Frank Coghlan Jr.
Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1916-03-15 · Deathday: 2009-09-07 (93 years old) · Gender: Male · Place of Birth: New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Also Known As: Francis Edward Coghlan Jr. · Frank 'Junior' Coghlan · Frank Coghlan · Frank Coghlin · Junior Coghlan · Junior Coughlan · Junior Coughlin
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Frank Coghlan Jr. (March 15, 1916 – September 7, 2009) also known as Junior Coghlan, was an American actor who later became a career officer in the United States Navy and a naval aviator. He appeared in approximately 129 films and television programs between 1920 and 1974. During the 1920s and 1930s, he became a popular child and juvenile actor, appearing in films with Pola Negri, Jack Dempsey, William Haines, Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, William Boyd and Bette Davis. He appeared in early "Our Gang" comedies, but he is best known for the role of Billy Batson in the 1941 motion picture serial Adventures of Captain Marvel. Coghlan later served 23 years as an aviator and officer in the U.S. Navy, from 1942 to 1965. After retiring from the Navy, he returned to acting and appeared in television, films, and commercials. He published an autobiography in 1992 and died in 2009 at age 93.
During World War II, Coghlan enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a naval aviator. After 23 years as an actor, Coghlan spent the next 23 years in the Navy. In 1954, Hedda Hopper included a report on Coghlan in her newspaper column:I hope the press didn't miss the arrival of Frank Coghlan, now lieutenant in the USN, and a far cry from Junior Coghlan of the 'Our Gang' comedies. He's assigned to Air Transport Squadron 7 at Hickam Field and will fly the Pacific. Wife Betty and three little Coghlans will live at Oahu so they can see Frank when he returns from his trips to the Orient. Coghlan achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was often assigned as a liaison and technical advisor on motion pictures, including PT 109, The Caine Mutiny, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, Mister Roberts, and In Harm's Way starring John Wayne. In the 1960s, he was the officer in charge of the navy's Hollywood station.By the time he retired in 1965, Coghlan had accumulated over 4500 hours of flight time and had flown during World War II and the Korean War and had been to Vietnam.
Coghlan was born in New Haven, Connecticut, but his parents moved to Hollywood when he was still a baby. His father was a doctor, and in "Who's Who on the Screen" for 1932 he hoped to be a doctor, too, when he grew up. Coghlan began appearing in motion pictures in 1920 as an extra and worked his way up to more important roles. He later boasted that he had been gainfully employed since age three. The freckle-faced Coghlan was billed as "Junior Coghlan" and became one of Hollywood's most popular child stars. Film historian Leonard Maltin said, "He was one of the busiest child actors of the late '20s and 1930s. He was a fresh, freckle-faced boy with great All-American-type appeal." Silent films. Coghlan began his acting career in 1920, appearing with Jack Dempsey in Daredevil Jack. In 1922 he co-starred with Brownie the Dog in a film called Rookies, and in 1923 he played a small role in the Pola Negri film The Spanish Dancer. He also appeared in early "Our Gang" films, including the 1923 Hal Roach short "Giants vs. Yanks," in which the gang, after having a baseball game called off, gets stuck in an elegant home, which they destroy. In 1924 Coghlan was again cast opposite Jack Dempsey in Winning His Way. One newspaper story described Coghlan's rise to fame this way: "When the boy was seven years old, his great mop of hair, freckled face, genial grin, and likable personality attracted the attention of several directors who urged his parents to permit him to engage in screen work. Mrs. Coghlan finally consented and one day he was cast for a 'bit' role in Goldwyn's Poverty of Riches, in which he played the son of Leatrice Joy."By the mid 1920s, Coghlan had caught the eye of one of Hollywood's leading directors, Cecil B. DeMille. DeMille called Coghlan "the perfect example of a homeless waif" and signed the boy to a long-term contract in 1926. The Los Angeles Times reported on the event: DeMille Signs Child ActorSo far, Cecil B. DeMille hasn't run much to giving picture contracts to youngsters. But yesterday Mr. DeMille signified what he thought of Junior Coghlan by placing him under a long-term contract. The boy has appeared in several DeMille pictures, including 'The Road to Yesterday.' The boy gives promise of being another Wesley Berry, with the same impish glance, the same freckles and the same cleverness. Of course, the office of freckled boy of the movies is a fixed institution, and now that Wes Berry has gone and got himself married he can't pretend to like playing marbles in the movies. Little Junior