Cohen was born Jeffrey Bertan McMahon in Los Angeles, California, and took his stage name from the maiden name of his mother, Elaine Cohen. Since the part of "Chunk" entailed a lot of mockery at Cohen's considerable girth, he took up high school football and has since lost a great deal of weight as an adult. Cohen was one of the kids describing words to the contestants on the 1982-83 CBS game show Child's Play, and during the summer of 1985 he appeared as a celebrity on Body Language. Cohen attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business in 1996. While at UC Berkeley, Cohen was a resident assistant in Cheney Hall and became President of the Associated Students. His campaign posters featured a picture of himself from his Goonies days and the simple slogan "Chunk for president". He was also known for his energy at football games, performing the now-famous Truffle Shuffle on the sidelines to raise applause from the crowd. While at Berkeley, Jeff also was initiated as a brother into the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity.
After his time at Berkeley, Cohen studied at the UCLA School of Law and later became an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles. In 2002, he co-founded the Cohen & Gardner firm in Beverly Hills. In the September 24, 2008 issue of Variety, Cohen was profiled in the Dealmakers Impact Report. Additionally, Cohen was named to The Hollywood Reporter's Next Generation: Hollywood's Top 35 Executives 35 and Under in their November 5 issue.
Cohen claimed in The Goonies DVD commentary track that every role he played as a child had him wearing either a Hawaiian shirt or a pair of plaid pants, and director Richard Donner had the brilliant idea of putting him in both for The Goonies. Before The Goonies started filming, Cohen contracted chicken pox. Afraid that they would re-cast the role, he told no one of his illness and showed up to work anyway. According to the commentary track on The Goonies DVD, you can see the chicken pox on Cohen's chest during the famous "Truffle Shuffle" sequence.
Cohen's sister, Eydie Faye, is a successful playwright and actress. In the final scene of The Goonies, when the families gather on the beach, Faye has a cameo as Chunk's sister. In another scene, Chunk tells the Fratellis that he once pushed his sister Eydie down the stairs and blamed it on the dog.
Graduated from UC Berkeley.
As of Oct. 2010, he is an entertainment lawyer in Beverly Hills, CA.
He was the President of the Associated Students of UC Berkeley and used to do the Truffle Shuffle on the sidelines during football games.
Mother and older sister appeared on the 26 June 2004 episode of TLC's "Clean Sweep" (2003) organizing their house of 32 years. Found in the mess (and shown on air) were head shots of Jeff around the time of The Goonies (1985).
Brother of playwright Edie Faye.
Got the chicken pox after he got the role of Chunk in The Goonies (1985). He showed up to the set anyway, afraid that they would have replaced him otherwise. To generate tears during his "confession" scene with the Fratellis, he thought of his mother dying.
It was fun being an actor, but by the time college rolled around, I was ready to try some new things. By the time I graduated, I realized I enjoyed having a normal life and I never went back.
(August 2001) Appeared with other The Goonies (1985) cast members for a commentary section of the film's DVD.
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