Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another le Belle Epoque Beauty, Gladys Cooper

Gladys Cooper was born Dec. 18, 1888 in London, England. She was a favorite child photographer's model and actress from age 6. She appeared on thousands of postcards that were immensely popular as souvenirs and to send to friends in the early 1900s. The postcards are still widely collected today.

Gladys was a popular musical comedy actress as a teenager and also starred in dramatic roles and silent films before World War I. Although unusual for a woman of that period, Gladys successfully managed the Playhouse Theatre from 1917 to 1933, starring in many roles including multiple plays by W. Somerset Maugham whom she was a favorite of.

By the 1930s, Gladys was starring regularly in the West Side and on Broadway frequently hopping back and forth across the Atlantic. She moved to Hollywood in 1940 where she found much success as a character actress. During that period she was nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress in Now Voyager with Bette Davis, The Song of Bernadette and in the role of Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady in 1964. She was also nominated for 2 of Broadway's Tony Awards as Best Actress for The Chalk Garden and A Passage to India.

Gladys continued acting on stage, film and television for the rest of her life - an acting career stretching over an astonishing 300 roles from 1905 until 1971 when she died. Among her televison appearances were three memorable episodes of Twilight Zone.

Gladys was married 3 times and had 3 children. She resided for many years in Santa Monica, California with her third husband until his death.

Although frequently living and working in the United States, Gladys Cooper lived most of her life in the United Kingdom, dying at Henley-on-Thames, England in 1971 at age 82.


  1. Thanks for sharing these photo's Maureen, she was a beautiful lady and I have lots of her postcards and images in my stock but i didnt know her history
    hugs June x

  2. Wow, I just saw an early photo of her on pinterest and remembered her from her great performance on Twilight Zone with Robert Redford! I never knew she was so beautiful. I thought her acting was amazing and am glad I learned so much more about her! Thanks so much! Sharon


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