is to be cofeatured with Eleanor Faire and William Boyd in Rupert Julian's The Yankee Clipper. In 1927, Coghlan appeared in the baseball comedy Slide, Kelly, Slide, playing an orphan who became a mascot and inspiration for an ace baseball pitcher, played by William Haines. By 1928, Coghlan was such a well-known star that the Los Angeles Times reported on his schooling as well as his film projects. By age 11, Coghlan was asking to play grownup roles. A newspaper article at the time reported that Coghlan, "like every other young and red-blooded American, desires to arrive at manhood as soon as possible. Long trousers is what he wants, but the motion picture claims him and demands that he stay in knee breeches."Coghlan's final film on his four-year DeMille-Pathe contract was 1929's military academy drama Square Shoulders. Conceived as a silent film, Square Shoulders was transformed into a "talkie" by the expedient adding of sound to the final reel. Only the silent version is known to survive. A 1929 newspaper story on Coghlan noted that the twelve-year-old actor was "recognized by the motion picture public as the leading juvenile screen player in the world." Talking pictures. With the arrival of the talking pictures, Coghlan continued to be one of the most popular juvenile actors. In the classic 1931 gangster film The Public Enemy, Coghlan played the role of James Cagney's character, Tom Powers, as a boy. In the 1931 screen version of Booth Tarkington's Penrod and Sam, Coghlan starred as Sam, with Leon Janney playing Penrod.In 1932, Coghlan appeared in the Bette Davis drama Hell's House. Davis played the girlfriend of Pat O'Brien's bootlegger character. Coghlan played the role of Shorty, a sickly boy who was sent to a state industrial school where children were forced to work at hard labor, ending up in solitary confinement. Coghlan had another starring role in the 1932 film serial The Last of the Mohicans, based on the James Fennimore Cooper novel. Coghlan played the part of Uncas, the sachem of the Mohegan tribe who through an alliance with the English made the Mohegans the leading regional Indian tribe. He helped launch the career of Shirley Temple, appearing in a series of short films with her in 1933 and 1934. In the shorts, Coghlan played Sonny Rogers, a star baseball player and high school class president. Temple played Coghlan's pesky younger sister, Mary Lou. The Coghlan-Temple titles included Merrily Yours, What's to Do?, Pardon My Pups, and Managed Money. Coghlan also had large roles in other features through the mid 1930s, including Kentucky Blue Streak, a 1935 crime drama about a jockey who was wrongfully imprisoned and escapes to ride in the Kentucky Derby; The Little Red Schoolhouse, a 1936 drama in which Coghlan plays the lead role, a 17-year-old who runs away to New York City; and Red Lights Ahead, a 1936 comedy in which he plays the son of an eccentric father who invests in a gold mining scheme. In 1939, Coghlan starred in Blazing Barriers, one of the last roles in which he was billed as Junior Coghlan. He played a young hoodlum from the city who hides out at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the mountains. A newspaper story described the physical challenges that faced Coghlan in the role: "If you think being a screen star is a lot of fun, just ask Frank 'Junior' Coghlan." For two days, Coghlan had to pick up Milburn Stone, an actor 50 pounds heavier than Coghlan, and run about 200 yards. In another scene, Coghlan had to jump into a creek and rescue Edward Arnold, Jr. Although both could swim, director Aubrey Scotto wanted realism, and each time Coghlan would try to save the 195-pound (88 kg) Arnold, "both would sink and come up sputtering for breath." In a third scene, Coghlan went into the boxing ring with another actor. The newspaper article noted:Inasmuch as he doesn't use a double, Coghlan had to insert more realism. That was okay as he is very adept with his fists. Unfortunately the sequence called for Coghlan to take a severe beating. He did.
Movies & TV shows
Shirley Temple: America's Little Darling
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The Love God?
"The Peacock," the beloved bird-watcher's magazine, is in financial difficulties. Desperate to stay afloat, Abner takes on new partners who have an agenda of their own: to publish a sexy gentleman's m...
The Shakiest Gun in the West
Jesse W. Haywood (Don Knotts) graduates from dental school in Philadelphia in 1870 and goes west to become a frontier dentist. Penelope "Bad Penny" Cushing (Barbara Rhoades) is offered a pardon if she...
A pretty Chicago teenager (Gale Storm), who's being courted by an older man, is sent by her worried parents to live with her uncle on his Iowa farm.
Adventures of Captain Marvel
Billy Batson was given the ability to change himself into the super-powered Captain Marvel by the wizard Shazam, who told him his powers will last only as long as the Golden Scorpion idols are not thr...
