Keith Coogan at the 61st Academy Awards
|Born||Keith Eric Mitchell
January 13, 1970
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
|Other names||Keith Mitchell|
|Spouse(s)||Kristen Shean (m. 2013)|
|Relatives||Jackie Coogan (maternal grandfather)|
|Awards||Young Artist Award
Best Young Actor, Guest on a Series
1982 Knight Rider
episode A Good Day at White Rock
At first, we lived in very, very small places… with my mom cleaning houses and scrounging up just enough to keep us in town with a working car. She introduced me to my first agent, and I started with stand-in work, then eventually commercials and television guest-shots.
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.
I would advise anyone seriously interested in acting to study, train, and work as much as possible… You will know soon enough if it's the right avenue for you.
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.
I cuss like a sailor; I smoked cigarettes for many years but quit and have never looked back; also, I ride a motorcycle… in Los Angeles… so there ya go.
I was watching 'Mr. Roger's Neighborhood', 'Sesame Street', 'Electric Company', 'Romper Room', and 'Villa Alegre!' when I said to my self, 'Hey, self! Wouldn't it be fun to be one of those kids on the TV?' My mom thought it was a pretty good idea, too… and she instantly moved us from the Bay Area to Malibu… nice.
That is one of the first things my family, my mother and my grandfather, had taught me about acting: 'Use your eyes!' Not being able to do that physical aspect of it, and having to put it all into your voice? That was a little bit of a challenge.