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William Paul Cooley

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William Paul Cooley Obituary
William Paul "Bill" Cooley, 78, died Thursday, November 3 at Cedars Sinai Hospital. Born in Hartford, Connecticut to Nora McIntyre and the late William Cooley, Bill grew up in the Hartford area. In his early 20's he moved to New York City to peruse an acting career. He studied at the Kurt Conway/Lonny Chapman Theatre Studio. His performances as Lenny in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and as Big Jule in Guys and Dolls were well received. He moved to Los Angeles in 1959 and studied with Salome Jens. His pursuit of well paid acting roles in Hollywood proved elusive. With the support of his friend Duke Howard, Bill began his 48 year career as an IATSE Local 728 studio lighting technician. He served as an alternate to the Board of Directors, campaigning as "Honest Bill Cooley." Blessed with total recall Bill loved sharing stories of rooming in NYC with Robert Duval, bumming smokes from Paul Newman, drinking with Warren Oates in the Rain Check and the genuine kindness of actors Anthony Edwards and Jimmy Smits. Bill loves in life were the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, betting the ponies, traveling in Thailand, collecting basketball and football jerseys, and enjoying his morning cup of coffee at the Sunset/Gower Starbucks. Bill is survived by his centenarian mother Nora, his loving friend Claudia Eastman of Hollywood, and cousins, Tom Wilenski, Maureen Kummer, JoAnne McKeon, Lorrie Johnson, Terry Jedynak, Sandra Gingras and the entire Bomblevich family of New Jersey. As well as his acting friends, Bill Saks, Duke Howard, and Gene Borkan. Services will be private. Donations in Bill's name can be made to Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, Paul Newman's Painted Turtle Camp in Lake Hughes and your local animal shelter.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 12, 2016
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