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Gary Cooper Off Camera: A Daughter Remembers Hardcover – November 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gary Cooper off Camera is a tribute to a Hollywood star that manages to be sentimental, glossy, and passionate all at the same time. A fond introduction by Tom Hanks opens the book, but its multifaceted pleasures spring from the love of author Maria Cooper Janis, who clearly felt it was a unique and great privilege to be the daughter of Gary Cooper. Janis's writing--from the loving letter to her father's ghost to the text that accompanies the many photographs--is charged with filial warmth.

Though the book offers many glimpses of Cooper on the set, it also sheds light on sides of the actor that never appeared on screen: the family man, the sportsman, the host and guest who opened his affections to many Hollywood luminaries. It is these photographs that really make the book a delight. The camera has loved very few men as much as it did Cooper, and this collection captures the ease and joy of an American icon who in films often played awkward and alienated figures. Page after page of extraordinary black-and-white shots reveal the warm relationships Cooper had with his family, and with friends like Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Jimmy Stewart. This volume offers a tender view into a rare and fading kind of celebrity life, one that appears to have been somehow both glamorous and private. --Raphael Shargel

From the Publisher

Gary Cooper (1901-1961) is an American icon-an actor whose handsome features and unstudied poise made him one of the great stars of Hollywood's Golden Era. Now, his only child gives us an extraordinary memoir-a book that reveals the Gary Cooper only she knew. Illustrated throughout with 175 photographs, including many never-before-published family pictures, Maria Cooper Janis' heartfelt book offers an unprecedented look at her father's private side, from his Montana boyhood and his Hollywood home life to his friendships with Ernest Heming way, Pablo Picasso, and Jimmy Stewart, among others. Filled with anecdotes that capture the off-screen humor and warmth of this avid outdoorsman and great humanitarian, Gary Cooper Off Camera is an unforgettable portrait of a great star and a beloved father. 175 photographs in duotone, 911/2 x 11" Maria Cooper Janis is the wife of concert pianist and composer Byron Janis. She is a painter with a great interest in the field of parapsychology. She has contributed to several television documentaries about her father, including a recent A&E Biography. Tom Hanks is a director and an Academy Award- winning actor.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810941309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810941304
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By "gilraenn" on April 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Well, let me start with what beautiful tribute this book is to her father. Maria Cooper's book is beautiful, but too many of the pictures look posed (Hollywood style). And the pictures that are actually not posed say more in body language about a family that clearly protects the Cooper family image. These people are beautiful, but they are too perfect: clothes, hair, makeup, you know it's all there. One picture I found fascinating, is of the three of them on a beach facing the ocean. Maria and her mom on the left, and further away is Gary Cooper and his body language is quite clear. Hmmm, that definitely was a candid shot. And if anyone is really looking, the beautiful Maria seems to be the glue that kept that family together. There is a gorgeous shot of the three of them in their ski clothes in an old house. Rocky with little makeup is quite beautiful, but Maria and her Dad are the ones in sync in this picture. I don't know, but these pictures show a definite strain in the family relationship far more than I ever realized. With friends, the pictures are happier. I am a fan of Gary Cooper's and always will be. And the fact, that he adored his beloved daughter and she adored him is clearly seen in this book. Maria Cooper shows us a Gary Cooper I have already seen in other pictures other people have taken of him. There really isn't a lot of hugging, and touching, and birthday parties, water fights, and family occasions, events, like most people and other stars have of their lives while children are growing up. I would love to have seen a picture of Mr. Cooper in his overalls in his garden (he was an avid gardener), teaching Maria to do things, showing her how to ride a horse, acting goofy..Read more ›
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Angela on November 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Smack in the middle of these cynical, jaded times comes this warm and appealing memoir by Maria Cooer Janis of her father, acting legend Gary Cooper. How wonderful! Maria Cooper Janis's open love for her father is there for all to see on every page. This alone makes the book worth owning. We've come to expect the negative, the cynical, in books of this type. But Ms. Janis has put together an extened love letter to her father and mother. And good for her!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Maria Cooper Janis's photographic valentine to her remarkable father, enduring screen icon Gary Cooper, does more than reveal the private family man behind the celebrity image. For it also reveals what a remarkable woman is his daughter, Maria Cooper Janis. Cooper and wife Rocky surely did something right as parents to have produced this warm and intelligent woman. She has put together a delightful photographic memoir. And this is being written by someone who usually steers miles from memoirs by the offspring of celebrities.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Julia Stewart on September 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sometime ago, I found myself searching for spiritual fulfilment. It was critical moment in my life and I felt as though, I was in a desert all alone, exhausted and thirsty, longing to discover an oasis. Art, music, literature and film are some of my interests and I begun exploring them with renewed passion. One day, while flipping through the DVDs at my local store, "High Noon" caught my attention. I didn't buy it then but it stuck on my mind and few days later I went back and bought it. I watched it in the evening. I watched Gary Cooper's performance in awe and I knew, I have found my oasis. Since then, I collected all of his available films, searching for the rare ones all over the world. Seeing these movies is one of the best things that ever happened to me. Gary Cooper gave me a wonderful world of emotional depth, a world of eternal love, friendship, gallantry, selflessness and patriotism. A world-refuge, where I'm able to lose myself for a while and then come back to reality inspired.

Naturally, after seeing 70 Gary Cooper films, I had pretty good idea what kind of a person he was but I wanted to know more about my favorite actor's life. I begun looking for some literature on him and decided not buy any of the biographies based on gossip and written to make their authors some easy buck. Instead, I bought few of his co-stars' autobiographies. Some are very interesting. Hermione Gingold for example, sums up Gary Cooper as a stoic and courageous man in just a few sentences. Nice, but I already knew it. Ingrid Bergman marvels on his naturalism. I agree with her 100%. And she tells interesting stories on filming "For Whom the Bell Tolls". Lilli Palmer shares insides on making of "Cloak and Dagger" but not much about Cooper.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Maria Cooper Janis's memoir is a truly loving tribute to her famous father, the actor Gary Cooper. Filled with photos and wonderful stories of growing up with a celebrity father during Hollywood's so-called Golden Age, Ms. Janis's picture of her father is an interesting antidote to more recent biographies of Gary Cooper. These bios accent Mr. Cooper's lifelong womanizing, before and during his marriage. This book adds a welcome balance to this picture. Cooper was clearly a more complex man than recent bios would indicate. And he was just as clearly a loving, deeply caring father. A very real family man! Thanks, Ms. Janis, for this beautiful book.
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