Frank Coghlan Jr. - News Poster


The First Marvel ‘Avenger’ On The Screen

Joss Whedon’s The Avengers gathers a galaxy of Marvel Comics superstars, but I wish more people could see the first comic book superhero to make the leap to the big screen: Captain Marvel, in what many aficionados consider the best serial ever made, The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941). Former Western star Tom Tyler made a handsome and heroic superhero, and perennial juvenile actor Frank Coghlan, Jr. was ideally cast as Billy Batson, the plucky young fellow who transformed himself into Captain Marvel by uttering the magic word, “Shazam.” (For the uninitiated, Shazam is an acronym that represents the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the...

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Shazam!!! – Captain Marvel’S Billy Batson Dies

Frank `Junior’ Coghlan began his career as a child star in the silents, but was best known for his role in the 1941 Republic serial The Adventures of Captain Marvel. By shouting the magic word Shazam! young Billy Batson would instantly transform into the powerful super-hero Captain Marvel (played by Tom Tyler).

Coghlan was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on March 15, 1916. He moved to California with his family as a child and became an extra in silent films along with his mother and father. After several years of appearing in small roles he was signed to a contract under Cecil B. DeMille in 1925 and appeared in numerous silents over the next decade. Coghlan made the transition to talkie films in 1930 and was featured as a young James Cagney in Public Enemy (1931). He also starred as Sam Williams, with Leon Janney as Penrod, in 1931’s Penrod and Sam.

He continued his career
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