Picks and Pans Review: Please Don't Shoot My Dog
by Jackie Cooper with Dick Kleiner
Cooper, the hopelessly cute star of 1931 's The Champ and the Our Gang comedies, writes in this autobiography, "All the kid stars had a tough row to hoe because the public smothered them with so much love they couldn't grow up, and after that, they never could find enough love to flourish." Among the many, many flings he reports was one with Joan Crawford when he was a teenager and she a 30ish leading lady with rather kinky tastes. Cooper's second career in TV is the source of fascinating tales as well, particularly his account of an unsuccessful attempt to sell a series called Calhoun, about a county agricultural agent. More recently he has worked as a director. On M*A*S*H, he found Alan Alda aloof and Loretta Swit uncooperative. Cooper and Kleiner, a veteran Hollywood columnist, dwell overly on Jackie's adolescent identity crisis at age 57. And they switch back to his childhood too often. But as these books go, Cooper's life makes interesting reading, and his candor is admirable. (Morrow, $12.95)
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