He was a movie star from the 1930s-50s and was a very famous child star since he started out in the "Our Gang" series of shorts in the 1930s.
The "Our Gang" shorts were played on afternoon tv when I was a child in the 1970s and hosted by Spanky McFarland who was a central cast member for a period of time in 1930s through 40s, and an adult by the 1970s. Back then, I didn't really make that connection of course so had no idea such a huge amount of time had passed.
I loved the years of the shorts (the early 1930s ones) with Jackie Cooper in them and his never ending love for Miss Crabtree the school teacher.
I just thought Jackie Cooper was cute when I was 6-8 years old. I had no idea at that age that the shorts were very old and the kids were adults already. This may see strange since the shorts are black/white and have out of date fashions on the characters. I just figured that was the way they were filmed. Maybe because I was living in Southern California near the center of movie-making this did not seem far-fetched in my mind. The kids in the shorts acted like kids I knew in real life so they didn't seem "old-fashioned" to me.
Jackie just appealed to me as a little girl as I developed a huge crush on him. I ended up getting crushes on little boys who resembled him in looks. I guess you can say he was my first "type" when it came to boys.
That is why when I heard the news he had died today at 88 years old it made me feel sad. It was like a part of my childhood had died. It makes me want to dig out my old Our Gang VHS tapes and watch the Jackie Cooper/Miss Crabtree episodes.
R.I.P. Jackie Cooper!