Keith Coogan is an actor who was born Keith Eric Mitchell in 1970. He starred in a string of comedies in the 1980s and early 1990s but has been largely absent from show business for the last 20 years or so. However, on Monday, March 9, Corey Feldman is releasing his documentary (My) Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys in which Coogan is one of the subjects interviewed.
The film is about the alleged sexual abuse that Feldman says he and his frequent co-star Corey Haim suffered at the hands of a ring of adult pedophiles in Hollywood when they were in their early teenage years.
When he announced the film, Feldman said it will expose a ring of at least six people that all had various positions within the entertainment industry that sexually abused young actors, including himself and Haim.
It is not clear prior to the release what Coogan has to say in his footage for The Rape of 2 Coreys, but here’s all the other info you need about this former teen star.
1. Coogan Did One Feature Film With Feldman At the Start of His Career
At the start of Coogan’s career, he was the voice of young Tod, the orphaned fox, in Disney’s feature film The Fox and the Hound. Feldman was the voice of young Copper, the hound dog who becomes Tod’s best friend when they’re too young to know that they shouldn’t really be friends in the animal world because Copper would normally hunt Tod.
In an interview with MovieWeb for the 30th anniversary of the film, Coogan revealed that it took two years, between 1977 and 1979, to record the voices because he and Feldman needed to age as their on-screen counterparts aged.
“We’d go in and do various scenes. Then we’d wait eight to ten months, and they would bring me and Corey Feldman back as our voices matured,” said Coogan. “Because they wanted that within the context of its own continuity. They wanted their fox and their hound to age a little bit.”
But he also said that he never worked with Feldman while recording the movie.
“You were on a stage in this huge room, and you are not working with Pearl Bailey, you are not working with Corey Feldman. You are working with an assistant director that is doing all of the other lines with you. This was the first voice acting I had done. That was very difficult for me,” said Coogan.
Coogan and Feldman also worked together on two TV movies — the 1982 film The Kid With the Broken Halo and the 2018 Lifetime movie A Tale of Two Coreys. Feldman was an executive producer on the project and Coogan acted in it.
Finally, the two of them appeared in a dance number at the 1988 Academy Awards that showcased young talent at the time, including Feldman, Coogan, Patrick Dempsey, Ricki Lake, Crispin Glover, and Christian Slater, among others. In a 2011 interview with Jeff Cramer, Coogan said he and Feldman were always just friendly peers in the industry.
“There was never any jealousy … I certainly lost out on tons of jobs to Corey Feldman,” said Coogan, adding, “I remember reading for Gremlins, I remember reading Goonies, and he fit that person for the role, so, you know. And, you know, I got Adventures in Babysitting, so it’s a mixed bag. I always have a feeling you get what you’re supposed to get.”
2. Coogan Loved Haim Like a Brother
In 1995, Coogan and Haim co-starred in the direct-to-video release Life 101 alongside fellow ’80s star Ami Dolenz (Can’t Buy Me Love, She’s Out of Control and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off the TV series).
In it, Haim played a college freshman who is serious about his physics major but ends up with three non-science major upperclassmen roommates who show him how to have a good time and get the girl. Coogan was one of those upperclassmen, alongside Louis Mandylor and Kyle Cody. In his interview with Cramer, Coogan revealed that he and Haim were roommates for a while, and when Haim died in 2010, Coogan wrote a tribute to his late friend on his personal blog.
“He liked to listen to music on his headphones and loved his SEGA. His best friend was Corey Feldman, and Lucas was a great film. He loved his family, and was always heartbroken over some girl,” wrote Coogan. “His favorite number was 22, and he loved all kinds of pizza and junk food. He was super-nice to every single one of his fans, and he was always a professional on the set… off the set was another story altogether. I loved him like a brother, and the world will be emptier without him.”
