May 5, 2011

Durbin's "Certain Age" Co-Star, Jackie Cooper, has Died

Actor/Director, Jackie Cooper died on May 3, 2011. He was 88. Cooper began his show business career as a child actor, gaining popularity in Hal Roach's Our Gang series. For his work in Skippy (1931) at the age of nine, Cooper holds the record as the youngest actor to garner an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Later, the teen would famously date Judy Garland and co-star with Deanna Durbin in That Certain Age (1938), with whom he also claims to have had a romantic interest.

From his autobiography, Please Don't Shoot My Dog (William Morrow and Co., 1981):
"[I] had a brief on-the-set fling with Deanna Durbin, when we did a picture together. It is an old Hollywood custom for leading man and leading lady to fall for each other. In That Certain Age I kissed her on screen,  and I gave her a few off-screen kisses, too. We had problems finding privacy on the bustling movie set and finally took to a tactic which I imagine has stood romantically inclined couples on movie sets in good stead for many years. We would duck behind the backdrops and find a few precious— although musty— moments of quiet and togetherness. Then, when the call came for the first team to report back, she would go one way and I would go the other way."

Although there are no kissing scenes in the final film, Cooper's admiration of Ms. Durbin is unmistakable in the role of  boy-next-door for the Universal Studios star.

Here are Further Resources on Jackie Cooper:


  1. Thanks for sharing the excerpt Java. I didn't know he wrote an autobiography. Do you know what year the book was published?

  2. The 1st edition of Please Don't Shoot My Dog was published in 1981 by William Morrow & Company, Inc.

    - Java