Jackie Coogan

Jackie Coogan

Birth nameJohn Leslie 'Jackie' Coogan
BornOctober 26, 1914
Los Angeles, California
DiedMarch 01 1984 (aged 71)
Santa Monica, California
OccupationActor
Spouse(s)Betty Grable
Flower Parry
Ann McCormack
Dorothea Lamphere
ChildrenJohn Anthony Coogan
Joann Dolliver Coogan
Lesley Diane Coogan
Christopher Fenton Coogan
ParentsJohn Henry Coogan, Jr., and Lilian Rita Dolliver Coogan


John Leslie (Jackie) Coogan (October 26, 1914March 1, 1984) was an American actor who began his movie career as a child actor in silent film.

Hollywood

Coogan was born in Woburn, Massachusettes, to John Henry Coogan, Jr., and Lilian Rita Dolliver Coogan. He began his acting career as an infant in both vaudeville and film, with an uncredited role in the 1917 film Skinner's Baby. Charlie Chaplin discovered him in a vaudeville house, doing the "shimmy," a popular dance at the time, on the stage. His father, Jack Coogan, Sr. was also an actor. The boy was a natural mimic, and delighted Chaplin with his abilities in this area. As a child actor, he is best remembered for his role as Charlie Chaplin's irascible sidekick in the film classic The Kid (1921) and for the title role in Oliver Twist, directed by Frank Lloyd, the following year. His scene in The Kid where he is taken away from the tramp character played by Chaplin and thrown into the back of a truck by the social service agents is one of the most famous scenes in cinema. He was also the first star to get heavily merchandised, with peanut butter, stationery, whistles, dolls, records, and figurines just being a sample of the Coogan merchandise. He also travelled internationally to huge crowds. Many of his early films are lost or just unavailable, but Turner Classic Movies recently presented The Rag Man with a new score. Coogan was famous for his pageboy haircut and his The Kid outfit of oversized overalls and cap, which was widely imitated, including by the young Scotty Beckett in the Our Gang films.

Coogan Bill

As a child star, Coogan earned as much as $4 million, but the money was taken by his mother Lilian and step-father Arthur Bernstein for cocaine and heroin. He sued them in 1935, but only received $126,000. The legal battle did, however, bring attention to child actors and resulted in the state of California enacting the California Child Actor's Bill, sometimes known as the Coogan Bill or the Coogan Act. This requires that the child's employer set aside 15% of the child's earnings in a trust, and codifies such issues as schooling, work hours and time-off. Jackie's mother and step-father attempted to soften the situation by pointing out that the child was having fun and thought he was playing. Virtually every child star, however, from Baby Peggy on has stated that they were keenly aware that what they were doing was work.

Tragedy struck in 1935 when Coogan's father was killed in a car crash that also claimed the life of best friend Junior Durkin, a child actor best known as "Huckleberry Finn" in two films of the early 1930s. Jackie Coogan was the sole survivor of the accident.

World War II

Coogan enlisted in the US Army in March 1941. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he requested a transfer to US Army Air Forces as a glider pilot because of his civilian flying experience. After graduating from glider school, he was made a Flight Officer and he volunteered for hazardous duty with the 1st Air Commando Group. In December 1943, the unit was sent to India. He flew British troops, the Chindits, under General Orde Wingate on 5 March 1944, landing them at night in a small jungle clearing 100 miles behind Japanese lines in the Burma campaign.

Nazi Propaganda portrayed him as a Jew named Jacob Cohen.

After the war, Coogan returned to acting, taking mostly character roles and appearing on television in a series McKeever and the Colonel (1962). He finally found his most famous TV role as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family (1964) television series, for which he is fondly remembered by a whole new generation of fans to this day.

Besides The Addams Family, he appeared a number of times on the Perry Mason series, and once on Emergency! as a junkyard owner who tries to bribe the paramedics, who have come to inspect his property for fire safety.

