More than 20 years ago, Danny Cooksey took a trip from Oklahoma to California to give the entertainment business a go.
Oklahoma actor Danny Cooksey talks about his latest project. He is the voice of Brad on "Kick Buttowski — Suburban Daredevil,” premiering at 7:30 a.m. Saturday on Disney XD.
He’s still in Los Angeles, making a nice living doing voice-over work. But he still calls Oklahoma home.
"It’s a long walk, but it’s still home,” said Cooksey, who attended Apple Creek Elementary School in Moore through the third grade.
"I was just supposed to be in California for a week, but I ended up on ‘Diff’rent Strokes.’ And I haven’t left.”
Cooksey, who went to California for a country music audition, was asked by an agent to read for the part of an orphan on "Diff’rent Strokes.” A few days later, he found out he landed a different role on the show.
He was cast as Sam McKinney, and playing his mom was Dixie Carter. She was cast six episodes earlier, and her character was about to marry Mr. Drummond.
"It just popped up that she had a son, and that was me,” Cooksey said. "I found out (about the role) on a Friday, we shot wedding photos on Sunday, and I went to work on Monday.
"It was within a week that my life took that turn.”
Cooksey, 34, certainly enjoyed his time in front of the camera, which included three seasons of "Diff’rent Strokes,” two seasons of "The Cavanaughs” and a part in the movie "Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”
But he discovered that doing voices for cartoons was more fun.
He is the voice behind Montana Max on "Tiny Toons Adventure,” Dave on "Dave the Barbarian” and Jack Spicer on "Xiaolin Showdown.” He also voices Crackle for Rice Krispies’ cartoon mascots Snap, Crackle, Pop.
And starting Saturday, he can be heard on "Kick Buttowski — Suburban Daredevil,” which premieres at 7:30 a.m. on Disney XD (channel 151 on Cox Digital Cable, 174 on Dish Network, 292 on DirecTV and 304 on U-verse). His character is Brad, the older brother of Kick.
"Kick Buttowski” follows the adventures of a young boy determined to become the world’s greatest daredevil. He devises such stunts as racing the school bus with a soda-powered jet pack and riding down Dead Man’s Drop on an ironing board.
"It’s another great project Disney is doing, and they allowed me to go in and play with them,” Cooksey said. "And I always enjoy playing the snarky older brother.”
Twenty episodes have been filmed for the show’s first season. He taped the final two episodes a few weeks ago, although he is now busy adding in sounds while actually watching the cartoons.
He even took his daughter, Zoe, to work with him last week.
"She got to see what old Dad does for a living,” Cooksey said. "She got to see me play.”
And that’s what Cooksey loves about the animation business. It allows him to spend more time with his wife, Amber, and their daughter.
"When my daughter was born 11 years ago, I thought maybe I’ll start acting again,” he said. "But animation is so nice. We record an episode in two hours or so. So, I was able to watch my daughter grow up.
"I’ve been blessed to be able to do what I do and get paid and make a living. Work is an absolute enjoyment for me.”