Coogan Act Law & Legal Definition


Coogan Act refers to a landmark legislation named ‘California Child Actor's Bill’ passed in 1939 designed to protect a child actor's earnings. It has been revised few times since its enactment. It was passed with intent to safeguard a portion of a child actor's earnings until they enter adulthood. The law requires the child actor's employer to set aside a portion of the child's earnings in court-administered trust funds. It enables the child to receive his/her earnings when s/he reaches the age of majority. The Act has been updated stating that all money earned by the child actor is solely theirs, and unauthorized use by the parents is considered stealing, legally. The Act is named after child actor, Jackie Coogan. He earned millions of dollars as a child actor but discovered upon reaching adulthood, that his parents had spent almost all of his money. The Act is also known as Coogan’s law or Coogan Bill.