Merian Coldwell Cooper

Merian Coldwell Cooper

Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, USA
Death 21 Apr 1973 (aged 79)
Coronado, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea
Memorial ID 12822771 View Source
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The producer of the 1933 version of King Kong, he has a long history in the film world.
In 1920, Merian C. Cooper was a member of volunteer of the American Kosciuszko Squadron that supported the Polish army in the war with Soviet Russia, where he met best friend and producing partner Ernest B. Schoedsack. On 26 July 1920 his plane was shot down and he spent nearly nine months in the Soviet prisoner-of-war camp. He escaped just before the war was over. He was decorated by Marshall Jozef Pilsudski with the highest military decorations: Virtuti Military. He had a successful career in the military and in the movie business.
Being the producer of King Kong (1933), he personally removed a clip from King Kong in which four sailors, after Kong shook them off a log bridge, fall into a ravine, where they are eaten alive by giant spiders because, when previewed in January 1933, audience members either left in terror or talked about the ghastly scene during the entire movie.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But, his name is misspelled as "Meriam C. Cooper."

Honored by NBC Radio's "This Is Your Life" (5 April 1949). Guests included Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Fay Wray, and wife Dorothy Jordan.

Entered the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1915. He left in his senior year. In 1916, he joined the Georgia National Guard to help chase Pancho Villa in Mexico.

Biography: John Wakeman, editor, "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945," pp. 147-152. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

Was John Ford's favorite producer with whom to work.

Cooper had a bizarre dream about a giant ape that was destroying New York City and recorded it when woke up. This was the basis for the classic King Kong (1933), which he developed and produced.

He and Robert Armstrong, who played Carl Denham in King Kong (1933), died within 16 hours of each other.

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