3. Coogan’s Grandfather Was Famous Actor Jackie Coogan
Jackie Coogan was a famous child actor who got his start in silent films and was famously known as “The Kid.” He is actually responsible for the California Child Actors Bill, which is known as the “Coogan Act” and provides protection for the earnings of child performers by requiring they be kept in trust until the children are of age. Keith Coogan is the son of one of Jackie’s daughters, Leslie Diane Coogan Mitchell.
Leslie had Keith at the age of 16 and soon after divorced his father, who is unnamed in the People biography about Leslie and Keith. Shortly thereafter, she married musician Danny Franklin and the three of them were a family for a while, but eventually, Leslie and Danny split as well.
In his interview with Jeff Cramer, Coogan revealed his mother tried acting but it “just wasn’t her bag,” but she did support her son’s ambitions. He also told People that when his grandfather Jackie died in 1984, he quit acting for a while because he was so sad his grandfather wouldn’t be around to see it. But eventually, he was ready to get back into the business, so he changed his name as a tribute to Jackie.
“I started out as Keith Mitchell. I had done probably about ten years of television work under that name. Then my grandfather passed away in 1984. I wanted to honor him and his name,” Coogan told Cramer. “I felt I was making a transition from a child TV actor to an adolescent. I was moving into feature films, and I wanted to make that change. For one year, I was Keith Mitchell Coogan on my headshots. The next year, I was just Keith Coogan. And I have gone by that ever since, maybe 1984 or 1985. That is my mother’s maiden name, and it was out of reverence for my grandfather.”
4. Coogan’s Most Well-Known Credits Are Both Babysitting Movies
In 1987, Coogan starred in the Elisabeth Shue comedy Adventures in Babysitting and then in 1991, he starred in the Christina Applegate comedy Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. Those two films are definitely what Coogan is best known for, though don’t sleep on the 1989 comedy Under the Boardwalk, the 1990 comedy Book of Love or the 1991 action film Toy Soldiers.
Coogan told Cramer that Adventures in Babysitting was a trip because he had a huge crush on his co-star, Shue. So since, in the movie, his character also has a big crush on Shue’s character, he kind of asked her out on a date in preparation for filming, even though he was 17 at the time and she was 23.
“She goes, ‘You know, I’m 23 and I’ve got a boyfriend.’ And my heart, it’s crushed, you know,” said Coogan. “And that, I tell you, I used that, and I used that for the picture for every time she rejected me.”
Of his role as Applegate’s stoner younger brother, Kenny, Coogan told Cramer he went out of his way to make Kenny as unattractive as possible because he was living such a terrible life at the start of the movie. What Coogan liked about the role was that Kenny turns his life around — and that’s something fans have said had a big impact on them.
“As for Kenny, I didn’t hear from people going, ‘Yeah, rock on. Party dude,’ I heard from people, ‘Yes, I was a stoner. I was a wastoid, a loser. I talked it over with my mom and I became – I joined the Culinary Academy and I became a gourmet chef and I work in a five-star restaurant in Tampa,’ and I’m like, ‘Are you serious?’ Like not just one; several people have said that to me. So I’m extremely happy with the impact Kenny and that story and all that stuff.”
5. Coogan Briefly Mentioned a Suspected Abuser on Set When He Live-Tweeted A Tale of Two Coreys
In what might be a small preview of what Coogan talks about in Feldman’s new documentary, during the premiere of A Tale of Two Coreys on Lifetime, Coogan mentioned that he was once approached by a suspected abuser on set and “swiftly kicked him in the nuts.”
He also wrote, “There’s no way to talk to anyone about a sexual assault when you’re that young, especially your parents. You do, indeed, take all of the blame on yourself … Always supervise your own kids while on set and especially while on location.”
So it remains to be seen what he has to say as part of Feldman’s documentary about child sexual abuse in Hollywood. But it’s easy to see why he was one of the people interviewed.
(My) Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys drops on Monday, March 9 at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on Feldman’s website. https://www.mytruthdoc.com/