The Fighting 69th
Although loudmouthed braggart Jerry Plunkett alienates his comrades and officers, Father Duffy, the regimental chaplain, has faith that he'll prove himself in the end.
Knute Rockne All American
The story of legendary Notre Dame football player and coach Knute Rockne.
Remedy for Riches
A small town doctor suspects the stranger in town is promoting an oil swindle. The fourth entry in the "Dr. Christian" series of six films.
Love Thy Neighbor
Capitalizing on the famous radio 'feud' between comedians Jack Benny and Fred Allen. The two stars play versions of themselves, constantly at each other's throats due to real and imagined slights.
A man's ex-wife is found murdered, and he finds himself to be the prime suspect.
Murder Over New York
When Charlie's old friend from Scotland Yard is murdered when they attend a police convention in New York, Chan picks up the case he was working on.
Free, Blonde and 21
Stories of women who live in an all-women hotel. One (Bari) works hard and marries a millionaire; another (Hughes) cheats and goes to jail.
When a young wife discovers her husband of two years is involved with his beautiful secretary, she applies for a job as secretary to a business rival.
Angels Wash Their Faces
A young man just released from a reformatory moves to a new neighborhood with his sister, intending to start a new life. However, he gets mixed up with the local mob boss and corrupt politicians and s...
Off the Record
After a socially conscience reporter adopts a slum orphan after she causes his brother's gang to go to prison.
Gone with the Wind
The spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner is forced to use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of poverty, following Maj. Gen. William Sherman's destructive "March to the Sea,”...
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
In 1911, minor stage comic, Vernon Castle meets the stage-struck Irene Foote. A few misadventures later, they marry and then abandon comedy to attempt a dancing career together. While they're performi...
It's a Wonderful World
Detective Guy Johnson's client, Willie Heywood, was framed for murder. While Guy hides him so he can catch the real killer, both of them are arrested by the police, tried, convicted and sentenced to p...
Scouts to the Rescue
Filmed in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Sonora, California, this Universal serial is Universal's 40th sound-era serial. Eagle Scout Bruce Scott, leader of Martinsville Troop Number One, and his pac...
Meet Dr. Christian
The film is the first in the series. Christian is a series starring Jean Hersholt as a small town doctor trying to convince local officials to approve funds for a new hospital.
A former prizefighter tries to help his son pay off his gambling debts.
A tough street kid takes the rap for a burglary committed by the son of his foster family and is sent to a boys reformatory, where the inmates are under the thumb of corrupt guards and a brutal prison...
Here I Am a Stranger
The story of a young man's discovery of his father.
The Flying Irishman
This is the story of the historic 1938 flight of Douglas 'Wrong Way' Corrigan. Mr. Corrigan starred in this film, which chronicled his infamous flight. On July 17, 1938, Mr. Corrigan loaded 320 gallon...
East Side of Heaven
A man finds himself the father, by proxy, of a ten-month-old baby and becomes involved in the turbulent lives of the child's family.
Dust Be My Destiny
Embittered after serving time for a burglary he did not commit, Joe Bell is soon back in jail, on a prison farm. His love for the foreman's daughter leads to a fight between them, leading to the older...
Studio publicist discovers Minnesota skating teacher and takes her to Hollywood. She goes back to Minnesota but he follows her.
Service de Luxe
Glamorous and efficient Helen Murphy runs a service that will provide any type of assistance to wealthy customers, but what she's really looking for is a man who can take care of himself.
Make Way for a Lady
An imaginative teenager decides to play matchmaker for her widowed father. Director David Burton's 1936 comedy stars Herbert Marshall, Anne Shirley, Gertrude Michael, Margot Grahame, Clara Blandick, F...
Red Lights Ahead
A family loses its collective head going from rags to riches in this low-budget comedy from also-ran studio Chesterfield. Former slapstick comedian Andy Clyde starred as Grandpa Tom Hopkins who, after...
Charlie Chan at the Race Track
When a friend of Charlie's is found kicked to death by his own race horse on board a Honolulu-bound liner, the detective discovers foul play and uncovers an international gambling ring.
The Little Red Schoolhouse
Upset by discipline at school, a 17-year-old runs away to New York City and learns there are worse problems than going to his little red school house.
A 1935 melodrama, set in San Francisco, starring Kay Francis as a travelers' aid worker who becomes involved with her clients' personal lives.
A young man, hard-pressed to pay off his mortgage and support his family, decides that he'll get money any way he can--honestly or otherwise.
