John Franklin (actor)
|Born||John Paul Salapatek
June 16, 1959
Blue Island, Chicago, Illinois
Early life and education
He was born John Paul Salapatek in Blue Island, Illinois, a southern suburb of Chicago, on June 16, 1959. In 1977, John graduated from Dwight D. Eisenhower High School. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1983 with a BFA in theater and teaching.
In 1983, John Franklin moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in acting. He appeared in commercials before successfully auditioning for the role of Isaac in Stephen King's Children of the Corn.
After Children of the Corn, Franklin went on to appear in the kids' variety show Kids Incorporated, guest starring in two episodes, "The Leprechaun" and "Space Case." He appeared in many commercials again before guest starring as Arnie in Highway to Heaven, playing a mentally handicapped teenage runaway.
In 1991, Franklin landed the role of Cousin Itt in The Addams Family and reprised the role in 1993's Addams Family Values. Throughout the 1990s, Franklin appeared as a guest on several TV shows, including Chicago Hope and Star Trek Voyager, then guest starred with David Morse in George B. and with Steve Guttenberg in Tower of Terror.
In 1999, Franklin reprised his debut role, Isaac, in Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return, co-writing the script with his cousin Tim Sulka. In 2000, he landed a small role in Python and co starred as Morluv in The Christmas Secret.
"After the events of 9/11, I saw the shallowness of showbiz and felt a great desire to leave a greater legacy than just being Cousin Itt. Teaching seemed to be a perfect fit for my theatrical talents and to touch many lives."
As a child, Franklin suffered from a growth hormone deficiency; as a result, his adult height is "barely 5 feet". Being that he is over 4'10" tall, there is some disagreement as to whether he'd be described as a person with Dwarfism.
Film, TV work
- Star Trek: Voyager (1 episode, 2000)
- Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return (1999) as Isaac Chroner
- Wag the Dog (1997)
- Tower of Terror (1997) (TV) as Dewey Todd
- Chicago Hope (1 episode, 1996)
- Addams Family Values (1993) as Cousin Itt
- The Addams Family (1991) as Cousin Itt
- Highway to Heaven (1 episode, 1986)
- Children of the Corn (1984) as Isaac Chroner
- "Hart of the matter" (PDF). William S. Hart Union High School District. 2005. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
- "Faculty page for John Salapatek at the Golden Valley High School website". 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- It Isn`t Easy To Be It: John Franklin Emerges From A 35-pound Furball To Tell All, at the Chicago Tribune; by Clifford Terry; published December 15, 1991; retrieved March 2, 2014