Dimples Cooper, Silent Movie Actress in Philippine Cinema

September 20, 2019

Arcihvo screeningLast September 7, I managed to watch the video clips from some films where Elizabeth “Dimples” Cooper had bit roles. Held at ARCHIVO 1984 Gallery in Chino Roces St., formerly Pasong Tamo, Makati City, the 11-minute or so multi-video show by Fil-Am artist Miljohn Ruperto fascinated me seeing everything de-focused except Cooper. Technically, computer graphics effects must have done the magic! The video only presentation consist of several spliced clips from different prewar movies. I was quite happy to see a 16-mm projector after many years. It quite differs from what we used to have at the UP Film Center.

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Elizabeth “Dimples” Cooper

Dimples Cooper or Isabel Rosario Cooper, was the silent movie star who did Asia’s first onscreen kiss with Luis Tuason in “Tatlong Hambug,” a film directed by Jose Nepomuceno in 1926. She was Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s mistress for 15 years until she was dumped and had to do bit roles in some Hollywood films. (Below is an interesting collection of photos featuring MacArthur and Dimples, courtesy of youtube)

I thank Teddy Co for the invitation as I would have missed the show if the info was not passed on to me. Before leaving I met Lito Bonus, who surprisingly remembered me as Tikoy Aguiluz’s Boatman editor. He was part of the production crew, I believe.

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With Lito Bonus

On September 25 next week, the Movie Art of Vicente Bonus (set designer, art director, production designer), Lito’s father will be exhibited. The series of exhibition is part of the Centennial Celebrations of Philippine Cinema.


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