Jackie Coogan: The World's Boy King: A Biography of Hollywood's Legendary Child Star (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series)

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9780810859111: Jackie Coogan: The World's Boy King: A Biography of Hollywood's Legendary Child Star (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series)

Discovered by Charlie Chaplin in 1919, four-year-old Jackie Coogan soared to overnight stardom for his title role in the silent masterpiece, The Kid. A string of successes followed, including Peck's Bad Boy, Oliver Twist, and A Boy of Flanders, earning Coogan a fortune of four million dollars. Dubbed "The Millionaire Kid" by the press, he later had to sue his parents in a futile attempt to recover his squandered fortune. His later years were marked with penury and the cruel diminishment of his childhood fame. As an adult, he found work in character roles and gained unexpected but fleeting fame as "Uncle Fester" in the series The Addams Family. He continued to make guest appearances on television until his death in 1984.

In Jackie Coogan: The World's Boy King, Diana Serra Cary reveals the little-known and even less understood private life of this famous child star and his dysfunctional family. She looks at the highs and lows of an actor who reached the height of fame before ten and whose subsequent career took an inevitable fall. Cary also examines the conduct of Coogan's parents, whose behavior served as an unfortunate model for countless others who sought fame and fortune through their children's success. The author, a major child star (the former Baby Peggy), employs her own hard-won insight to explore the career and family woes of another in this fascinating account about one of the greatest child stars of all time.

Includes more than 30 photos.

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About the Author:

Diana Serra Cary is the former child star known as Peggy-Jean Montgomery. She is currently a full-time writer and professional speaker. In 2002 she received The Hubbard Award by the Niles Essanay Museum Association for her contributions to film history. In 1996 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cinecon. She is the author of numerous books including Whatever Happened to Baby Peggy?

Review:

A constant surprise and a compulsive read. Highly recommended. (Kevin Brownlow)

Diana Serra Cary has written the most penetrating and perceptive biography yet on a child star.... She accomplishes this because she knows first-hand what it was like growing up famous in the 1920s and having the adoration of the movie-going public.... The author's style is irresistible.... Her sprinkling of vaudeville jargon makes that period in life more vivid than an ordinary retelling by a less informed writer. She supplements her insider info with interviews she has conducted with Coogan's personal friends, family and coworkers.... This is an extremely well-written, well thought out, meticulously researched volume....No other writer could have done Jackie Coogan justice. How I wish there were more writers like Diane Serra Cary. (Laura Wagner Classic Images)

Thoroughly researched and highly detailed. (Union Tribune)

Jackie Coogan's story has been rescued, presented with great skill and pathos... (Tom Nolan The L A Times Book Review)

Best known for his role as Charlie Chaplin's sidekick in The Kid (1921), Jackie Coogan achieved stardom and considerable wealth before the age of 10. He later sued his parents (unsuccessfully) in an attempt to recover his squandered fortune. In this biography, Cary describes Coogan's private life and examines the conduct of his parents. A full-time writer and professional speaker, Cary is a former child star who was known as "Baby Peggy." This reprint is the first paperback edition of a volume originally published in 2003. (Reference and Research Book News, May 2007)

Diana Serra Cary understands child stars, having been there herself, but she also brings research and literary flair to her depiction of Jackie Coogan and the era that crowned him its Boy King. (Ronald L. Davis, author of The Glamour Factory and Professor Emeritus of History, Southern Methodist University)

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