From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Frank James “Gary” Cooper (May 7, 1901 – May 13, 1961) was an American film actor. He was renowned for his quiet, understated acting style and his stoic, individualistic, emotionally restrained, but at times intense screen persona, which was particularly well suited to the many Westerns he made. His career spanned from 1925 until shortly before his death, and comprised more than one hundred films. Cooper received five Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, winning twice for Sergeant York and High Noon. He also received an Honorary Award in 1961 from the Academy. Decades later, the American Film Institute named Cooper among the AFIs 100 Years... 100 Stars, ranking 11th among males from the Classical Hollywood cinema period. In 2003, his performances as Will Kane in High Noon, Lou Gehrig in The Pride of the Yankees, and Alvin York in Sergeant York made the AFIs 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains list, all of them as heroes.