American HeroBook - 1998
In classic films such as "High Noon," Gary Cooper came to symbolize American ideals of self-reliance, independence, and integrity, but his turbulent private life was often at odds with his squeaky-clean public persona.
The off-screen Cooper was anything but simple -- behind Gary Cooper's American Dream facade lay a tempestuous life. As this meticulously researched book tracks his film career in fascinating detail, it tells the parallel tale of his complicated relationships with Marlene Dietrich and Patricia Neal (to name only two of many), his involvement with the House Un-American Activities Committee and the Hollywood black-list, and his long friendship with Ernest Hemingway.
With the full cooperation of the actor's daughter as well as such colleagues and close friends as Arlene Dahl and Fay Wray, Meyers examines every aspect of Cooper's life, beginning with his youth in Montana where he was a real cowboy before making the leap to Hollywood. There he created some of the quintessential screen westerns in movie history -- awkward, honest men who captured America's imagination with an irresistible air of aw-shucks simplicity. Gary Cooper is a robust portrait of a great star whose contradictions only enhance the artistry with which he created some of the most unforgettable and enduring characters of Hollywood's Golden Age.