US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Born May 7: Gary Cooper

May 07, 2015 04:00 AM

  • A 44¢ Legends of Hollywood stamp honors film star Gary Cooper, who was born May 7, 1901.

Screen actor Gary Cooper, who was born May 7, 1901, was honored on a 44¢ commemorative stamp in 2009 as the 15th issue in the popular Legends of Hollywood series.

The stamp shows a portrait of Cooper by artist Kazuhiko Sano (1952-2011), based on a circa 1940 photograph by George Hurrell (1904-92).

The Legends of Hollywood stamp (Scott 4421) was Cooper's second stamp appearance. His first came in 1990 as part of the Classic Films commemorative set. The 25¢ stamp featured Cooper in the title role of the 1939 film Beau Geste (2447).

Gary Cooper was born Frank James Cooper in Helena, Mont. He moved to Los Angeles in 1923 and found work as a Hollywood extra, but before long he was a featured player in popular big-budget westerns.

Cooper starred in a string of classic films including The Virginian (1929), Beau Geste (1939) and The Pride of the Yankees (1942). He won two Academy Awards for best actor in Sergeant York (1941) and High Noon (1952), and a third for lifetime achievement in 1961. He died on May 13 of that year.

The U.S. Postal Service described Cooper as "the all-American hero whose believable performances and strong, silent appeal brought him a lifetime of fame."