Jeff Cohen (actor)

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Jeff Cohen
Born Jeffrey Bertan McMahon
(1974-06-25) June 25, 1974 (age 40)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation Attorney

Jeffrey Bertan Cohen, B.S., J.D. (born Jeffrey Bertan McMahon; June 25, 1974) is an American attorney (and founding partner of Cohen & Gardner, LLP[1]) and former child actor best remembered for appearing as Chunk in the 1985 Steven Spielberg production The Goonies.

Life and career[edit]

Cohen was born Jeffrey Bertan McMahon in Los Angeles, and took his stage name from the maiden name of his mother, Elaine Cohen.[2] Since the part of "Chunk" entailed a lot of mockery at Cohen's considerable girth, he took up high school football and has since lost a great deal of weight as an adult. Cohen was one of the kids describing words to the contestants on the 1982–83 CBS game show Child's Play, and during the summer of 1985 he appeared as a celebrity on Body Language. According to a 2014 story on Cohen in the magazine of the American Bar Association, the ABA Journal, "puberty hit and forced Cohen into early retirement."[1]

Cohen attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business in 1996. While at UC Berkeley, Cohen was a resident assistant during the 1994–1995 academic year at Unit I's Putnam Hall and later on in Norton Hall. He became President of the Associated Students; his campaign posters featured a picture of himself from his Goonies days and the simple slogan "Chunk for president". He was also known for his energy at football games serving as the "Mic-Man" and performing the now-famous Truffle Shuffle on the sidelines to raise applause from the crowd. While at Berkeley, Jeff also was initiated as a brother into the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity.

Cohen also used introductions from Goonies director Richard Donner to get summer jobs on the business side of movie studios; he would say about that time in the ABA Journal story, "I grew up loving the Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers, but suddenly I had a new crop of heroes." He chose to pursue a legal career upon finding out that many of the most important figures on the business side of Hollywood had law degrees.[1]

After his time at Berkeley, Cohen graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 2000[1] and later became an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles. In 2002, he co-founded the Cohen & Gardner firm in Beverly Hills.[3][4] In the September 24, 2008 issue of Variety, Cohen was profiled in the Dealmakers Impact Report.[3] Additionally, Cohen was named to The Hollywood Reporter's Next Generation: Hollywood's Top 35 Executives 35 and Under in their November 5 issue.[5]

Cohen claimed in The Goonies DVD commentary track that every role he played as a child had him wearing either a Hawaiian shirt or a pair of plaid pants, and director Richard Donner had the brilliant idea to put him in both for The Goonies.[6] Before The Goonies started filming, Cohen contracted chicken pox. Afraid that they would re-cast the role, he told no one of his illness and showed up to work anyway. According to the commentary track on The Goonies DVD, you can see the chicken pox on Cohen's chest during the famous "Truffle Shuffle" sequence.[6]

Cohen's sister, Eydie Faye, is a successful playwright and actress. In the final scene of The Goonies, when the families gather on the beach, Faye has a cameo as Chunk's sister. In another scene, Chunk tells the Fratellis that he once pushed his sister Eydie down the stairs and blamed it on the dog.

Cohen was named to Variety's Dealmakers Impact Report in 2013.[7]

The American Bar Association profiled Cohen in 2014. [8]

As of February 2014, he peroidically "writes about business, legal and political matters for the Huffington Post and CNBC."[1]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1983 Little Shots Ralph TV Movie
1985 The Goonies Lawrence "Chunk" Cohen
1988 Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School Grunt Voice
1991 Perfect Harmony Ward TV Movie
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1983 Tales from the Darkside Timmy Muldoon Episode: "Trick or Treat" (Pilot)
1983 Webster Dwight Episode: "A Question of Honor"
1984 Kids Incorporated Webster Bendetti Episode: "The Prankster"
1984 The Facts of Life Seymour Slavick Episode: "The Summer of '84"
1984
1987
Family Ties Dougie Barker
Marv Jr.
Episode: "4 Rms Ocn Vu"
Episode: "The Visit"
1985
1986
Amazing Stories Ralph
Eddie
Episode: "Remote Control Man"
Episode: "Magic Saturday"
1986 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Max Baxter Episode: "Ask Max"
1987 She's the Sheriff Percy Episode: "Child's Play"

References[edit]

External links[edit]