Veronica Balfe

Gary Cooper + Veronica Balfe: One of Hollywood's Earliest Golden Couples

Gary Cooper was one of the hottest Hollywood actors of his time. He's still considered one of the greatest classic stars in history and was largely beloved for all of his many cowboy films — and his undeniably good looks. It took some time for Cooper to settle down with the right person. He was, after all, a major star. But when he married Veronica Balfe, it was a special kind of love that would last for the rest of his life. 

Prior to his marriage, Cooper went through a slew of leading ladies in Hollywood, starting with Clara Bow. Bow actually helped kickstart his career by helping him land the lead in Children of Divorce. The list of ladies is actually pretty impressive and includes many of his co-stars —  Evelyn Brent, Lupe Vélez,  Marlene Dietrich and Ingrid Bergman, to name a few.

Veronica Balfe, known as "Rocky" to friends and family, was born in Brooklyn, but grew up on Park Avenue in New York City. She was a debutante who was also very into sports, like golfing and scuba-diving, something she and Cooper connected over. The couple married in 1933.

Gary and Veronica Cooper had multiple homes around the country — three around Los Angeles and one in Aspen, Colorado. They spent a lot of time at Rocky's parents' home in Southampton, New York. Rocky even dabbled in her own acting career under the pseudonym, Sandra Shaw. Her filmography was brief, with small appearances in No Other Woman, King Kong, and Blood Money.

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In 1937, the couple gave birth to their only child, Maria Cooper Janis, who would grow up to become a painter. 

Cooper is rumored to have had affairs with several actresses, including Ingrid Bergman and Patricia Neal. The couple legally separated for three years (beginning in 1951), during which time Cooper was rumored to have relationships with his High Noon co-star Grace Kelly, Lorraine Chanel and Gisèle Pascal.

The couple got back together and Rocky Cooper stuck by her husband until his death in 1961. Rocky found love again with second husband John Converse. After Converse passed away in 1981, she didn't marry again and passed away in Suffolk County, New York in 2000. Despite their somewhat dramatic relationship, the Coopers definitely had an interesting marriage and are remembered as one of Hollywood's earliest golden couples. 

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