The American actor, still the youngest to receive an Academy Award nomination in that category, passed away on Tuesday at a Los Angeles hospital.
He maintained his fame as an adult thanks to his appearances in four original films from the "Superman" saga, where he played Perry White, the brusque editor of the Daily Planet.
He also received two Emmy Awards as a director for his work on the TV series "MASH," in 1974, and "The White Shadow," in 1979.
Cooper was one of the best-known child actors in the United States during the 1930s, along with Shirley Temple. After his role in "Skippy," he appeared in successful films of the era such as "The Champ," "The Bowery," "Treasure Island" and "O'Shaughnessy's Boy," in which he shared the screen with Wallace Beery.
His career began to slide due to World War Two, when he left Hollywood to throw himself into New York stage work.
Years later, however, he returned to the movie mecca, but it was then to involve himself in television, where he once again found success thanks to his roles in the comedies "The People's Choice" from 1955 to 1958 and "Hennessey" from 1959 to 1962, for which he obtained his two Emmy nominations.
Standing out in his TV work are his credits on "Columbo," "Kojak," "Murder, She Wrote" and "St. Elsewhere."
Cooper was married three times and had four children. His autobiography - "Please Don't Shoot My Dog" - was published in 1982.