Jackie Coogan Jr. was born to act. He was a veteran stage performer in 1919 and was first spotted by Charlie Chaplin. The hard-working little Coogan was immediately cast in the Chaplin’s A Day’s Pleasure and soon became the chile star acting in The Kid in 1919, Daddy in 1923, Long Live the King in 1923, Tom Sawyer in 1930 and Huckleberry Finn in 1931.
Coogan was one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood
By the age of 21, he became one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. His parents had spent all his money, and when he tried to access $4 million (that is about $67 million today), he realized the same. He was left with $126,000 from $250,000, so he decided not to spend the money after suing both of them.
His mother, Lillian Coogan, argued that for an instance that Jackie had been having pleasure anyway while acting and that no promises were ever made to offer Jackie his money. His stepfather, Arthur Bernstein, said that every buck a kid earns before the age of 21 belongs to his parents. Jackie will not get a percentage of his earnings. One can notice that Bernstein uses the word “his,” as in Jackie’s, in describing the exact money.
The resulting inequity outraged the people and contributed to the passage of their Child Actors Bill, aka the Coogan Act or Coogan Law.
Under the Coogan’s Law
After its launch in 1938, the Coogan Law provided that a part of the celebrity’s earnings should be set aside in a trustworthy account for the little use while he or she reached majority. The law was developed to address a few of the significant issues Jackie needed in regaining his lost money against his mum in a community property state. Under California law, all of Coogan’s earnings since a child lawfully belonged to the family meaning his mommy has been eligible to invest some of his money.
Even with provisions to earnings, parents found loopholes over the years. As a result, changes were passed in 1999 and 2003 to fortify the law. Under the current variant, employers are required to set aside 15% of a minor’s earnings into a trust account, or, when the parent does not set up the trust account, will have to deposit it with the Actors Fund of America (AFA). Also, under current law, the minor’s earnings are shared with the parents.
Other nations, including New York, New Mexico, and Louisiana, have legislation that requires some specific conditions for launching the trust balances. However, California recently amended Coogan’s law, this time to provide an exception to the 15% withholding and trust account requirements for all those minors and a contract to provide services as an extra, desktop celebrity, or at a similar capacity. No one will come across a means to exploit the additional same capacity loophole.
In any case, now, when a kid celebrity is employed at a comparatively minimal job, employers are exempt from the withholding requirements. The bill’s stated aim is to eradicate unnecessary and wasteful procedures for those young actors who merely work once or twice annually at a modest job and to give back these kids their summer fun cash. Notably, according to the study, more than 80% of kid actors were at under $99 that the Actors Fund of America had individual deposits, by 2013.