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Jackie Coogan sues mother & stepfather...
Item # 625968
April 12, 1938
THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 12, 1938
* Jackie Coogan sues his mother
* Hollywood child actor star
* Uncle Fester - The Addams Family fame
* California Child Actor's Bill prelude
Page 3 has a one column heading: "MOTHER IS SUED BY JACKIE COOGAN" with subheads. (see) See below for more information on this event. Always nice to have notable events in history reported in this World famous publication.
Other news, sports and advertisements of the day. Complete in 48 pages, this is the rare rag edition that was produced on very high quality newsprint, with a high percentage of cotton & linen content, allowing the issues to remain very white & sturdy into the present. Given the subscription cost, libraries & institutions rather than individuals were the primary subscribers of these high-quality editions. Very nice condition.
wikipedia notes: A child star, Jackie Coogan earned an estimated $3 to $4 million ($50,000,000 to $70,000,000 in 2015 dollars), but the money was spent by his mother and stepfather, Arthur Bernstein, on such extravagances as fur coats, diamonds, and expensive cars. Coogan's mother and stepfather claimed Jackie was having fun and thought he was playing. She stated, "No promises were ever made to give Jackie anything" and claimed that "Jackie was a bad boy." Coogan sued them in 1938, but, after legal expenses, received only $126,000 ($2,110,000 in 2015) of the approximately $250,000 remaining of his earnings. When Coogan fell on hard times and asked Charlie Chaplin for assistance, Chaplin gave him $1,000 without hesitation.
The legal battle brought attention to child actors and resulted in the enactment in 1939 of the California Child Actor's Bill, often called the 'Coogan Law' or the 'Coogan Act'. This requires that a child actor's employer set aside 15% of the earnings in a trust (often called a Coogan account), and codifies such issues as schooling, work hours, and time-off.
Category: The 20th Century