Obituary of James Robb
Cooper Robb, drama critic and adjunct professor of theater and communications at Bucks County Community College, died June 22. He was 59. His husband, Karl Carter, was with him when he died after a long illness.
Raised in Devon and Mt. Airy, PA, Cooper was drawn to acting at a very early age, constructing a variety of Christmas and holiday plays, involving himself and his brothers. He loved the family dogs, a succession of Dalmatians and Jack Russell terriers. In his 33 years with Karl, they were devoted to their beloved Dalmatians.
Cooper attended Germantown Friends School, received a BA from Temple University, and an MA in Theater from Villanova University. He was drama critic for The Philadelphia Weekly, and also wrote reviews online and for Philadelphia theaters. Cooper had a strong empathy with the actors and a good feel for the essence and structure of a play. He was thrilled when he had a chance to interview his favorite playwright, Tom Stoppard, when several of his plays opened in Philadelphia.
Cooper liked all sports, for a time he was Sports Writer for the Chestnut Hill Local, and he was an especially avid fan and player of tennis. He was a ball boy at the Merion Cricket Club, where he saw the toll a professional tennis player’s life could take on one’s character. He deeply admired Roger Federer for combining exemplary ability, elegance and sportsmanship in his play.
Cooper taught a variety of courses on theater and communications. As an adjunct professor at Bucks County Community College, Rider University and Thomas Edison University, his great joy came from interacting with his students and sharing his life-long love of theater with them.
Relatives and friends are invited to a memorial service for Cooper at 11:00 AM Saturday, August 3 at the Arden Theater. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Cooper’s memory may be made to the Arden Theatre Company’s Artistic Fund, 40 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
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