Remember These Cooley High Thugs? See The Extreme Tragedy They Faced After Fame

Posted On : May 27, 2017
Cooley High: (L-R) Sherman Smith (‘Stone’), Norman Gibson (‘Robert’), Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (‘Cochise’), and Glynn Turman (‘Preach’)

ILOSM fam’ remember the gangsters, ‘Robert’ and ‘Rick Stone’ from the 1975 classic film, Cooley High? They were the classmates who took ‘Cochise’ and ‘Preach’ for a joyride in a stolen car after leaving a house party. Then they were arrested, released, and eventually caught Cochise, beat him, and left him for dead underneath the train tracks. Now here’s what you didn’t know about the real life of the two cats who played the gangsters…

Friends & Criminals In Real Life

‘Rick Stone’ was played by Sherman Smith and ‘Robert’ was played by Norman Gibson. They were actually friends in real life, but the reason they were so convincing in their Cooley High gangster roles was because they were also gangsters in real life. They were stick-up men who robbed folks around town for a living.

How Did Two Street Dudes Land Cooley High Role?

Cooley High: Sherman Smith (‘Stone’) pictured second from left

So how in the hell did two street cats from Chi-town end up in one of the most iconic Black films in history? The director, of the Eric Monte written film was Michael Shultz and he was in town searching for authentic characters to fill the gangster roles. After getting a tip from Chicago police who knew all about Sherman and Norman’s criminal ways, Michael sought them out. What happened next is very interesting…

Planned To Rob ‘Cooley High’ Cast & Crew

Sherman revealed in a recent interview with N’Digo Eye On Chi, that he and Norman were walking down the street when Michael rolled up on them in a limo, asking them to read for the parts. Their instant reaction was to go to the set so they could rob everybody in the building! Long story short, thankfully that didn’t happen because they ended up getting the role.


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