Will Hollywood ever have a golden period again?
Gary Cooper fought in numerous Hollywood westerns and became a legend as a taciturn hero. With his legendary hypnotic gaze, he is still one of the most charismatic Hollywood stars of the old school. Cooper was born in Montana on May 7, 120 years ago, and died in 1961, just six days after his 60th birthday. He became famous in the golden era of the film industry, which also produced many other cult figures. Let's take a look at this unique time!
The golden age of Hollywood icons
In the period between the 1930s and 1950s the film industry boomed in America and not only produced unforgettable films, but also numerous actors who are now among the old icons of Hollywood. Big names like Gary Cooper, James Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Clark Gable and Henry Fonda made history when they conquered the silver screen with their acting elegance and charm.
Gary Cooper: America's Favorite Cowboy (1901-1961)
Gary Cooper was a cult figure, the quintessential American hero and ideal of American masculinity. The 1.97 meter tall giant revolutionized the western genre and became a figure of identification for generations.
In 1929 Cooper celebrated The man from Virginia his first big success. That was the start of one of the most glamorous careers in Hollywood - without ever having really learned to act. The smart actor was even given the honor of being in Irving Berlin's Jazz Standard in 1929 Puttin 'on the Ritz To be immortalized: “Dressed up like a million dollar trooper / Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper / Super-duper”.
Cooper made 90 films in 35 years, 67 of them westerns. His most famous flick was Fred Zimmermann's psychological western High Noon - 12 noon(1952), for which he received his second Oscar. Gregory Peck was originally intended for the role of Sheriff Will Kane, but the latter canceled at short notice. And so, at the age of 50, Gary Cooper had one more opportunity to play the unwavering fighter for honor and justice.
High Noon became a cult film and is now considered the highlight, but at the same time also the turning point of the American western. In May 1961, Cooper died of cancer far too early, just a few days after his 60th birthday. His long-time friend James Stewart accepted the honorary Oscar, which had recently been awarded to him.
James Stewart: The Versatile Talent (1908-1997)
James Stewart shaped American film for many decades. He was one of the most versatile actors of his time and served many genres. His repertoire included comedies, musicals, dramas, thrillers and adventure films.
He became particularly popular through his westerns and thrillers, which were directed by Alfred Hitchcock. With his roles in Frank Capras The life is wonderful, is not it? as well as the Hitchcock classics The window to the courtyard and Vertigo - From the realm of the dead he wrote film history.
What many do not know: James Stewart had real combat experience. As the first Hollywood star, he went to World War II and served as a fighter pilot in the US Air Force. He survived and returned to the canvas. Stewart died of heart failure in Beverly Hills in May 1997 at the age of 89 after a long life in front of the camera.
Humphrey Bogart:Cynic in a trench coat (1899-1957)
In gangster films of the 1930s, Humphrey Bogart always played second fiddle behind James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson and George Raft. Bogart only became a Hollywood star at the age of 41 with Raoul Walshs Decision in the Sierra and John Hustons The falcon's trail. Michael Curtiz ’ Casablanca made him an icon of his time in 1942, when he went down in film history. He made four films together with his fourth wife, Lauren Bacall. Bogart died of esophageal cancer in 1957 at the age of 58.
Cary Grant: the self-deprecating man of the world (1904-1986)
Cary Grant was the epitome of elegance, charm and sophistication - rough heroes were not part of his repertoire. He left school at the age of 13 and traveled around the country with an acting troupe. During a US tour he spontaneously stayed in the States and received a contract with Paramount in 1932.
For many decades, Grant was one of the most sought-after stars in Hollywood. He acted in Hitchcock classics like Suspicion and Notorious with, but also in the films like Above the roofs of Nice or Charade. In 1966 he finished with at the age of 62 Walk, don't run his acting career and from then on worked as a board member of a cosmetics company. He married for the fifth time in 1981 and died of a stroke in 1986 at the age of 82.
In 1988, in A fish called Wanda cinematically, hats off to Cary Grant. The lawyer embodied by John Cleese goes by the name of Archie Leach, the maiden name of Cary Grants.
Clark Gable: King of Hollywood (1901-1960)
Clark Gable was one of the big stars in Hollywood. He received the title "King of Hollywood" in 1934 after a public survey. He celebrated his greatest successes with Blown by the wind, Mutiny on the Bounty and It happened in one night. In 1999 he was named the seventh greatest male film star of all time by the American Film Institute. But the talented actor died of cancer far too early at the age of only 59.
Henry Fonda: Virtue Personified (1905-1982)
Henry Fonda actually wanted to become a journalist, but dropped out of college for financial reasons. A short time later he started acting and appeared in smaller theaters. In 1934 he finally succeeded in starring in The farmerwant to marry the breakthrough on Broadway. The film adaptation of the play made him a Hollywood star.
Shortly thereafter, Fritz Lang hired him for the lead role in his drama You only live once and under William Wyler, Fonda played with Bette Davis in Jezebel. Numerous westerns followed, as well as some other great films in the 50s like war and peace with Audrey Hepburn, The twelve jurors or Hitchcocks The wrong man.
In 1968 Henry Fonda switched to Sergio Leone's Western Once Upon a Time in the West from model hero to ice-cold killer and shifted film history with it. The incomparable actor died of heart failure in 1982 at the age of 77.
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