The Healer and the Pirate

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Flashback Friday - Daniel Carone, Steve Brodie and child star Jackie Coogan - April 10-11, 1921

I'm keeping this short. Again, if you find history interesting, check out my Coney Island blog!

Leaps Off Brooklyn Bridge, Is Unhurt; Duplicates for Movies "Steve" Brodie's Feat

--The New York Times, April 11, 1921

Daniel Carone, "an expert swimmer" jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge into the East River, almost 175 feet. Supposedly, he leaped on a bet, and had it filmed for posterity.

On July 23, 1886, Steve Brodie (at least claimed to have) jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, on a bet. He went on to open a saloon and even leave $100,000 to his heirs.

If the New York Times is correct, other men died trying the same feat. Knickerbocker Village has a great rundown of Brodie's notoriety.


That and Rum--the Card Game, Not the Liquor--Jackie Coogan's Hobbies at 5.
Calls His Partner "Charles Expensive Chaplin" and "Treats Girls Rough."

--The New York Times, April 10, 1921

The article is an intimate portrait of a few minutes with this precocious Hollywood tyke who was visiting New York. It goes on to note that 5-year-old Jackie Coogan made $64,000 in movie roles since he was 4. He would "play" casino and deal out the cards. His father, Jack Coogan Senior, was formerly a dancer in vaudeville, and says he's concerned that his child behaves in public and is "polite and obedient."

Per IMDB, he didn't quite retire at 13, though he took a break for 1928 and 1929, when he was about 13. According to the biography there, his popularity waned and his mother and stepfather wouldn't give him his earnings; by law they weren't his. (This led to California passing the Child Actors Bill to protect child stars' earnings!) He had his share of downs but in the 1950s and 1960s he got a new start on television. Maybe the most recognizable role to today's audiences would be Uncle Fester from the Addams Family.

Oh, and I don't know if he treated grown-up girls rough, but he did divorce three times before he settled on his fourth wife!

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