Coogan in 1958.
April 4, 1914 |
Short Hills, Essex County
New Jersey, USA
Richard Coogan (born April 4, 1914) is an American actor best known for his portrayal of Captain Video from 1949-1950.
Born in Short Hills, New Jersey, Coogan worked in radio for some time, including appearing as Abie Levy in Abie's Irish Rose. He also appeared on Broadway in five different productions between 1945 and 1955, all of them short-lived except for Diamond Lil with Mae West, and The Rainmaker. He was still appearing on Broadway with West when he took the role of Captain Video and His Video Rangers on the DuMont Television Network on June 27, 1949. After the live telecast each day, ending at about 7:30 p.m. EST, he would take a cab to the theatre where Diamond Lil was playing. As the popularity of Captain Video increased, Coogan grew less and less comfortable with both the role and the very, very low budget of the production. He left Captain Video in December 1950, replaced by Al Hodge, who played the part for the remainder of the run of the series, until April 1, 1955. Hodge became so completely identified with the character that he was never able to escape it. Coogan transferred to the soap opera Love of Life, where he played the heroic Paul Raven.
Between 1954 and 1961, Coogan appeared in such films as Three Hours to Kill, The Revolt of Mamie Stover, Vice Raid, and Girl on the Run. On the NBC western television series, The Californians (1957–1959) set in the San Francisco gold rush of the 1850s, Coogan appeared as Marshal Matthew Wayne, a character who struck most viewers and critics as a deliberate clone of Gunsmoke's Marshal Matt Dillon. He also had a continuing role on the police procedural series Vice Raid (1960–1961), as Sergeant Whitney Brandon. During 1951–1963 he guest-starred on a number of other television series, mainly westerns such Gunsmoke, Laramie, Bonanza, Maverick, Stagecoach West, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Bronco, and Wichita Town, as well as crime dramas, such as Perry Mason, Surfside 6, and 77 Sunset Strip.
Coogan retired from film and television in 1963 following an appearance on Perry Mason as Police Sgt. Gifford in "The Case of the Shoplifter's Shoe," and his final appearance as Luke Ryan in an episode of Gunsmoke. In later life he was best known as a professional golfer and golf instructor.
- Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-0351-9.
- Richard Coogan at the Internet Movie Database
- Richard Coogan at the Internet Broadway Database
- Richard Coogan as Captain Video, another view