05/04/2011 at 05:50 PM EDT
Jackie Cooper, an Oscar-nominated child star who went on to play the gruff editor of The Daily Planet in four Superman movies, has died at age 88.
Cooper died Tuesday at a hospital in Beverly Hills after a brief illness. "He was a lovely man and I will miss him," his agent Ronnie Lief tells PEOPLE.
At the age of 9, Cooper became first child actor ever to be nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award, for his role in Skippy in 1931, and continued to thrive in show business as an adult.
Along with his film and TV acting credits – which included turns on Murder, She Wrote and St. Elsewhere – he also was an Emmy-winning TV director.
Reporting by DAHVI SHIRA