this paragraph follows: "It is understood that your services under this agreement shall be in a consulting capacity only and subject to any agreements which you may have with respect to your services, and at such time or times as you are available therefore, and at such time as you have completed your services in connection with THE BORDER JUMPERS so that the same may be released with you recognizable in the role no failure by you to render any services herein provided shall be deemed a breach of this agreement. You shall not be entitled to credits with respect to your services as associate producer. Gary Cooper's (1901-1961) acting career, which began with bit parts in 1925, was firmly established with 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. Cooper has signed a very curious agreement here: promised $100,000 for services which he shall not be obligated to perform, and for which he will not be entitled to credits. The Border Jumpers, a novel by Will C. Brown, was released in 1958 by Ashton Productions as Man of the West, Cooper the first-billed star in a cast which included Lee J. Cobb, Julie London and Jack Lord. Ashton Productions made only one other film, the famously successful Some Like It Hot, directed by Billy Wilder (1959). Cooper is not listed in the credits for that classic. What was going on here? Was Cooper paid as an "associate producer" instead of an actor in order to avoid breaching a contract with another studio? A film buff might want to investigate further. Staple at upper left corner. 2 filing holes at center top margin. Lightly crease. Otherwise, fine condition. Previously authenticated by PSA/DNA.

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