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Gladys Cooper – MovieActors.com

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Cooper in REBECCA.

About Gladys Cooper (1888 – 1971)

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Gladys Constance Cooper was born on December 18, 1888, in Lewisham, London, England. She was the eldest daughter of journalist William Frederick Cooper and his spouse, Mabel Barnett. Gladys had two younger sisters.

Her beauty as a child began her public career as a child model for photography projects, at the age of six.

Her first stage play that also was her first tour as an actress was a  Seymour Hicks' Tour Company's production of BLUEBELL IN FAIRYLAND, in 1905.

Her first London stage play was in 1906, in the production of THE BELL OF MAYFAIR.

1911 was an important year for her thespian career, as she was cast in a stage production of Oscar Wild's popular comedy, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST. Her stage career was off to a roaring start, getting a flood of new roles in other productions.

Her first silent film was THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT in 1913.


In the late teens', she became a co-manager of the Playhouse Theater, In 1927, she was the sole manager. In 1919, she became a major stage actress star, when she was cast in W. Somerset Maugham's HOME AND BEAUTY in London, that was followed by Arthur Wing Pinero's THE SECOND MRS. TANQUERAY.

Gladys made it to America's BROADWAY, performing in a play that she was doing in London, called THE SHINING HOUR. Gladys was cast in other plays on BROADWAY, enjoying the stage experience, until Hollywood discovered her in 1938. This began her prolific American film career; though, she still did stage plays on both Broadway and the West End Theatre District in LOndon, thoughout her thespian career.

Twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actress (Dramatic) for her performances in Enid Bagnold's "The Chalk Garden" (1956) and in "A Passage to India" (1962).

Her first film was a small part in Alfred Hitchcock's 1940 film, REBECCA, but her performance was very memorable. During the 1940's, she made a large number of films, continuing on during the 50s', but not as many as before, having become interested in television and missing the stage performances.

Starting in 1950, Gladys slowly started to take acting roles in both British and American television. Gladys also went back to the stage in both West End, and on Broadway, up until she died. Her last stage appearance was in 1970-71, in the role of Mrs. St. Maugham in a familiar favorite with her, THE CHALK GARDEN, at the age of 82.

Gladys had two Oscar nominations for her work in NOW, VOYAGER (1942) and THE SONG OF BERNADETTE (1943). Gladys had a third Oscar nomination, toward the end of her career, for her performance as Henry Higgins' mother in MY FAIR LADY, in 1964, that was her last film.
Starting in 1950, Gladys slowly started to take acting roles in both British and American television

Gladys Cooper was married three times, perhaps because she was so busy doing productions and films. Plus, perhaps she was also unluck in love. In 1908, Gladys married Capt. Herbert John Buckmaster. They had two children; actors Joan and John. They divorced in 1921.

In 1928, Gladys married Neville Pearson, and they had a daughter, costume designer Sally Pearson. They divorced in 1936.

Gladys married fellow actor and writer, Philip Merivale in 1937. During this marriage, Gladys lived in Santa Monica, California with Her husband, Merivale for many years. They were a loving couple until Philip died in 1946.

In 1967 Gladys Cooper was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Gladys lived mostly in England during her final years. Cooper passed away on November 17th, 1971 in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England from pneumonia.

Gladys Cooper's notable movie credits include....

A NICE GIRL LIKE ME (1969)
THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE (1967)
MY FAIR LADY (1964)
THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER (1963)
SEPARATE TABLES (1958)
THE MAN WHO LOVED REDHEADS (1955)
AT SWORD'S POINT (1952)
THUNDER ON THE HILL (1951)
MADAME BOVARY (1949)
THE SECRET GARDEN (1949)
THE PIRATE (1948)
HOMECOMING (1948)
THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947)
GREEN DOLPHIN STREET (1947)
THE GREEN YEARS (1946)
LOVE LETTERS (1945)
THE VALLEY OF DECISION (1945)
MRS. PARKINGTON (1944)
THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVE (1944)
THE SONG OF BERNADETTE (1943)
PRINCESS O'ROURKE (1943)
FOREVER AND A DAY (1943)
MR. LUCKY (1943)
NOW, VOYAGER (1942)
THIS ABOVE ALL (1942)
EAGLE SQUADRON (1942)
THE GAY FALCON (1941)
THE BLACK CAT (1941)
REBECCA (1940)
THE IRON DUKE (1934)
BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE (1923)
THE BOHEMIAN GIRL (1922)
UNMARRIED (1920)
MASKS AND FACES (1917)

Gladys Cooper's notable television credits include....

THE DOCTORS (TV SERIES 1971)
THE GREAT INMITABLE MR. DICKENS (TV MOVIE) (1970)
EMERGENCY-WARD 10 (TV SERIES 1965)
THE ROGUES (TV SERIES 1964-1965)
THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR (TV SERIES 1963-1964)
TWILIGHT ZONE (TV SERIES 1962-1964)
BURKE'S LAW (TV SERIES- Who Killed Sweet Betsy?) (1963)
PYGMALION (TV MOVIE) (1963)
THE DICK POWELL THEATRE (TV SERIES 1962)
ITV PLAY OF THE WEEK (TV SERIES 1960)
PLAYHOUSE 90 (TV SERIES 1957-1958)
SUSPICION (TV SERIES -Lord Arthur SAvile's Crime) (1958)
AFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS (TV SERIES 1957)
THE ALCOA HOUR (TV SERIES 1956)
BBC SUNDAY-NIGHT THEATR (TV SERIES 1950)
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Gladys Cooper in REBECCA (1940).

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