Coogan was born in 1914 in Los Angeles, California to John Henry Coogan, Jr. (1886 – May 4, 1935) and Lillian Rita Dolliver Coogan, later Mrs. Lillian Bernstein (May 27, 1892 — October 22, 1977) as John Leslie Coogan, not John Leslie Coogan, Jr., as some sources indicate.  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 the Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles, a vaudeville house, doing the shimmy, a popular dance at the time, on the stage. His father 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. He was one of the first stars to be heavily merchandised, with peanut butter, stationery, whistles, dolls, records, and figurines just a sample of Coogan merchandise on offer. He also traveled internationally, to be received by huge crowds. Many of his early films are lost or unavailable, but Turner Classic Movies recently presented The Rag Man with a new score.
Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan in The KidHe was tutored until the age of ten, after which he attended Urban Military Academy and other prep schools, and then several colleges, including the University of Southern California. In 1932 he left Santa Clara University because of poor grades. On May 4, 1935, Coogan was the sole survivor of a car crash in San Diego County that claimed the life of his father, and his best friend Junior Durkin, a child actor best known as Huckleberry Finn in two films of the early 1930s. The accident took place just short of Coogan's twenty-first birthday.
In November 1933, Brooke Hart, a close friend of Coogan's from Santa Clara University, was kidnapped from his family-owned department store in San Jose and brought to the San Francisco area San Mateo - Hayward Bridge. After several demands for a $40,000 ransom, police arrested Thomas Thurmond and John Holmes in San Jose. Thurmond admitted that Hart had been murdered on the night he was kidnapped. Both men were then transferred to a prison in San Jose, California. Later a mob broke into the building; Thurmond and Holmes were then hanged in an adjacent park. Coogan is reported to have been one of the mob that prepared and held the lynching rope.
] Coogan BillMain article: California Child Actor's Bill
As a child star, Coogan earned an estimated $3 to $4 million (adjusted amount ranges from $40 million to $100 million), but the money was taken by his mother, Lilian, and stepfather, Arthur Bernstein, for extravagances such as fur coats, diamonds, and cars. Coogan sued them in 1938 (aged 23), but after legal expenses, he only received $126,000 of the approximately $250,000 remaining. When Coogan fell on hard times, Charlie Chaplin gave him some financial support.
The legal battle brought 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. Coogan's mother and stepfather claimed the child was having fun and thought he was playing. However, virtually every child star from Baby Peggy on has stated that they were keenly aware that what they were doing was work
World War I
ICoogan enlisted in the United States Army in March 1941. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he requested a transfer to United States 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 March 5, 1944, landing them at night in a small jungle clearing 100 miles behind Japanese lines in the Burma campaign.
TelevisionAfter the war, Coogan returned to acting, taking mostly character roles and appearing on television. From 1952 to 1953, he played Stoney Crockett syndicated series Cowboy G-Men. He guest starred on NBC's The Martha Raye Show. He appeared too as Corbett in two episodes of NBC's The Outlaws with Barton MacLane, which aired from 1960–1962. In the 1960–1961 season, he guest starred in the episode "The Damaged Dolls" of the syndicated crime drama The Brothers Brannagan.
Coogan had a regular role in a 1962–1963 NBC series, McKeever and the Colonel. He finally found his most famous television role as Uncle Fester in ABC's The Addams Family (1964–1966) as one of the older cast members; he was already in his fifties as this time. He appeared as a police officer in the Elvis Presley comedy Girl Happy in 1965.
In addition to 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. He also was featured in an episode of The Brady Bunch ("The Fender Benders"), I Dream of Jeannie (as Jeannie's uncle, Suleiman - Maharaja of Basenji), Family Affair, Here's Lucy and The Brian Keith Show, and he continued to guest star on television (including multiple appearances on The Partridge Family, The Wild Wild West and Hawaii Five-O) until his retirement in the middle 1970s.
] Marriages and children1.Betty Grable, married on November 20, 1937, divorced on October 11, 1939.
2.Flower Parry, married on August 10, 1941, divorced on June 29, 1943
1.One son, John Anthony Coogan (writer/producer 3D digital & film), born March 4, 1942 in Los Angeles, California.
3.Ann McCormack, married on December 26, 1946, divorced on September 20, 1951
1.One daughter, Joann Dolliver Coogan, born April 2, 1948 in Los Angeles, California.
4.Dorothea Odetta Hanson aka Dorothea Lamphere, best known as Dodie, married on April 1952, they were together until his death
1.One daughter, Leslie Diane Coogan, born November 24, 1953 in Los Angeles, California. Her son is the actor Keith Coogan, who was born January 13, 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 played the oldest son in Adventures in Babysitting. Footage of Jackie with his grandson, Keith (uncredited on the imdb.com page) can be seen in the 1982 documentary "Hollywood's Children".
2.One son, Christopher Fenton Coogan, born July 9, 1967 in Riverside County, California. He died in a motorcycle accident in Palm Springs, California, on June 29, 1990.
DeathOn March 1, 1984, Coogan died of cardiac arrest aged 69 at Santa Monica Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. He is buried in Culver City's Holy Cross Cemetery.
Coogan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of 1654 Vine Street, just south of Hollywood Boulevard.
 Selected filmographySkinner's Baby (Uncredited, 1917)
A Day's Pleasure (1919)
The Kid (1921)
Peck's Bad Boy (1921)
My Boy (1921)
Nice and Friendly (1922)
Oliver Twist (1922)
Circus Days (1923)
Long Live the King (1923)
A Boy of Flanders (1924)
Little Robinson Crusoe (1924)
Hello, 'Frisco (1924)
The Rag Man (1925)
Old Clothes (1925)
Johnny Get Your Hair Cut (1927)
The Bugle Call (1927)
Tom Sawyer (1930)
Huckleberry Finn (1931)
Cowboy G-Men (1952–1953)
Girl Happy (1965)
2.^ Obituary Variety, March 7, 1984.
3.^ Coogan family genealogy website
4.^ Farrell, Harry (1993). Swift justice: murder and vengeance in a California town. Saint Martin's Press Inc.; 1st Paperback Ed edition.
5.^ Armenian Weekly reference to Coogan's philanthropy
6.^ Aaker, Everett (1997). Television Western Players of the Fifties: A Biographical Encyclopedia of All Regular Cast Members in Western Series, 1949-1959. McFarland. pp. 141. ISBN 0-786-40284-9.
 Further readingJackie 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.
The First Male Stars: Men of the Silent Era by David W. Menefee. Albany: Bear Manor Media, 2007.
Name Coogan, Jackie
Alternative names Coogan, John Leslie
Short description Actor
Date of birth October 26, 1914
Place of birth Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Date of death March 1, 1984
Place of death Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Coogan"
Categories: American child actors
American film actors
American military personnel of World War II
American silent film actors
American television actors
Burials at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City
Cardiovascular disease deaths in California
People from Los Angeles, California