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Then + Now: Danny Cooksey from ‘Diff’rent Strokes,’ ‘Salute Your Shorts’ + More

Danny Cooksey Diff'rent Strokes

As a child, Danny Cooksey joined the cast of ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ in the final three seasons of the show, and he went on to become a well-recognized teen actor in the ’90s — but what’s he up to now?


Danny Cooksey and his mom moved out to LA when he was just 8 years old with the intention of kickstarting a country music career, but when his agent saw the youngster’s performance, he urged him to audition for ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ instead, where he nabbed the role of Sam McKinney and became a series regular in the show’s waning years.

Post-‘Strokes,’ Cooksey went on to star in ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ (a bit part), and most notably, the Nickelodeon series ‘Salute Your Shorts,’ in which he played troublemaker and wannabe rock star Budnick. Back then he also lent his voice talents to ‘Tiny Toon Adventures’ and ‘The Ren and Stimpy Show.’


Danny Cooksey
Joey Foley, Getty Images

Cooksey fronts a rock band called Arbuckle, and does the convention circuit from time to time, posing for photos and giving autographs to fans. He’s also doing a ton of voice acting work these days on shows like ‘Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness,’ ‘Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil,’ and ‘Pound Puppies.’

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