Marriage and Children

  1. Ruth Elizabeth Grable, aka. Betty Grable, married on 20 November 1937, divorced on 11 October 1939
  2. Flower Parry, married on 10 August 1941, divorced on 29 June 1943
  3. 1 son, John Anthony Coogan (film & video writer/producer), born 4 March 1942 in Los Angeles, California.
  4. Ann McCormack, married on 26 December 1946, divorced on 20 September 1951
  5. 1 daughter, Joann Dolliver Coogan born 2 April 1948 in Los Angeles, California.
  6. Dorothea Odetta Hanson, aka. Dorothea Lamphere, best known as Dodie, married on April 1952, they were together until his death
  7. 1 daughter, Leslie Diane Coogan, born 24 November 1953 in Los Angeles, California. Her son is the actor Keith Coogan who was born 13 January 1970. He began acting in 1975. Two years after his grandfather's death in 1986 he changed his name to Keith Coogan from Keith Eric Mitchell. He is well remembered for his portrayal of the oldest son in Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
  8. 1 son, Christopher Fenton Coogan, born 9 July 1967 in Riverside County, California, and was killed in a motorcycle accident in Palm Springs, California on 29 June 1990.

Death and burial

Coogan died of a heart attack in 1984 at the age of 69. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.

Filmography

References

  • Jackie Coogan: The World's Boy King: A Biography of Hollywood's Legendary Child Star, Diana Serra Cary, Scarecrow Press, 2003, ISBN 0-8108-4650-0.
  • by David W. Menefee.
Albany: Bear Manor Media, 2007.
  • Der Ewige Jude, Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., Franz Eher, Nachf., 1937.

External links

Persondata
NAMECoogan, Jackie
ALTERNATIVE NAMESCoogan, John Leslie 'Jackie'
SHORT DESCRIPTIONChild actor, Actor
DATE OF BIRTH1914-10-16
PLACE OF BIRTHLos Angeles, California
DATE OF DEATH1984-03-01
PLACE OF DEATHSanta Monica, California
October 26th is the feast day of the following Roman Catholic Saints:
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    Betty Grable

    Birth name Elizabeth Ruth Grable
    Born November 18 1916(1916--)
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Died July 2 1973 (aged 58)
    Santa Monica, California


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    October 26th is the feast day of the following Roman Catholic Saints:
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    "E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
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    actor, actress, or player (see terminology) is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity.
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    The term child actor is generally applied to a child acting in motion pictures or television, but also to an adult who began his or her acting career as a child; to avoid confusion the latter is also called a former child actor.
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    silent film is a motion picture with no synchronized recorded sound, especially spoken dialogue.

    The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as the motion picture itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, most films were silent
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    Vaudeville was a genre of variety entertainment prevalent in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s.
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    Sir Charles Chaplin

    Birth name Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr.
    Born 16 March 1889(1889--)
    Walworth, London, England
    Died 25 November 1977 (aged 88)
    Vevey, Switzerland


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    shimmy is a dance move in which the body is held still, except for the shoulders, which are alternated back and forth. When the right shoulder goes back, the left one comes forward.
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    Sir Charles Chaplin

    Birth name Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr.
    Born 16 March 1889(1889--)
    Walworth, London, England
    Died 25 November 1977 (aged 88)
    Vevey, Switzerland


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    The Kid is a 1921 Charlie Chaplin film.
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    Oliver Twist is a 1922 silent film adaptation of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist featuring Lon Chaney, Sr. as Fagin, and Jackie Coogan as Oliver. Directed by Frank Lloyd. It is 74 minutes in length.

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    Frank Lloyd (born 2 February 1886 in Glasgow, UK, died 10 August 1960 in Santa Monica, California, United States) was a film director, scriptwriter and producer. Lloyd was among the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,[1]
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    Scott Hastings Beckett (October 4, 1929 – May 10, 1968), better known as Scotty Beckett was an American child actor. He is best remembered for his parts in the Our Gang and Rocky Jones, Space Ranger series.
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    Our Gang, also known as The Little Rascals or Hal Roach's Rascals, was a long-lived series of American comedy short films about a troupe of poor neighborhood children and the adventures they had together.
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    The California Child Actor's Bill (also known as Coogan Act or Coogan Bill) is a law applicable to child performers, designed to safeguard a portion of their earnings for when they enter adulthood.
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