Full Name: John Leslie Coogan
Biography: Jackie Coogan had a long acting career, beginning at age two in silent film and continuing until his death at age 69. His most remembered roles were in the Charles Chaplin film "The Kid", and his electrifying performance as "Uncle Fester" in the macabre sitcom The Addams Family in the mid 1960s.
Coogan was born into a vaudeville family, and was discovered by Charles Chaplin while performing at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Chaplin tried him in small role in a comedy short before making the 6-year old the co-star of his first full-length feature film "The Kid". The movie catapulted Coogan to fame, making him a household name and Hollywood's first child star. He worked continually through the silent era, and transitioned to 'talkies' in the title role of the first sound film adaptation of Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer'.
In May 1935, 20-year-old Coogan was the sole survivor of a car crash that killed his father; his best friend, and two others. In October of that year, upon turning 21, he discovered that nearly all of his earnings to that point had been squandered by his mother and step-father. He sued them in 1938, but was able to recover only a fraction of his money. Attention to his plight led to the 1939 passage of The California Child Actor's Bill (also known as Coogan Act) which requires 15% of minor's wages be set aside in a trust fund as their sole property.
Coogan served in World War II as an army pilot with the 1st Air Commando Group in Burma.
After the war, he returned to Hollywood, becoming a character actor in film and television. His most renowned role was as Morticia's explosive Uncle Fester in the 1964-66 series "The Addams Family". He continued to work until two years before his death.
Born: October 26, 1914
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Tiger
Star Sign: Scorpio
Died: March 1, 1984 (aged 69)
Cause of Death: Cardiac arrest
- 1937-11-20 American actor Jackie Coogan (23) weds American actress Betty Grable (20) at St. Brendan Catholic Church in Los Angeles; divorce in 1939
- 1939-10-11 Actor Jackie Coogan (24) divorces actress Betty Grable (22) after 2 years of marriage
- 1941-08-10 American actor Jackie Coogan (26) weds American actress Flower Parry in Gardnerville, Nevada; divorce in 1943
- 1943-06-29 Actor Jackie Coogan (28) divorces actress Flower Parry after almost 2 years of marriage
- 1946-12-26 American actor Jackie Coogan (32) weds American actress Ann McCormack (22); divorce in 1951
- 1951-09-20 Actor Jackie Coogan (36) divorces Ann McCormack after 5 years of marriage
- 1952-04-15 American actor Jackie Coogan (37) weds American dancer Dorothea "Dodie" Lamphere (38) [exact day unconfirmed]
- 1964-09-18 TV series "The Addams Family", starring John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, and Ted Cassidy premieres on ABC