Child actor Keith Coogan is one of those actors with an extensive filmography who was never able to make a name for himself in Hollywood. He's a face you'd recognize, but wouldn't quite be able to place. Perhaps that's just the way he wants it.
Keith is the grandson of legendary actor Jackie Coogan. He began acting in TV series under the name Keith Mitchell in the late 70s. Appearances on "Laverne & Shirley" and "CHiPS led to a role in the 1978 TV movies "Stickin' Together" and "Battered." In 1978 he also co-starred in the award-winning telefilm "A Question of Love," a cutting-edge drama about a lesbian mother living with her children and her lover.
In 1979 he joined the TV series "The Waltons," playing Jeffrey Burton until 1980. After a second TV series failed, Keith turned to the big screen, voicing Young Tod in "The Fox and the Hound." Another feature film, "All Summer in a Day," followed, along with the TV movies "Million Dollar Infield" and "The Kid with the Broken Halo."
Keith played the lead role in the short-lived TV series "Gun-Shy." That same year he won the Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor, Guest on a Series, for his role on the hit TV show "Knight Rider." He was also nominated for a Young Artist Award for "Gun Shy."
For unknown reasons, Keith took a four-year acting break after that successful year. When he finally re-emerged in 1987, it was to star in two high-profile box office releases: "Hiding Out" and "Adventures in Babysitting." While the former was a box office bomb, "Advertures in Babysitting" grossed $34 million at the box office and garnered Keith another Young Artist Award nomination.
This time Keith stayed in the game, spending the remainder of the 80s starring in such box office no-shows as "Cousins," "Cheetah" and "Under the Boardwalk." Two more feature films, "Book of Love" and "Toy Soldiers," would follow before Keith finally hit a homerun again.
In 1991's "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead," Keith played brother to Christina Applegate's Sue Ellen. It was the typical difficult-brother-who-redeems-himself-in-the-end role, but Keith put in a memorable performance all the same. Unfortunately he chose to follow up that film with the unmemorable "Forever," along with the 1994 Pauly Shore film "In the Army Now." Needless to say, his career has never been the same.
Keith has three films set for release in 1999, including the Dark Lantern film "Dreamers."