Cooper is a native son - born and raised
in San Francisco's Chinatown.
He was born Alan Owyang Chow at the Chinese Hospital to Dixie Chow and
Peter D. Chow, a U.S. Navy aircraft overhaul & repair mechanic and one
of the last remaining "paper sons".
Cooper received his dramatic training with the Asian American Theater Workshop from 1975 to 1978,  which was sponsored and conducted at the
time by the American Conservatory Theater (ACT).