Friday, May 10, 2013

Actress Jeanne Cooper Passes On

Actress Jeanne Cooper, who was a frequent guest star on Sixties and Seventies television, died 8 May 2013 at the age of 84.

Jeanne Cooper was born on 25 October 1928 in Taft, California.  Miss Cooper studied acting first at the Pasadena Playhouse and later at the College of the Pacific in Stockton, California. She made her film debut in a supporting role The Redhead from Wyoming in 1953. During the Fifties she went onto appear in such films as The Man from the Alamo (1953), Shadows of Tombstone (1953), The Houston Story (1956), Calling Homicide (1956), 5 Steps to Danger (1957), Rock All Night (1957), Plunder Road (1957), and Unwed Mother (1958).  She made her television debut in an episode of The Adventures of Kit Carson in 1953. In the Fifties she appeared on such shows as Mr. District Attorney,  I Led 3 Lives, Highway PatrolFront Row CentreCrossroads, Playhouse 90The Ford Television TheatreThe WebThe Millionaire, Zane Grey Theatre, Jefferson DrumMike HammerThe Further Adventures of Ellery Queen, State TrooperTales of Wells Fargo, G.E. True Theatre, The Twilight Zone, Wanted: Dead or Alive, and Thriller.

In the Sixties Jeanne Cooper appeared in such films as House of Women (1962), 13 West Street (1962), The Intruder (1962), Black Zoo (1963), The Glory Guys (1965), Tony Rome (1967), The Boston Strangler (1968), and There Was a Crooked Man (1970). She was a regular on the television show Bracken's World. She guest starred on such shows as CheyenneHave Gun - Will TravelRawhideHawaiian EyeThe Untouchables, GunsmokeThe Virginian77 Sunset Strip, Dr. KildareWagon TrainThe Man from U.N.C.L.E., Perry Mason, Ben CaseyThe Big ValleyDaniel BooneLaredo, and Death Valley Days.

Starting in 1973 Jeanne Cooper was part of the cast of the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless. She remained with the show for forty years. From the Seventies to the Naughts she appeared on such shows as Nanny and the ProfessorMen at LawHawaii Five-OCannonMannixLongstreetIronsideHawkinsEmergency, L.A. Law, and Touched by an Angel. From the Seventies into the Naughts she appeared in such films as Kansas City Bomber (1972), The All-American Boy (1973), Lethal Justice (1991), Frozen Assets (1992), Carpool Guy (2005), Donna on Demand (2009), and Dead Air (2009).

Jeanne Cooper was the mother of actor Corbin Bernsen. She appeared with him in two episodes of L.A.Law, playing the mother of his character on the show.

Jeanne Cooper was extremely prolific for much of her career. She appeared frequently on television in the Sixties and, at the same time, she managed to appear in several films. She could quite accurately be described as a character actress given the number of different parts she played throughout her career. In a 1957 episode of Tales of Wells Fargo and a 1960 episode of Bronco she played Old West outlaw Belle Starr.  In her Emmy nominated guest appearance on Ben Casey Miss Cooper played a woman who refused to let the title doctor treat her daughters because of her religious beliefs. She played a saloon owner on Laredo and a store owner on The Big Valley. She even got to play a Bondian villain, Mother Fear, who was training little boys to be assassins on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. What is more, she was convincing in all of these roles. With tons of guest appearances and forty years worth of The Young and The Restless to her credit there can be no doubt about Jeanne Cooper's work ethic, and there is no doubt about her talent either.

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