'America's Boy' Jackie Cooper Dies at 88

[caption id="attachment_49750" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="Getty Images"]Jackie Cooper[/caption]

Jackie Cooper is now running the great Daily Planet up in the sky.

Cooper, a former child actor and star of the four Christopher Reeve "Superman" movies, died at a convalescent home in Santa Monica this Tuesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 88.

It would appear that Cooper died of natural causes. "He just kinda died of old age,” said his attorney, Roger Licht. "He wore out."

Jackie Cooper was a huge child star in the '30s, appearing in 15 of Hal Roach's popular "Our Gang" short comedies and earning the nickname of "America's Boy." He holds the record for the youngest actor to ever receive an Oscar nomination for a lead role, having been nominated at the age of nine for his performance in "Skippy" (1931), which was based on a comic strip.

Speaking of comics, one of Cooper's most popular roles came much later in his career when he was cast as Perry White, the no-nonsense editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, in "Superman" (1978). Cooper reprised the role in "Superman II" (1981), "Superman III" (1983) and "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" (1987).

Cooper also enjoyed a career as a television director, calling the shots on episodes of "M*A*S*H," "The White Shadow" and "Cagney & Lacey," among others. He also directed two TV movies that dealt with life in show business: "Rainbow" (1978), which was based on the life of Judy Garland, and "Rosie: The Rosemary Clooney Story" (1982).

Jackie Cooper was divorced twice; from June Horne, with whom he had a child, and Hildy Parks. In 1954, he married Barbara Kraus, with whom he had three children. He is survived by two of his children.