John Franklin (actor)

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John Franklin
John Franklin 2014.jpg
John Franklin in 2014
John Paul Salapatek

(1959-06-16) June 16, 1959 (age 59)
OccupationActor, teacher
Years active1983-2001; 2015-present
Spouse(s)David White (m. 2008)

John Franklin (born John Paul Salapatek; June 16, 1959) is an American actor best known for playing Isaac Chroner in Children of the Corn (1984), and Cousin Itt in The Addams Family (1991).

Early life[edit]

He was born John Paul Salapatek in Blue Island, Illinois, a southern suburb of Chicago, on June 16, 1959. As a child, Franklin suffered from a growth hormone deficiency; as a result, his adult height is "barely 5 feet", or roughly 152 centimeters.[1]

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. He would also play chucky in shots where the killer doll would be seen moving in The 1988 movie Child's Play.

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.

Franklin formerly worked as an English teacher at Golden Valley High School in Santa Clarita, California.[2][3] He explained,

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."[2]

At the end of the 2015-2016 school year, Franklin announced to the students and staff of Golden Valley High School that he would be retiring from teaching to reprise his career as a writer and actor. He is currently working on several projects, including a young adult novel.


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Children of the Corn Isaac Chroner
1986 Highway to Heaven Arnie Episode: "Alone"
1986 The Kingdom Chums: Little David's Adventure Magical Mose Television film; voice role
1988 A Night at the Magic Castle Twit
1988 Beauty and the Beast Young Vincent Episode: "Promises of Someday"
1988 Child's Play Walkabout Chucky Voice role
1988 Andy Colby's Incredible Adventure The Gatekeepers dog
1991 The Addams Family Cousin Itt
1993 Addams Family Values Cousin Itt
1994 Tammy and the T-Rex Bobby
1996 Chicago Hope Jimmy Dunston Episode: "V-Fibbing"
1997 George B. Little Mike
1997 Tower of Terror Dewey Todd
1997 Wag the Dog Jockey #1
1998 The Killing Grounds Owner
1999 Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return Isaac
2000 Python Floyd Fuller
2000 Star Trek: Voyager Kipp Episode: "Critical Care"
2000 The Christmas Secret Morluv Television film
2004 Tales of a Fly on the Wall Master Keldar Television film
2014 Hag Marriage counselor Short film
2015 Hell's Kitty Isaiah Episode: "The Medium"


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ a b "Hart of the matter" (PDF). William S. Hart Union High School District. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
  3. ^ "Faculty page for John Salapatek at the Golden Valley High School website". 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-18.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]