Was abandoned by his father at age 2. His mother relied on the young boy's acting salary to provide for the family.
At age 9, became the first child actor ever to be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Skippy (1931).
Managed to have a second career as a director and producer after serving with the Navy during World War II.
Played the crusty newspaper editor Perry White in all four of the Superman films with Christopher Reeve.
Released his autobiography, Please Don't Shoot My Dog, in 1981. The title was inspired by a threat from the Skippy director, who happened to be his uncle, that he would shoot the boy's dog if he couldn't cry during his scenes in the film.
1979, Emmy — Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series: Winner
1961, Emmy — Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead): Nominee
1974, Emmy — Best Directing in Comedy: Winner
1962, Emmy — Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Series: Nominee
1931, Oscar — Best Actor: Nominee
Russell — Son
Cristina — Daughter
Norman Taurog — Uncle
Julie Leonard — Aunt
Barbara Kraus — Wife (deceased)
John Cooper — Father
Hildy Parks — Ex-wife
Mabel Leonard Bigelow — Mother
June Horne — Ex-wife
John "Jack" Cooper III — Son
Julie — Daughter
Attended University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, United States
Birth Name: John Cooper, Jr.
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, United States