Jackie Coogan

Child star who charmed audiences in Charlie Chaplin's 1921 classic "The Kid. " By the mid-1930s, his career had slowed considerably and in 1938 he attempted to win back his $4 million childhood earnings from his mother ... Read more »
Born: 10/26/1914 in Los Angeles, California, USA


Actor (47)

Unknown Chaplin 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)


The Escape Artist 1981 (Movie)

Magic Shop Owner (Actor)

Dr. Heckyl & Mr. Hype 1979 (Movie)

Sergeant Fleacollar (Actor)

Human Experiments 1979 (Movie)

Sheriff Tibbs (Actor)

The Prey 1979 (Movie)

Lester Tile (Actor)

The Addams Family 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)


The Addams Family 1973 - 1975 (TV Show)


The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery 1974 (Movie)

Sheriff (Actor)

The Partridge Family (ABC) 1970 - 1974 (TV Show)


Cool Million 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)


Cahill, United States Marshal 1972 (Movie)

Charlie Smith (Actor)

Love and the Happy Days 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)


The Shakiest Gun in the West 1968 (Movie)

Matthew Basch (Actor)

The Addams Family 1964 - 1966 (TV Show)


A Fine Madness 1965 (Movie)

Mr Fitzgerald (Actor)

Girl Happy 1965 (Movie)

Sgt Benson (Actor)

Her School For Bachelors 1963 - 1964 (TV Show)


John Goldfarb, Please Come Home 1963 (Movie)

Father Ryan (Actor)

The Dick Powell Show 1961 - 1963 (TV Show)


The General Electric Theater 1952 - 1962 (TV Show)


The Loretta Young Theater 1953 - 1962 (TV Show)


Sex Kittens Go to College 1960 (Movie)

Wildcat MacPherson (Actor)

The Beat Generation 1959 (Movie)

Jake Baron (Actor)

High School Confidential 1958 (Movie)

Mr A (Actor)

Lonelyhearts 1958 (Movie)

Gates (Actor)

Night of the Quarter Moon 1958 (Movie)

Sergeant Bragen (Actor)

The Big Operator 1958 (Movie)

Ed Brannell (Actor)

Eighteen and Anxious 1957 (Movie)

Eager (Actor)

The Buster Keaton Story 1957 (Movie)

Elmer Case (Actor)

The Joker Is Wild 1957 (Movie)

Swifty Morgan (Actor)

The Space Children 1957 (Movie)

Hank Johnson (Actor)

College Swing 1937 (Movie)


Oliver Twist 1921 (Movie)

Oliver Twist (Actor)

The Kid 1920 (Movie)

The Child ("John") (Actor)

Circus Days (Movie)

Toby Tyler (Actor)

Daddy (Movie)

Jackie Savelli (Actor)

Marlowe (Movie)

Grant W. Hicks (Actor)

Million Dollar Legs (Movie)

Russ Simpson (Actor)

My Boy (Movie)

Jackie Blair (Actor)

Outlaw Women (Movie)

Piute Bill (Actor)

Peck's Bad Boy (Movie)

Peck's Bad Boy (Actor)

Sherlock Holmes in New York (TV Show)


The Phantom of Hollywood (TV Show)


The Rag Man (Movie)

The kid (Actor)

The Specialists (TV Show)



