Gary Cooper was the foremost American screen hero—a major film actor for over thirty years, beginning with the silents. His stardom eclipsed even such successors as Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, and John Wayne. This first major biography of the hero of High Noon captures the enigmatic essence of filmland's favorite cowboy. The contrast of his public reticence and private sophistication made "Coop" a paradox not even the press could unravel. It surprised many that this cowpoke could dazzle moviegoers with his blue eyes and quiet intensity. Nevertheless, he epitomized both innocence and rakishness in a combination that was irresistible both on and off the screen. It made him one of the wealthiest and most sought-after stars in the Hollywood firmament. In his startling transformation from Montana cowboy to international playboy, Cooper attracted such vampish lovers as Clara Bow and Lupe Velez, and such savant acquaintances as Hemingway and Picasso. Yet he was the most humble and sincere cosmopolitan who ever raced through Beverly Hills in a Dusenberg. His life was like one of the movies in which he invariably "played himself"—warmly and winningly. The Last Hero is an in-depth portrait of one of America's best-loved "good guys," a close-up look at Gary Cooper, both man and myth.