Gary Cooper (born Frank James Cooper, May 7, 1901 - May 13, 1961) was one of the great film actors of the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s and won two Academy Awards as Best Actor and one for Lifetime Achievement. The Montana-born actor was schooled in Bedfordshire, England before returning to the United Sates as World War I broke out. Gary then attended Grinnell College in Iowa where he was unable to join the drama club. He worked on the family’s Helena ranch after college while also submitting cartoon strips to the local newspapers. But this was far from his career calling and when his father moved with his wife to Los Angeles, Gary followed. By 1925, Cooper began acting, often as an extra and frequently as a cowboy, until he got his first screen credit in Lightnin’ Wins in 1926. From there Cooper appeared in more than 100 films until shortly before his death in 1961. Gary earned star status with The Virginian (1929) and critical acclaim for his roles in A Farewell to Arms (1932) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936). In 1939, Copper turned down the role of Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind, stating that it "was going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history." In 1941, Gary earned his first Academy Award as Best Actor for his portrayal of Alvin York in Sergeant York. One more of his critically acclaimed roles was that of New York Yankees slugger Lou Gehrig in Pride of the Yankees (1942). For the second time in his career, he starred in a film adaptation of an Ernest Hemingway work, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) – he was a close friend of Papa Hemingway and they often vacationed together. His role as Marshall Will Kane in High Noon garnered Cooper his second Academy Award for Best Actor in 1952. Ever the lead actor, Gary Cooper appeared in a major motion picture nearly every year from 1925 to 1961. In 1960, Gary was diagnosed with prostate cancer that metastasized to his colon, lings and bones. At the Academy Awards in April of 1961, fellow actor and close friend of Copper, Jimmy Stewart accepted the Honorary Academy Award presented to Gary Cooper "for his many memorable screen performances and the international recognition he, as an individual, has gained for the motion picture industry." Cooper passed away a month later, six days after his 60th birthday.