Cooper, Gary: Oscar Record–Two Best Actor Awards, One Honorary

Gary Cooper’s performance in Howard Hawks biopic, Sergeant York, in 1941, earned him his first Best Actor Oscar.

His second competitive Best Actor Oscar was in 1952, for the Western High Noon, probably his most memorable film.

The critic perceived it as quietly sincere and emotionally effective, yet there were those who believed that the Oscar  was more of a patriotic gesture than a reward for real talent, as the film was released during WWII.

In April 1961, Cooper received a Special Honorary Oscar “for his many memorable screen performances and the international recognition he, as an individual, has gained for the motion picture industry.”

He died a month later, on May 13, 1961, at the young age of 60 of incurable cancer.

In fact, his very last feature, The Naked Edge, was released posthumously.