Veronica (Balfe) Cooper (1913 - 2000)

Veronica (Balfe) Cooper
1913 - 2000
updated February 29, 2020
Veronica (Balfe) Cooper was born on May 27, 1913 in New York. She was born into the Balfe family and married into the Cooper family. She married Gary Cooper. Veronica died on February 16, 2000 at 86 years old.

Veronica Balfe Cooper
Gary Cooper's wife nicknames "Rocky,"
Born Veronica Balfe
May 27, 1913
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
Died February 16, 2000 (aged 86)
Southampton, Suffolk County, New York, U.S.
Other names: Sandra Shaw, Rocky Cooper
Occupation Actress
Years active 1933
Spouse(s) Gary Cooper
(m. 1933; d. 1961)
John Converse
(m. 1964; d. 1981)
Children 1
Relatives Cedric Gibbons (maternal uncle)
Veronica Cooper (née Balfe; May 27, 1913 – February 16, 2000) was an American actress who appeared in The Gay Nighties under the name Sandra Shaw. She was the wife of the actor Gary Cooper and mother of painter Maria Cooper Janis.
Veronica Balfe was born to Veronica Gibbons and Harry Balfe, Jr. Following her parents' divorce, she lived in Paris with her mother. Veronica did not see her father for many years, but kept in touch with her grandfather, who owned a ranch in California. Balfe saw her father a few years before his death in the 1950s. Her mother married Paul Shields, a successful Wall Street financier.
An avid sportswoman, Balfe was known to her friends by the nickname 'Rocky".
Balfe was sent to Miss Bennett's School for Girls for her education. In 1933, she went to see her uncle, Cedric Gibbons, in Hollywood. She played parts in King Kong, Blood Money, and No Other Woman, as well as the sleepwalking countess in the Clark & McCullough comedy short The Gay Nighties (1933). She also played herself in Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 3 (1942), and appeared in a few television shows and documentaries.
Personal life
Balfe married actor Gary Cooper on December 15, 1933, at her mother's home at 778 Park Avenue, New York; the wedding had been planned for the Waldorf Astoria hotel, but the location was probably changed to avoid public attention. In 1937, Balfe gave birth to their daughter, Maria Veronica Cooper. Following Cooper's death, Balfe married John Converse in 1964. She was an enthusiastic sportswoman and was the female California skeet champion in the 1930s. She also enjoyed golf, swimming, tennis, and scuba-diving.
She and her daughter were both devout Catholics.
Balfe died in Suffolk County, New York, on February 16, 2000.
Year Film Role Notes
1933 No Other Woman Uncredited
King Kong Woman grabbed out of bed by Kong while he is climbing a building in New York City, then dropped to her death[a] Uncredited[4]
The Gay Nighties The Sleepwalking Countess
Blood Money Girl at Racetrack Uncredited
1942 Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No.3 Herself

Veronica (Balfe) Cooper Biography

edit Vital facts & highlights of Veronica's life to share with the world.

Veronica (Balfe) Cooper
Most commonly known name
First name
Middle name
Maiden name
Cooper, Balfe
Last name(s)
Nickname(s) or aliases
Unknown. Did Veronica move a lot? Where was her last known location?
Last known residence
Veronica Cooper was born on in Kings County, New York United States
Veronica Cooper died on
Veronica Cooper was born on in Kings County, New York United States
Veronica Cooper died on
There is no cause of death listed for Veronica.
Cause of death
Do you know the final resting place - gravesite in a cemetery or location of cremation - of Veronica (Balfe) Cooper?
Burial / Funeral

Ethnicity & Lineage

What is Veronica's ethnicity and where did her parents, grandparents & great-grandparents come from?

Nationality & Locations Lived



Unknown. Was Veronica a religious woman?


Miss Bennett's School for Girls for her education.



Personal Life & Organizations

Share some highlights of Veronica's personal life & organizations in which they participated.

Military Service

Did Veronica serve in the military or did a war or conflict interfere with her life?

Average Age

Life Expectancy

Looking for a different Veronica Cooper?
View other bios of people named Veronica Cooper
Back to Top

Veronica (Balfe) Cooper Family Tree

Veronica's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Cooper family tree.

Veronica's Family

Add a parent
Add a parent
Veronica (Balfe) Cooper
Add a partner
Add a child
Add a partner
Add a child
Add a sibling



Veronica (Balfe) Cooper & Gary Cooper

Veronica (Balfe) Cooper


May 7, 1901 - May 13, 1961


Click to add friends & family.

