Oklahoma native Danny Cooksey moved with his mother to Los Angeles to pursue a country music career in 1980, when he was just five years old. Not long after arriving, a talent scout took note of Cooksey's precocious charm and asked him to audition for the show Diff'rent Strokes. Cooksey soon won the role of Sam McKinney on the series and played the character for three years, with more roles to follow. He made a brief appearance toward the beginning of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and played red-headed bully Bobby on the Nickelodeon series Salute Your Shorts. Cooksey also got involved in voice acting, lending his talents to such animated shows as Xiaolin Showdown and Pepper Ann.