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Gary Cooper in Supporting Roles: 3 Films Where He Shined Without Playing Lead

Image: Gary Cooper in Supporting Roles: 3 Films Where He Shined Without Playing Lead
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By    |   Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 06:56 PM

As a horse-riding extra in Westerns, Gary Cooper was noticed and went on to be cast as a leading man in more than 100 films. But, early in his career when silent films were the norm, his slow-speaking baritone would not gain him fame until movies featured sound.

Here are three films where he supported the leads in unforgettable fashion.

1. "The Winning of Barbara Worth" (1926)

This silent film was Cooper's first credited role and a key supporting role. Playing the love interest of Barbara Worth, he embraced a role that wrapped into a plot about love rivalries, shady land dealers, and life on a ranch.

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The film received mixed reviews, but his acting was the subject of great praise.

2. "Wings"(1927)

This was likely Cooper's shortest role, but he made a big impression and "Wings" won the first Academy Award for Best Picture in 1929.

Like "The Winning of Barbara Worth" it also contained a love rivalry as the leading characters, one rich and one middle class, are in love with the same woman.

However, Cooper was not a part of this scheme. He was primarily memorable scenery; featured as a doomed pilot named Cadet White, he appeared on screen for only 127 seconds.

"Wings" would be the first of several war movies that would appear on Cooper's résumé, including "Sergeant York," which would win him an Oscar.

3. "Children of Divorce" (1927)

A silent film starring Clara Bow and Esther Ralston, Gary Cooper would play Edward D. "Ted" Larabee, whose stalled courtship of his childhood sweetheart (Ralston) becomes complicated after he is tricked into marrying another childhood friend (Bow).

Ted Larabee was Cooper's first credited role not in a Western.

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As an extra in Westerns, Gary Cooper was noticed. But, early in his career when silent films were the norm, his slow-speaking baritone would not gain him fame until movies featured sound. Here are three films where he supported the leads in unforgettable fashion.
gary cooper, roles, star, shined, supporting
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