Veronica's Family Photos

Photos and snapshots taken of Veronica (Balfe) Cooper, her Cooper family, and locations and places or events from her life.


Share Memories about Veronica

What do you remember about Veronica (Balfe) Cooper? Share your memories of special moments and stories you have heard about her. Or just leave a comment to show the world that Veronica is remembered.

Veronica Cooper Obituary

This obit of Veronica (Balfe) Cooper is maintained by Veronica's followers. Contribute to her obituary and include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Veronica Cooper Converse, Widow of Gary Cooper, 86
MARCH 7, 2000

Veronica Cooper Converse, the widow of the actor Gary Cooper, died on Feb. 16 at her home in Manhattan. She was 86.

Ms. Converse married Mr. Cooper in 1933.

After his death in 1961 she married Dr. John Converse, a plastic surgeon, who died in 1981.

Known as Rocky, Ms. Cooper was the daughter of a governor of the New York Stock Exchange.
She occasionally worked as an actress under the name Sandra Shaw.

She was an active fund-raiser for the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at New York University Medical Center.

In her youth Ms. Converse was a noted athlete; she was the California State Woman's Skeet Champion, as well as a golfer, swimmer, scuba diver, surfer and tennis player.

She was born in Brooklyn, and is survived by her daughter, Maria Cooper Janis.

Followers & Sources
Other Records of Veronica (Balfe) Cooper

1913 - 2000 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Veronica's lifetime

In 1913, in the year that Veronica (Balfe) Cooper was born, the Philippine–American War ended for good in June. While the official end of the war was in 1902, fighting continued for several years. An estimated 200,000 to 250,000 total Filipino civilians died and although the U.S. viewed its role as a colonial presence as one of preparing the Philippines for independence, American colonization drastically changed the character off the culture. The Catholic Church was no longer the state religion and English became the primary language of the government.

In 1922, she was just 9 years old when on James Joyce's 40th birthday, his book Ulysses was published in France. The book covers the experiences of an Irishman in Dublin on an ordinary day, 16 June 1904. Now considered a classic, it was controversial at the time. Due to some sexual content, the book was banned in the U.S. during the 1920's and the U.S. Post Office destroyed 500 copies of the novel.

In 1935, by the time she was 22 years old, on September 8th, Louisiana Senator Huey Long was shot by Dr. Carl Weiss. Weiss was shot and killed immediately by Long's bodyguards - Long died two days later from his injuries. Long had received many death threats previously, as well as threats against his family. He was a powerful and controversial figure in Louisiana politics (and probably gained power through multiple criminal acts). His opponents became frustrated with their attempts to oust him and Dr. Weiss was the son-in-law of one of those opponents. His funeral was attended by 200,000 mourners.

In 1965, at the age of 52 years old, Veronica was alive when from August 11 to 16, riots broke out in Watts, a Black section of Los Angeles. An allegedly drunk African-American driver was stopped by LA police and, after a fight, police brutality was alleged - and the riots began. 34 people died in the rioting and over $40 million in property damage occurred. The National Guard was called in to help the LA police quell rioting.

In 1987, Veronica was 74 years old when on October 19th, stock exchanges around the world crashed. Beginning in Hong Kong then spreading to Europe, the crash then hit the United States. It was called Black Monday. The Dow Jones fell 508 points to 1,738.74 (22.61%).

Other Biographies

Other Coopers

1840 - 1881
1877 - 1959
Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
1944 - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Mar 20, 1891 - Aug 13, 1979
Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Aug 16, 1950 - Unknown
May 5, 1979 - Unknown
Apr 11, 1984 - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
1873 - Unknown

Other Balfes

Nov 17, 1979 - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Sep 15, 2003 - Unknown
Jul 1, 2011 - Unknown

Other Bios

Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
1931 - Unknown
1840 - 1881
1844 - 1920
1877 - 1959
Unknown - 1963
Unknown - Dec 5, 2014
Unknown - Unknown
1909 - 1969
Feb 27 - November 1995
Unknown - Unknown
1987 - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Apr 7, 1957 - Unknown
Unknown - Unknown
Success Stories from Biographies like Veronica (Balfe) Cooper
Created on Jun 04, 2020 by Daniel Pinna
Highlights of just a few of the many successes of sharing family history at AncientFaces. From reuniting lost or 'orphan' antique photos with their families, seeing the faces of your biological family for the first time, to connecting unknown and lost family members together.

These stories will warm your heart and inspire you to share photos and create biographies of the people from your past.