Category: Family activities

Coogan with Grable; child actors gain ownership of their earnings


1939 photo of Jackie Coogan with wife Betty Grable. Location is not given but it was probably in southern California. Image from .

“The Coogan Law is named for famous child actor Jackie Coogan. …It wasn’t until his 21st birthday …that Jackie realized he was left with none of the earnings… Under California law at the time, the earnings of the minor belonged solely to the parent. Coogan eventually sued his mother and former manager for his earnings. As a result, in 1939, the Coogan Law was put into effect, presumably to protect future young actors from finding themselves in the same terrible situation that Jackie Coogan was left in. Unfortunately, the 1939 incarnation of the Coogan Law was flawed, leaving open various loopholes and necessitating long term, court sanctioned contracts for validation.”

Excerpt from . Learn more about the law at the link.

Coogan was born in Los Angeles and lived in the area. As a child, he was discovered by Charlie Chaplin and appeared in The Kid. His marriage to Grable was short-lived. Read more at .