Remember Jackie Coogan of The Addams Family? He played Uncle Fester, the hilarious and beloved relative of the kooky clan. No one in that family was ordinary, and yet, believe it or not, Coogan’s life was possibly even more interesting than Uncle Fester’s. Not only that, but it had a huge impact on the movie industry as we know it.
Yet Uncle Fester certainly wasn’t Coogan’s first famous role. That, in fact, came decades beforehand. A young Coogan played the title character in The Kid, Charlie Chaplin’s famous 1921 silent film.
Coogan was already a child performer when Chaplin spotted him. In fact, his dances on stage at the Los Angeles Orpheum Theatre convinced Chaplin that the little boy would make a great movie star. But he couldn’t have known just how big he would get.