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Coogan Law After co-starring in Charlie Chaplin's film The Kid (1921), Jackie Coogan was one of America's first major child stars. Unfortunately, because there was no precedent for a child actor earning thousands of dollars, there were no laws to protect Coogan's financial interests. At the time, minors had absolutely no legal claims to their earnings--every penny belonged to one's parents. Coogan found this out the hard way, when, at age 21 in 1935, he discovered his earnings were almost all gone. Coogan was then put in the awkward position of having to sue his mother and his former agent to recover a small portion of wht he had earned. In response, Congress passed the Coogan Law to protect future child actors' earnings. Unfortunately, the original law contained too many loopholes, renedering it virtually ineffective. Revised versions over the years have been far more effective in protecting the earnings of minors.
Tags: Jackie  Coogan  law 
Added: 6th August 2008
Views: 1424
Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Naomi on 2008-08-06 
Did you know he was the youngest self-made millionaire in history?

Although he eventually reconciled with his mother and stepfather after the lawsuit over his earnings, things were never the same, and his advice to future child stars was 'stay away from mothers.'

His contract with Metro earned him $1 million per year. After money problems with his parents, he helped organize the Coogan Bill, which protected child actors from such abuse in the future.

Was engaged to starlet Toby Wing during much of 1935. But they broke up when Coogan went into a depression complicated by alcohol abuse after discovering his mother and stepfather squandered his childhood fortune.
Posted by: Kbug on 2008-08-06 
Didn't he go on to play Uncle Fester?
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2008-08-06 
Yes, Jackie Coogan played Uncle Fester on the Addams Family.

If you view the clip of Charlie Chaplin receiving his honorary Oscar in 1972, there's a brief glimpse of Jackie Coogan in the audience.
Posted by: eric1957 on 2008-08-09 
His nephew Keith is an actor.
Posted by: Shortyblackwell on 2008-08-09 
good for Jackie. How unfair. And he was great as uncle Fester, one of my favorite characters growing up. I bought all the Addam's family DVD because of him. That, and Lurch shaking his head going uhhhhhhhhhhhh
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