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It may be the chicest family photo album ever assembled.
Authors Maria Cooper Janis and G. Bruce Boyer held court at Paul Stuart in New York last month, signing copies of their new book, Gary Cooper: Enduring Style (Powerhouse Books, $60), a rich compilation of never-before-seen personal photographs of the movie icon one critic called the embodiment of “perfect masculine grace.”
The sepia-tone images were shot mainly by Cooper’s wife, Veronica, a New York debutante nicknamed “Rocky,” who carefully preserved them in albums with handwritten notes on where each photo was taken, according to Cooper Janis, the couple’s daughter. Boyer, a longtime fashion journalist, notes how Cooper “so adroitly combined the down-to-earth touch of the common man with the sharp elegance of a film hero.”
With a foreword by Ralph Lauren, the book shows him fishing, shooting a pistol and horseback riding—always with impeccable style. Nor did it hurt that, as designer Bill Blass is quoted as saying, “He was the best-looking son of a bitch who ever lived.”