Family & Companions
This grandson of child actor Jackie Coogan made his first appearance on TV at age one-and-a-half when he walked on stage and hugged his grandfather on "This Is Your Life." Short, blond and stocky, Keith Coogan carved a niche for himself playing flakes, energetic wannabes, and confidantes of the leading man. Like his grandfather, he began as a child performer, billed under his birth name of Keith Mitchell. By age seven, he had a recurring role on the ABC family series "Eight Is Enough" as a playmate for Adam Rich's Nicholas. The following year, Coogan got his first real chance to shine in "A Question of Love" (NBC, 1978), in which he was the son of a lesbian (Gena Rowlands) and the object of a custody battle between his parents. He then landed the role of the youngest of a group of orphans who became "The MacKenzies of Paradise Cove" on that short-lived 1979 ABC series before joining the cast of CBS' "The Waltons" (CBS) for its last season in 1979-80. After a recurring role as Susan Sullivan's son on the ABC sitcom "It's a Living" (1980-81), he again played an orphan in the CBS TV-movie "Tales of the Apple Dumpling Gang" (1982) and for four episodes of its short-lived 1983 spin-off "Gun Shy." (Perhaps ironically, he was replaced by former co-star Adam Rich for the remaining two episodes).
After the 1984 death of his grandfather, Keith Mitchell changed his surname to Coogan. Three years later, he made his feature acting debut as the youth with a crush on Elisabeth Shue in the amiable comedy "Adventures in Babysitting" (1987). That same year, he was a geeky teen cousin to fugitive Jon Cryer in "Hiding Out." Coogan went on to play Ted Danson's son, capable of telling chilling horror stories to children, in "Cousins" and had an African adventure in "Cheetah" (both 1989). He received more notice for playing the bright second lead to Sean Astin in "Toy Soldiers" and as the flaky brother of Christina Applegate in "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead" (both 1991). More recently, Coogan was the dumbest guy on earth who ends up in a skiing competition in "Downhill Willie" (1996).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made TV debut in "This Is Your Life" salute to his grandfather
Began acting in TV commercials at age five
Had recurring role on the ABC family comedy-drama "Eight Is Enough" (ABC), billed as Keith Mitchell
TV-movie debut, "A Question of Love" (NBC)
Was regular on the ABC TV series "The MacKenzies of Paradise Cove"
Joined regular cast of the long-running CBS family drama, "The Waltons"
Had featured role in a busted NBC pilot based on "Norma Rae"
Billed as Keith Mitchell, provided character voice for the Disney animated film "The Fox and the Hound"
Co-starred as Clovis, an orphan who becomes a ward of cowboy, in the CBS TV-movie "Tales of the Apple Dumpling Gang"
Reprised role of Clovis in four of six episodes of the short-lived series spin-off "Gun Shy"; Coogan was replaced by Adam Rich for the other two episodes
Changed surname from Mitchell to Coogan to honor his grandfather (date approximate)
Billed as Keith Coogan, made his feature acting debut in "Adventures in Babysitting"
Starred in "A Town's Revenge", an "ABC Afterschool Special"
Had leading role in the feature "Toy Soldiers"
Starred in "Downhill Willie"