Sheet music published in 1922 by M. Witmark and Sons, New York to accompany Oliver Twist, a silent film starring Jackie Coogan.
Coogan was born in 1914, and his career as a child actor was phenomenal. He was among Hollywood’s highest paid performers. As a child he received $500,000 for switching from filmmaker First National to Metro. This money and most of his salary were kept in trust by his parents.
In 1928, Coogan headlined a show at the London Palladium, after having played his last role as a child star the year before. However, by the 1930’s Coogan was almost forgotten.
In 1935, when he turned twenty-one, Coogan was to receive the $4 million he had earned as a child actor. However, his father died in an automobile accident, in which Coogan was also injured. His mother then remarried, and she and the stepfather were not inclined to part with the money, so the dispute ended up in court. By the time the court proceedings were adjudicated, the funds had dwindled to only $252,000 of which Jackie Coogan received half. The Coogan litigation led to the passage of the Child Actor’s Bill, popularly known as the Coogan Act, which was designed to prevent child actors from being swindled by financial trustees.
Coogan married Betty Grable in 1937; they divorced in 1940. He carried on with his career, appearing many times on screen and on TV. Coogan is perhaps best remembered today for his role as Uncle Fester in the TV series The Addams Family.