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Thomas Judge “Tex” Cooper

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin: TX
Last known City:
Last known State: CA
Start/Birth date: 1876
Death/End date: 1951

Born April 2, 1876 in Texas, the oldest of 12 children. His father was a Seventh Day Adventist preacher and farmer. Sick of beatings and mistreatment by his father, Cooper broke all family ties and ran away at age 16. He made a new life as “Tex” a cowboy. He developed many skills and performed in Wild West shows for the Miller Brothers (101 Ranch) and “Buffalo Bill” Cody throughout Europe and the US. He was a picturesque show announcer and a flamboyant parade marshal, easily spotted by his long white hair and florid mustache. Cooper moved from 101, performer to Colonel Miller's 101 Bison Movie Company in California making movies with friends Tom Mix and Hoot Gibson from 1911-1937. He ultimately performed in literally hundreds of B-Westerns, 116 in the sound era alone. Even in the background, watching a shootout in the street or in a skirmish outside the sheriff's office, every kid in the audience cheered when he appeared. “Tex” was married to Nona, a Hungarian midget who also performed in movies and was reputedly one of the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz.

 

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