1961-05-13 Los Angeles, USA / Do not forsake me oh my Darling / Lass mich nicht im Stich, mein Schatz / Não me abandone, oh meu Amor / No me abandones, oh mi Amor

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Our entertainment-saturated Society helps feed all sorts of illusions about reality. The fantasy of the perfect romantic and sexual relationship, the perfect lifestyle, and the perfect body all prove unattainable because the reality never lives up to the expectation.

The worst fallout comes in the marriage relationship. When two people can not live up to each other’s expectations, they will look for their fantasized satisfaction in the next relationship, in the next experience, in the next excitement. But that path leads only to self-destruction and emptiness.

When husbands and wives forsake their Love, their marriage fails. When marriage fails, the whole family falls apart; when the family fails, the whole Society suffers. And stories of societal suffering fill the headlines every day.

Put aside your own likes, desires, opinions, preferences, and welfare to please your partner and meet his/her needs, then you are truly dying to self to live for your partner. And that is what Love demands. Love wants only the best for the one it loves.

Do not forsake me, oh, my Darling
On this, our wedding day
Do not forsake me, oh, my Darling
Wait, wait along

I do not know what fate awaits me
I only know I must be brave
And I must face a man who hates me
Or lie a coward, a craven coward
Or lie a coward in my grave

Oh, to be torn ‘tweenst love and duty
Supposin’ I lose my fair-haired beauty
Look at that big hand move along
Nearing high noon

He made a vow while in state prison
Vowed it would be my life or his, and
I’m not afraid of death, but, oh
What shall I do if you leave me?

Do not forsake me, oh, my Darling
You made that promise as a bride
Do not forsake me, oh, my Darling
Although you’re grieving, don’t think of leaving

Now that I need you by my side
Wait along, wait along
Wait along, wait along

On April 14, 1960, Cooper underwent surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for an aggressive form of prostate cancer that had metastasized to his colon.

He fell ill again on May 31 and underwent further surgery at Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles in early June to remove a malignant tumor from his large intestine.

On December 27, his wife learned from their family doctor that Cooper‘s cancer had spread to his lungs and bones and was inoperable. His family decided not to tell him immediately.

On January 9, 1961, Cooper attended a dinner that was given in his honor and hosted by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin at the Friars Club. The dinner was attended by many of his industry friends and concluded with a brief speech by Cooper:

The only achievement I’m proud of is the friends I’ve made in this community.

In mid-January, Cooper took his family to Sun Valley for their last vacation together. Cooper and Hemingway hiked through the snow together for the last time. On February 27, after returning to Los Angeles, Cooper learned that he was dying.

On April 17, Cooper watched the Academy Awards ceremony on television and saw his good friend James Stewart, who had presented Cooper with his first Oscar years earlier, accept on Cooper’s behalf an honorary award for lifetime achievement – his third Oscar.

Coop, I’ll get this to you right away. And Coop, I want you to know this, that with this goes all the warm friendship and the affection and the admiration and the deep, the deep respect of all of us. We’re very, very proud of you, Coop. All of us are tremendously proud.

The following day, newspapers around the world announced the news that Cooper was dying. In the coming days he received numerous messages of appreciation and encouragement, including telegrams from Pope John XXIII and Queen Elizabeth II, and a telephone call from President John F. Kennedy.

He received the last rites on May 12. Cooper died quietly the following day, Saturday, May 13, 1961, at 12:47 p.m., six days after his sixtieth birthday.

Prior to his marriage, Cooper had a series of romantic relationships with leading actresses, beginning in 1927 with Clara Bow.

In 1928, he had a relationship with another experienced actress, Evelyn Brent, whom he met while filming ‘Beau Sabreur’.

In 1929, while filming ‘The Wolf Song’, Cooper began an intense affair with Lupe Vélez, which was the most important romance of his early life.

During their two years together, Cooper also had brief affairs with Marlene Dietrich while filming ‘Morocco’ in 1930 and with Carole Lombard while making ‘I Take This Woman’ in 1931.

During his year abroad in 1931–32, Cooper had an affair with the married Countess Dorothy di Frasso, while staying at her Villa Madama near Rome.

After he was married in December 1933, Cooper remained faithful to his wife until the summer of 1942, when he began an affair with Ingrid Bergman during the production of ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’.

In 1948, after finishing work on ‘The Fountainhead’, Cooper began an affair with actress Patricia Neal, his co-star. At first they kept their affair discreet, but eventually it became an open secret in Hollywood, and Cooper‘s wife confronted him with the rumors, which he admitted were true. He also confessed that he was in Love with Neal, and continued to see her.

Cooper and his wife were legally separated in May 1951, but he did not seek a divorce. Neal ended their relationship in late December 1951.

During his three-year separation from his wife, Cooper was rumored to have had affairs with Grace Kelly, Lorraine Chanel, and Gisèle Pascal.

In later life, he became involved in a relationship with the costume designer, Irene, and was, according toIrene, ‘the only man she ever loved’.

A year after his death in 1961, Irene committed suicide by jumping from the 11th floor of the Knickerbocker Hotel, after telling Doris Day of her grief over Cooper‘s death.

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