Gladys Cooper DBE

Gladys Constance Cooper DBE (1888 - 1971)

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Gladys Constance Cooper DBE aka Buckmaster, Pearson, Merivale.
Born in 23 Ennersdale Road, Hither Green, London, England, United Kingdommap
Wife of — married (to ) in St George, Hanover Square, Middlesex,
Wife of — married (to ) in Dorking, Surrey, Englandmap
Wife of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Mother of , and [private daughter (1920s - unknown)]
Died in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdommap
Profile last modified | Created 6 Dec 2016
This page has been accessed 282 times.

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Occupation: Stage and film actress.

Gladys Constance Cooper, a journalist's daughter was born on 18 Dec 1888 in Lewisham to Charles William Frederick Cooper and his wife, Mabel Barnett and spent most of her childhood in Chiswick.

She was the sister of Doris Mabel (Cooper) Dickens (1891 - 1987) and Grace Muriel Cooper (1893 - 1982).

Married three times, she was the wife of: (1) Herbert John Buckmaster (from 1908 to 1921) (2) Neville Arthur Pearson (from 1928 to 1936) (3) Philip Merivale (from 1937 until his death in 1946)

She was the mother of Joan North Buckmaster, John Rodney North Buckmaster and Sally Pearson.

Gladys Constance Cooper Merivale died on 17 Nov 1971, aged 82.

Career Synopsis and Achievements

She was a child model from the age of 6 and became a stage actress in 1905, making her stage debut on tour with Seymour Hicks in the musical "Bluebell in Fairyland" before working in pantomime and the Gaiety theatre chorus.

She worked on a number of silent movies from 1913 onwards (the first of which was "The Eleventh Commandment") until just after the first world war, whilst continuing full time on the stage. Critcal success came in 1922 for her role in "The Second Mrs. Tanqueray" when she was in her mid-thirties.

She jointly managed the Playhouse Theatre with Frank Curzon from 1917 for a decade before managing it solo from 1927 until she left in 1933, whilst still appearing on the stage numerous times.

She made her first talking picture, "The Iron Duke", in the early 1930's and international success on the stage followed as she appeared in New York, London, Montreal and on Broadway through the latter half of the decade.

Moving to Hollywood in 1940, she took up full time film acting, whilst appearing in only a couple of stage plays during that time.

Gaining a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer In 1945, she appeared for them in both drama and comedy films.

She was nominated three times for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the films "Now, Voyager" (1942), "The Song of Bernadette" (1943) and "My Fair Lady" (1964).

The 1950's and 1960's saw more stage work between films and Gladys received two Tony Award nominations for Best Actress in a Play for her roles in "The Chalk Garden" (1955/6) and "A Passage to India" (1962).

In later years, she was also to do some television work, including three episodes of the series, "The Twilight Zone" and the 30 episode single series "The Rogues", for which she won a Golden Globe award.

In 1967 at age 79, she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).

Her final major success on stage was in 1970–71 at age 82, in the role of Mrs. St. Maugham in Enid Bagnold's The Chalk Garden, a role she had previously taken on Broadway and London's West End in the 1950's.

See for full career biography.
See for a slideshow of Gladys Cooper photographs.


  • "England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008," database, FamilySearch ( : 1 October 2014), Gladys Constance Cooper, 1889; from "England & Wales Births, 1837-2006," database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing Birth Registration, Lewisham, London, England, citing General Register Office, Southport, England.
  • "England and Wales Census, 1891," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 15 October 2015), Gladys C Cooper in household of Charles W F Cooper, Fulham, London, England; from "1891 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast ( : n.d.); citing PRO RG 12, London county, subdistrict, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.
  • "England and Wales Census, 1901," database, FamilySearch ( : 29 August 2015), Gladys C Cooper in household of Charles W F Cooper, Twickenham, Middlesex, England; from "1901 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast ( : n.d.); citing Twickenham subdistrict, PRO RG 13, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.
  • "England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005," database, FamilySearch ( : 13 December 2014), Gladys Constance Cooper, 1908; from “England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005,” database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing 1908, quarter 4, vol. 1A, p. 897, St. George Hanover Square, London, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.
  • "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch ( : 6 December 2014), Gladys Buckmaster, 17 Jan 1923; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New york, ship name Olympic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • "England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005," database, FamilySearch ( : 8 October 2014), Gladys C Cooper and null, 1928; from “England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005,” database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing 1928, quarter 2, vol. 2A, p. 455, Dorking, Surrey, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.
  • "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 2 October 2015), Gladys Merivale, 1950; citing Immigration, New York City, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • "United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 July 2016), Gladys Cooper in entry for John Merivale, Colorado, United States, 07 Feb 1990; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, ( : 2014); citing Rocky Mountain News, born-digital text.

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Images: 1
Gladys Cooper and children
Gladys Cooper and children

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Gladys is 33 degrees from Rosa Parks, 26 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 15 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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