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Elizabeth Cooper[1] (died June 29, 1960) was a Filipino film actress. In addition to her movie career, she was also known for her relationship with General Douglas MacArthur. She was a Scottish-Filipina actress.

Born in the Philippines as Isabel Rosario Cooper, she was famous as the first recipient of an on-screen kiss in a Filipino movie. When she was sixteen years old she met US General Douglas MacArthur and became his mistress. He arranged for her to follow him to Washington, D.C..

While serving as Army Chief of Staff in the 1930s, MacArthur filed a libel action against a journalist on the The Washington Post, Drew Pearson. When Pearson added Cooper to his list of witnesses to be deposed, MacArthur dropped the suit. MacArthur subsequently paid Cooper $15,000 to leave Washington, the money allegedly delivered by his aide, Dwight Eisenhower.

Contents

Film career

She was born as Isabel Rosario Cooper to a Scottish father and Chinese-Filipina mother. She was nicknamed "Dimples". As a teenager she travelled around Southeast Asia as a torch singer-entertainer. She broke into films by 1925. Her most prominent films were Miracles of Love (1925) and Ang Tatlong Hambog (1926). In the latter film, Cooper made Filipino film history with Luis Tuason when they performed the very first kissing scene in Philippine film history. Cooper made her last movie, Ikaw Pala, in 1941 under LVN Pictures.

Relationship with General MacArthur

Cooper caught the eye of the American General Douglas MacArthur, then commander of all U.S. troops in the Philippines. She subsequently became his secret mistress in Manila, a fact the fifty-plus MacArthur hid from his 80 year-old mother, "Pinky" MacArthur.

She eventually ended up ensconced in an apartment in Washington, D.C. when General MacArthur was appointed Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and was transferred there, a situation which did not best suit Cooper's lively personality. According to one biographer of MacArthur, William Manchester , MacArthur "showered [Cooper] with presents and bought her many lacy tea gowns, but no raincoat. She didn't need one, he told her; her duty lay in bed."

When the secret affair threatened to become public, MacArthur brought it to an end and gave Cooper a ticket back to the Philippines which she did not use; she never returned to the Philippines.[2]

Death

Instead, she opened a hairdressing salon in the Midwest, before moving to Los Angeles some years later. As a result of the break-up with MacArthur, Cooper began a downward slide into the depression which led to her eventual suicide from an overdose of barbiturates in 1960.

Year of birth

Elizabeth Cooper's year of birth has never been definitively established. Some sources indicate that Cooper was 16 when she met MacArthur after his divorce in 1929.[3]

Filmography

  • 1925 Miracles of Love
  • 1926 Ang Tatlong Hambog
  • 1927 Fate or Consequence
  • 1941 Ikaw Pala

References

  1. ^ Karnow, Stanley. "Isabel Rosario Cooper". In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines. Random House (1989). ISBN 0394594759.
  2. ^ USAFA site.
  3. ^ American Heritage site

Bibliography

  • Manchester, William. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880–1964. Laurel: 1983. ISBN 0-440-30424-5.
  • Garcia, Jessie B. (2004). A Movie Album Quizbook. Iloilo City, Philippines: Erehwon Books & Magazine. pp. 78–80, 127. ISBN 971-93297-0-X.  

External links

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