Kentucky Blue Streak
A nosy reporter (Nugent) befriends the dumb Coughlin and pushes the Governor to commute his sentence. Now, Coughlin can ride his family's pride and joy in the Kentucky Derby. BUT, the mean old Warden ...
Pardon My Pups
Mary Lou is excited because today is her older brother Sonny's birthday. Sonny wants a motorcycle, but his father has decided to buy him a dog instead, mainly because he himself wants to have a dog th...
Young Mary Lou tries to help her brother Sonny raise money so that he can attend a military academy.
Joe Tomasso is an Italian-American bookmaker and gambler who, outwardly, is hard but soft-hearted inwardly. He becomes fond of a homeless waif, Jackie Curtis, and begins to look upon him as the son he...
In the Money
When the chemical company owned by eccentric Professor Higginbottom files for bankruptcy, the formerly-affluent family loses its income. Levelheaded oldest daughter Lambie struggles to make ends meet ...
The ranchers are being grabbed by Skinner and his gang. Ken stopped them when they were going after Kerry's ranch. Skinner frames Ken for rustling, but the Sheriff is on Ken's side, and with the help ...
What's to Do?
Sonny Rogers has just gotten elected class president, he's a star baseball player, and has a cute girlfriend. But, thanks to the conniving of his rival, Harry Vanderpool, he and his whole family are g...
Sonny falls for the pretty new girl next door and decides to take her to a part. First, however, he has to get his sister Mary Lou to go to sleep, which is proving to be a harder task than he anticipa...
Among the travelers of varied backgrounds that meet and interact on one night at Union Depot, a metropolitan train station, are Chick and his friend Scrap Iron, both newly released from prison after s...
Hardworking magazine editor Lois is married to playboy Fred Ames. Her secretary abruptly quits just as salesman Tom Sheridan happens to come to her office to hawk his goods. Desperate for assistance, ...
The Last of the Mohicans
Natty Bumppo, known as Hawk-Eye, is a frontiersman in the American wilderness. Together with his Indian friends Chingachgook and Uncas, he fights battles against nefarious white soldiers as well as th...
A teenager lands in a brutal reform school for refusing to squeal on his bootlegger boss.
The Public Enemy
Two young Chicago hoodlums, Tom Powers and Matt Doyle, rise up from their poverty-stricken slum life to become petty thieves, bootleggers and cold-blooded killers. But with street notoriety and newfou...
Penrod and Sam
Best pals Penrod and Sam are leaders of a super-secret neighborhood society, the In-Or-In Boys Club. Troubles arise when a pompous prig tries to join the club and when the boys lose their clubhouse in...
How I Play Golf, by Bobby Jones No. 5: 'The Medium Irons'
Bobby Jones practices the fundamentals with a group of children in the wings.
Sgt. Conniston and his alcoholic guide O'Toole are on the trail of an escaped murderer named Keith. When they catch up with him in the farthest reaches of Northern Canada, Keith turns out to be a dead...
The Girl Said No
A comedy romance in which breezy Haines, as a young lady killer, tries to capture the heart of Hyams who has turned him down for Bushman. Haines plots dozens of extreme measures to win her over, and ...
Tad's dream is to attend a military academy so he can grow up to be a great soldier and a war hero, like his father. What he doesn't know is that his father, Slag, is actually a thief and a derelict. ...
Let'er Go Gallegher
Young John Gallagher wants to be a newspaper reporter. One day he witnesses a murder committed by a mysterious man with only four fingers on one hand. He gives his account of the murder and a descript...
A Harp in Hock
A Harp in Hock, also known as The Samaritan, is a lost 1927 American silent melodrama film directed by Renaud Hoffman, produced by DeMille Pictures, and distributed by Pathé Exchange. The film starred...
The Yankee Clipper
A race between a British clipper ship and an American ship of a new design will determine the right to transport Chinese tea.
The Country Doctor
Slide, Kelly, Slide
A minor league pitcher lets pride get the better of him after he joins the New York Yankees.
Her Man o' War
During World War I, an American soldier is captured and taken prisoner by the Germans. However, instead of being placed in a prisoner-of-war camp, he is assigned to the small farm of a young woman and...
The Darling of New York
Santussa, an orphan who becomes separated from her nurse en route to America to live with her grandfather, is cared for by gangsters who hide their stolen jewels in her ragdoll. In New York, Big Mike,...
The Adventures of Daredevil Jack
Heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey stars in this 15 chapter action serial, of which portions of reels 1, 2, and 4 survive. In the serial he plays the star fullback of his college's football team...
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Junior_Coghlan", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.