Jackie Cooper, who played the gruff newspaper editor Perry White in the Superman film franchise, has passed away. According to TMZ.com, Cooper died Tuesday at a Beverly Hills hospital after a sudden illness. He was 88.
Cooper had a long career in Hollywood. He held the distinction of being the youngest actor ever nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Actor in a Leading Role, for the 1931 film Skippy. He continued to work in show business as an adult, often behind the scenes. He worked as a director on a number of television projects, winning Emmy awards for M*A*S*H and The White Shadow. While working as VP of TV program development at Columbia Pictures, he is rumored to have cast actress Sally Field in Gidget.
But he is best known to contemporary audiences for his work in Superman. I’m sure a lot of us newspaper types entered journalism hoping to work for a hard-hitting editor like Cooper’s Perry White.