Child superstar who later on played the function of Uncle Fester in the Addams Family members and whose economic earnings as a kid inspired The Coogan Work, a children’s economic protection rules. He began executing as a child in film and vaudeville before getting uncovered by Charlie Chaplin. He proceeded to go from dance in Chaplin movies to starring being a macabre uncle. He wedded first wife, Betty Grable in 1937, as well as the few divorced 2 yrs afterwards. He starred within the Addams Family members with John Astin.
Full Name Jackie Coogan
Date Of Birth October 26, 1914
Died March 1, 1984, Santa Monica, California, United States
Place Of Birth Los Angeles, CA
Profession TV Actor
Education Santa Clara University
Spouse Dorothea Lamphere, Ann McCormack, Flower Parry, Betty Grable
Children Christopher Fenton Coogan, Leslie Diane Coogan, John Anthony Coogan, Joann Dolliver Coogan
Movies The Kid, Halloween with the New Addams Family, Oliver Twist, A Day's Pleasure, The Shakiest Gun in the West, The Rag Man, Cahill U.S. Marshal, Mesa of Lost Women, High School Confidential, Tom Sawyer, Girl Happy, The Space Children, Sex Kittens Go to College, The Joker Is Wild, No Place to Land, Old Clothes, Little Robinson Crusoe, Huckleberry Finn, Lonelyhearts, My Boy, Circus Days, A Fine Madness, Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype, The Escape Artist, The Prey, The Buster Keaton Story, Outlaw Women, The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery, When the Girls Take Over, Human Experiments, The Phantom of Hollywood, The Bugle Call, Eighteen and Anxious, Sky Patrol, Home on the Range, Daddy, Rogue's Gallery, Marlowe, Sherlock Holmes in New York, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood, Free and Easy, Night of the Quarter Moon, Peck's Bad Boy, Million Dollar Legs, A Boy of Flanders, Character Studies, Long Live the King, Buttons, Skipalong Rosenbloom, French Leave, The Essential Charlie Chaplin: Vol. 11
TV Shows Unknown Chaplin, The Addams Family, McKeever and the Colonel, Cowboy G-Men
Star Sign Scorpio
He starred in "Forever Ernest," a 1930s radio show, but it was canceled.
Coogan enlisted in the Army in March 1941. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he requested a transfer to the US Army Air Force as a glider pilot because of his civilian flying experience. After graduating from glider school, he was made a flight officer and volunteered for hazardous duty with the 1st Air Commando Group. In December 1943 the unit was sent to India, where he flew British troops and landed them at night 100 miles behind enemy lines in Burma on March 5, 1944,.
His parents, Lillian and John Coogan were seasoned career vaudevillians who first presented Jackie to stage audiences at 16 months.
During the mid-'30s he led a 17-piece orchestra on a tour of one-night stands. He claimed to have earned $12,000 a week.
Coogan worked to raise $1,000,000 for Armenians and Greeks displaced during World War I, working with Near East Relief. He toured across the US and Europe in 1924 on a "Children's Crusade" as part of a fund-raising drive, which ended up providing more than $1,000,000 in clothing, food, and other contributions (worth more than $13 million adjusted for 2012 dollars). Coogan was honored by officials in the US, Greece, and Rome, where he met with Pope Pius XI.
Producer Sol Lesser admitted that the original master of Coogan's 1922 Oliver Twist (1922) was burned for its silver nitrate content--which was worth $80.
Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1654 Vine St.
College friend of kidnapping/murder victim Brooke Hart. It was reported that Coogan participated in the notorious lynching of Hart's killers.
Was engaged to starlet Toby Wing during much of 1935. The two broke up when Coogan went into a depression complicated by alcohol abuse after discovering his mother and stepfather squandered his childhood fortune.
Biography in "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives., Volume One, 1981-1985," pp. 174-176. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
During his service in the US Army, in March 1944, he served in the China-Burma-India Theater as the pilot of a CG-4A Waco (a wood-and-canvas transport glider).
He was engaged to stunning actress Toby Wing in 1935. When approached for autographs while dating her he would often write inscriptions backward to impress her, more or less confusing the autograph seeker. They eventually broke up over differences in their temperaments, just adding to 1935 being probably the single worst year of his life given his father's death and mother's refusal to pay out his childhood earnings.
Biography in "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pp. 116. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387.
His contract with Metro earned him $1 million per year. After money problems with his parents, he helped to organize and get passed in law the Coogan Bill, which protected child actors from such abuse in the future.
When he was cast as Uncle Fester on The Addams Family (1964), Coogan was 50 years old and nearly broke. After the series ended in 1966, he never lacked work again, with numerous television and film appearances.
Always considered his proudest moment his 1972 reunion with Charles Chaplin. After two decades of exile from the United States, Chaplin returned in March of that year to receive the Handel Medallion in New York City and a special lifetime achievement Oscar in Hollywood. Coogan was one of several people on hand to greet Chaplin when he arrived at Los Angeles International Airport. After greeting the other members of the party with perfunctory handshakes, Chaplin, immediately recognized Coogan (whom he hadn't seen in decades), warmly embraced him, saying, "You know, I think I would rather see you than anybody else." Chaplin later told Coogan's wife, "You must never forget that your husband is a genius.".
Although he eventually reconciled with his mother and stepfather after the lawsuit over his earnings, things were never the same, and his advice to future child stars was "stay away from mothers."
In 1935, at age 21, he had the traumatic experience of losing his father, Jack Coogan Sr., and his best friend, actor Junior Durkin, when both were killed in an auto accident in the California mountains. Durkin died almost instantly at the scene, and Coogan Sr., who had been driving, a few hours later at a local hospital. Jackie, though badly injured, was the sole survivor of the accident. He would later call it the single saddest day of his life.
[Asked about what gratified him most after a long life] he thing I am proudest of is that I've never been beaten at Scrabble."
I drank milk from my own ranch. I had a 65' by 80' room filled with toy trains and my own golf course and football field in my backyard. Other boys went to see Babe Ruth. Babe Ruth came to see me.
Hollywood is a lovely place to get knifed in. Today's stars are deadheads compared to the Doug Fairbanks, Errol Flynns, and Clark Gables of my day. Whatever happened to the strong leading man with no hang-ups? And today's child stars? I don't see the ability of any of these kids to carry a picture by themselves... I think their ability lasts as long as a commercial; on, off, hey, wasn't he cute?
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