Child star who charmed audiences in Charlie Chaplin's 1921 classic "The Kid. " By the mid-1930s, his career had slowed considerably and in 1938 he attempted to win back his $4 million childhood earnings from his mother and stepfather. By the time the case was settled the amount had dropped to approximately $250,000, of which Coogan received only a portion. The case resulted in the Coogan Act, or Child Actors Bill, set up to protect the assets of child stars. Coogan became, in many ways, the patron saint -- of sorts -- of child actors because of the law, although the legislation only covers actors working in California and, in reality, applies to income from TV series and motion pictures and not TV commercials. After WWII, most of his work came from TV where he gained success as Uncle Fester on "The Addams Family," which ran on ABC from 1964-66. Coogan began his career at 18 months, in "Skinner's Baby" (1917). He played the title role in a silent version of "Oliver Twist" in 1922. He switched studios from First National to Metro for a contract which guaranteed him $1 over two years, although his personal allowance remained at $6.25 per week. By 1927, Coogan's popularity had begun to wane, and his bob hair was cut in a much-publicized ceremony, which was filmed for theatrical release. MGM decided to capitalize on the event by producing the film, "Johnny Get Your Hair Cut." But, his career was still dwindling. He made a comeback in the title role of "Tom Sawyer" (1930), also his first talkie, and repeated that role in "Huckleberry Finn" (1931), but Jackie Cooper was now the kid star of the MGM lot and in America's heart. It was in 1935 when returning from a fishing trip that the car, driven by Coogan's father, went off the road, killing all (including child actor Junior Curkin) except Coogan, who had been in the rumple seat. Coogan was off the screen until 1938, trying to make another come-back in young adult roles in "College Swing." By this time he had married Starlet Betty Grable, but with his earnings lost by his mother and stepfather and few film roles available, the stress over financial matters contributed to the couple divorcing in 1939. Coogan did not appear in a film from 1939 until after World War II service. His first film after the war was "Kilroy was Here" (1947), which also starred, perhaps ironically, Jackie Cooper, also struggling after child stardom. But feature film roles were few and far between, and by the late 40s, Coogan was mostly working on TV. He was a regular on Benny Rubin's 1949 NBC series, and a panelist on Mike Storey's "Pantomime Quiz" from 1950-55. He was a third banana -- aide the colonel on his sitcom debut, "McKeever and the Colonel" (NBC, 1962-63). He was the first choice of the executive producer to play Uncle Fester on "The Addams Family" for ABC in 1964, but not of the network. Maurice Gosfield played the role in the original pilot, but died soon after production and Coogan stepped into the role which would give him lasting visibility as an adult. After the series' demise, Coogan did the voice of Fester for the 1973-74 animated version of "The Addams Family," and appeared often in episodic dramas. He made his TV movie debut with "Cool Million" (NBC, 1972). His last TV appearance was in an episode of "Sweepstake$" on NBC in 1979. It is said he appeared in 1400 TV shows and episodes combined. Coogan's grandson, Keith Coogan, born in 1970, appeared in "Tin Soldiers," "Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead" and numerous other films in the 80s and 90s. Keith was born Keith Mitchell, but took the last name "Coogan" as his professional name after his grandfather's 1984 death as an homage.


had another child

killed May 4, 1935 when car was forced from road by another car while returning from a hunting trip in Mexico with Jackie Coogan, actor Junior Durkin and two others, only Jackie Coogan survived crash

had two, older

Robert Coogan

born December 13, 1925 died 1978

Keith Coogan

born January 13, 1970

Betty Grable

married 1937 divorced 1939

Dorothea Lamphere

survived him

Ann McCormick

married 1946 divorced 1951

Leslie Mitchell


Flower Parry

married 1941 divorced 1943


University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

Urban Military Academy

Villanova University

Villanova, Pennsylvania



Acted in last feature, "The Escape Artist"


Made TV movie debut in "Cool Million" (NBC)


Was regular on "Pantomime Quiz"


TV regular on "The Benny Rubin Show"


Returned to films in teen-age roles, "College Swing"


Filed suit against parents for assets from Jackie Coogan Productions Inc; led to passage of the California's Child Actors Bill (the "Coogan Act") protecting child actors


Had "hair-cutting" ceremony; publicity stunt turned into film "Johnny Get Your Hair Cut"


Became superstar at age 7 in Chaplin's silent "The Kid"


Feature acting debut at 18 months in "Skinner's Baby"

Did voice of Uncle Fester on animated "Addams Family" series

Recurring role on TV series, "Happy Days"

Recurring role on TV series, "The Partridge Family"

Regular on TV series "McKeever and the Colonel" (NBC)

Regular role as Uncle Fester in TV series, "The Addams Family"