Movie Stars: Cooper, Gary: Silent Hero

The movie star William S. Hart is credited with creating the myth of the silent Westerner, originating a masculine model that was later emulated by generations of stars like Gary Cooper and later on Clint Eastwood.

According to Joan Mellen, Cooper’s silence derived from a rationale expressed by Hart in his autobiography: “The bigness of the West makes men quiet; they seldom talk unless they have something to say. The altitude clarifies their brains and gives them nerves of steel.”