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Michelle P.

Featured Character Actor - Ben Cooper

Unfortunately, I was unable to find any pictures of Ben Cooper, but I did include his pic from The Rifleman...

Ben Cooper was born on September 30, 1933 (though Wikipedia mentions that lists his birth year as 1930) in Hartford, CT.

There is very little known about his personal life.  He does have two daughters with his wife, Pamela, whom he married in 1960.

Ben Cooper won the Golden Boot award in 2005 for his role in various westerns as both a good guy and a bad guy.


Ben got his first film acting role. uncredited, in the 1950 movie “Side Street.”  Also in 1950, he played Michael in the 1950 episode of Suspense titled “The Tip.”

In 1951, Ben played in two television episodes.  He played in “Fireside Theatre’s” Deliver Us From Evil and “Armstrong Circle Theatre’s” The Commandant’s Clock.”

Again, only two acting roles were awarded to Ben in 1952.  He played in the movie “Thunderbird” and in a second episode of “Armstrong Circle Theatre”: Changing Dream.

1953 was more promising for the young actor.  He appeared in movies such as
Woman They Almost Lynched

A Perilous Journey
Sea of Lost Ships
Flight Nurse

Then in 1954, he appeared in:
Johnny Guitar
The Outcast
Hell’s Outpost:  I found a clip, but I’m not sure if that’s Ben or not.  Kinda sounds like him…

Although Ben was still playing in mostly movies the following year, in 1955, he played in a Schlitz Playhouse of Stars episode titled “On the Nose.”  He played in:
The Last Command
Headline Hunters
The Rose Tattoo
The Fighting Chance

He played in another episode of “Schlitz Playhouse of Stars” the following year (I’ll Wait for You).  Ben was only cast in two movies during the year 1956:
Rebel in Town
A Strange Adventure

He also played in his very first television Western  in 1956.  What better way to start off his television western career then in the famous Zane Grey Theater (Vengeance Canyon).



And in 1957, he only played in:
Duel at Apache Wells
Outlaw’s Son

He appeared in nothing during the year 1958, but made up for this when he began concentrating more on television shows in 1959.  During that year, he appeared in The Millionaire (Millionaire Alicia Osante), Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond (Front Runner), and these television Westerns:  
Wichita Town (Passage to the Enemy)
Tales of Wells Fargo (Home Town)
Wagon Train (The Steve Campden Story).
Zane Grey (The Sunrise Gun)
Michelle P.

Then his Western television career took off from there!  In the 1960’s, Ben played in many Westerns, which later got him the “Golden Boot” award:
1960: Johnny Ringo (The Reno Brothers)
1960: Zane Grey (Miss Jenny)
1960: Zane Grey (Desert Flight)
1960:  Stagecoach West (The Saga of Jeremy Boone)


1960: The Westerner (Hand on the Gun)
1960:  Bonanza (Showdown)


1961:  Bonanza (The Horsebreaker)


1961: The Rifleman (Face of Yesterday)
1961: Gunsmoke (Apprentice Doc)


1962: Laramie (The Runt)


1962: Laramie (Gun Duel)
1964: Rawhide (The Photographer)
1965: Gunsmoke (Breckinridge)
1965: Gunsmoke (The Tall Men)
1969: Death Valley Days (Biscuits and Billy the Kid)
1970: The Virginian (With Love, Bullets and Valentines)
1974: Kung Fu (The Cenotaph: Part 2)

He also managed to play in some non-western television shows:
The Best of the Post (Command) in 1960
The Americans (The Sentry) in 1961

The Twilight Zone (Still Valley) in 1961:  This one could actually go under Westerns since it was set during the Civil War.  This stuff sure is freaky!


Adventures in Paradise (The Trial of Adam Troy) in 1961
Perry Mason (The Case of the Impatient Partner) in 1961
Perry Mason (The case of the Promoter’s Pillbox) in 1962
Perry Mason (The Case of the Polka-dot Pony) in 1962
Window on Main Street (The Exclusive Story) in 1962
Combat (Next in Command) in 1963
Kraft Suspense Theatre (Won’t it Ever Be Morning?) in 1965
Combat (Main Event) in 1965
Perry Mason (The Case of the Mischievous Doll) in 1965
Perry Mason (The Case of the Baffling Bug) in 1965
The Time Tunnel (One Way to the Moon) in 1966
Premiere (The Freebooters) in 1968
The Outsider (Behind Gods Back) in 1969
It Takes a Thief (The Great Chess Gambit) in 1969
Mannix (The Playground) in 1969
Marcus Welby, M.D. (Sea of Security) in 1970
Adam-12 (Log 95: Purse Snatcher) in 1970
Mannix (To Cage a Seagull) in 1970
Funny Face (The Repairman Cheateth) in 1971
Room 222 (Stay Awhile, Mr. Dream Chaser) in 1971
Lucas Tanner (Cheers) in 1974
B.J. and the Bear (Lobo) in 1979

The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo:  He played Waverly in 5 episodes (1979-1980)  If interested, you can watch the entire episode on You Tube.


The Fall Guy:  After finishing with Sheriff Lobo, he went on to play Director in The Fall Guy.  He played in 7 episodes from 1981-1983.

Who’s the Boss? (Truth in Dating) in 1984
1st & Ten (By the Bulls) in 1984
Dallas (Dead Ends) in 1985
Dallas (Terms of Estrangement) in 1985
Knots Landing (His Brother’s Keeper) in 1986
L..A. Law (Gibbon Takes) in 1986
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (The Promise) in 1995

As well as movies…
Chartroose Caboose in 1960
Gunfight at Comanche Creek in 1963
The Raiders (1963)
Arizona Raiders (1965)
Waco (1966)
Red Tomahawk (1967)

The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967)
Part 1:
He plays a small part.  The entire movie is available on You Tube.  Enjoy!

One More Train to Rob (1971)

Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971):  I watched this online for free, but it’s apparently been removed…


The Sky’s The Limit (1975)
Lightening Jack (1984)
Michelle P.

Finally, I want to throw this one in. Some cowboys were interviewed at the 2006 Gold Boot Awards.


He was the Masters of Ceramonies at the 2006 Golden Boot Awards.

I just love Ben Cooper!  I met him several times & had talked to him on the phone.  What a sweetie.

He like Robert Fuller are great story tellers.

I think my favorite of his is Zane Grey Theater (Vengeance Canyon).
Excellent episode.  Ben & Walter Brennan are great together and the story to this is fantastic!

Of course this one is from Face of Yesterday

I also got him to sign one just like this.  He really liked this photo and asked me where I got it.  So the next time I took him a copy of this plus some other pictures from The Rifleman.  

Here are a couple more pictures of Ben.....

What a great tribute to a great man!

You did good Michelle!  Thanks for posting!

What a nice post and info on Ben. Just watched Vengeance Canyon the other night and I agree, great episode. Enjoyed all of this.

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