He was the first really big child star. When we asked our reader’s to identify him almost a month ago we got no response until January 6. Then Renee Sanudo gave us the answer.
Hello Everybody. Joe Morella and Frank Segers back again. And a first time responder Renee had this to say:
His name was Jackie Coogan. Chaplin discovered him at The Orpheum Theatre, in Los Angeles, one of the movie palaces that still stands in Downtown. At that moment, it was a vaudeville house, the fourth one of the Orpheum vaudeville circuit.
When many years later Coogan fell on hard times, Chaplin helped him. Coogan had earned millions as a child star, but her mother and stepfather spent it away extravagantly. Coogan sued them and their legal battle ended in the California Child Actor’s Bill, more known as the “Coogan Act”. So Jackie Cooper’s last name is often mentioned, although not everybody knows the origin of it.
Thanks Renee. And thanks to all of you who participated in our contest to win a fre copy of Murder on the Hearst Yacht.
Most people remember Coogan today as “Uncle Fester” from the long running TV series The Addams Family.