Former child actor Keith Coogan (born Keith Eric Mitchell) began acting at the tender age of five. Continuing the family legacy of his grandfather, Jackie Coogan (star of silent films and Uncle Fester on The Addams Family), Keith appeared in various TV episodes, including The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Mork & Mindy, Silver Spoons, The Love Boat, and Fantasy Island among many others. In 1981, Coogan voiced the young fox, Tod in the beloved Disney film, The Fox and the Hound. Coogan changed his last name in 1986 to honor his grandfather's memory.
Moving on to film, Keith became a mainstay heartthrob in the mid-80s (and I will admit to personally swooning at him in the pages of Tiger Beat magazine more than once), starring in films like Adventures in Babysitting, Cousins, Toy Soldiers (with Wil Wheaton), and Don't Tell Mom...The Babysitter's Dead (one of my personal faves). Keith always seemed to played a character who had this wonderful gentleness and charm to him, no matter how he started out.
Two of my fave 80s teen heartthrobs, Wil Wheaton and Keith in Toy Soldiers. HOW have I not seen this film?*
Not a stranger to the stage, Coogan appeared in various plays at Timothy and Buck Busfield's "B" St. Theater in Sacramento in the mid-90s, including one of my personal favorite plays, Pvt. Wars by the amazing playwright James McLure. Thanks to to Twitter, Keith just told me himself that he played Natwick, who is my favorite character in the play and playwright McLure played Sylvio! How fantastic is that? :) (For anyone who hasn't read this play...read it! It's hilarious and sad and amazing and just so incredibly moving. I'm still ever hopeful to meet Mr. McLure to tell him this personally.)
Here's Keith today. Still swoony, eh?
Inspired by the film, Julie and Julia, in January 2010, Coogan launched his "Monologue a Day" project, in which he performs a different monologue each day. Watch the monologues here.
Keith Coogan's MySpace
Keith's blog, Adventures in Hollywood
Follow Keith on Twitter
Keith will also be at The New Beverly Cinema tonight and tomorrow to introduce their double bill of Adventures in Babysitting and Toy Soldiers. Unfortunately, I will not. :(
Read my other (so far) Minute Of...here: Tommy Kirk
*And Sean Astin?! *faints* Toy Soldiers is on Netflix InstantWatch. I'm rectifying this right now! :)