Saturday, April 5, 2014

Richard Coogan R.I.P.

Richard Coogan, who was the original Captain Video and starred in the TV Western The Californians, died on 12 March 2014. He was 99 years old.

Richard Coogan was born on 4 April 1914 in Short Hills, New Jersey. He worked as an announcer and news anchor on radio for a time before taking up acting. He made his debut on Broadway in Alice in Arms in 1945. In the Forties he went on to appear in the productions Skipper Next to God, Strange Bedfellows, S. S. Glencairn, and Diamond Lil. He made his television debut in 1945 in a production of The Front Page. It was in 1949 that he was cast as Captain Video in Captain Video and His Video Rangers. Mr. Coogan left Captain Video and His Video Rangers in December 1950, having become frustrated with the show's extremely low production values.

In the Fifties Richard Coogan was the star of the short lived TV series The Californians and a regular on the soap operas Love of Life and The Clear Horizon. He also guest starred on such shows as Robert Montgomery Presents, The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, Suspense, Wichita Town, Bronco, Sugarfoot, 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick,  and Cheyenne. He appeared in the films Girl on the Run (1953), Three Hours to Kill (1954), The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956), and Vice Raid (1960). He appeared on Broadway in The Rainmaker.

In the Sixties Mr. Coogan guest starred on The Loretta Young Show, Bonanza, Surfside 6, Perry Mason, Laramie, and Bonanza. He retired from acting in 1963. Afterwards he was both a professional golfer and a golf instructor.

Although Richard Coogan was perhaps best known for his heroic roles such as Captain Video and Marshal Wayne on The Californians, he was a versatile actor who play a wide variety of roles. He played a wide variety of roles in his guest appearances on various TV shows, from preachers to doctors to Cole Younger in an episode of Bronco. What is more, he did all of them quite well. Richard Coogan was quite simply an actor who defied typecasting. He had the looks of a leading man, but could play nearly any role given him.

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