Actor Jerry Van Dyke Passes Away At 86

(CBS) — Media outlets are reporting that actor-comedian Jerry Van Dyke — younger brother of Dick Van Dyke — has passed away at the age of 86.

The Van Dyke brothers grew up in downstate Danville, near Champaign-Urbana, a small city where Oscar-winning actor Gene Hackman also spent his early years.

Jerry Van Dyke in 2002. (Getty Images)

Jerry Van Dyke guest-starred on his famous brother’s “Dick Van Dyke Show” in the 1960s but did not find fame himself until relatively late in life, on the TV sitcom “Coach,” co-starring with Craig T. Nelson through much of the 1990s.

Van Dyke played the character Luther Van Dam. Jerry Van Dyke also was a trivia footnote for the television parts he did not play. He reputedly passed on the lead in “Gilligan’s Island” to star in the short-lived “My Mother the Car” in the 1960s.

Van Dyke also said he did not get the role of George Utley in Bob Newhart’s 1980s television series, a part that later went to Tom Poston, even though it was written with Van Dyke in mind.

Among the media outlets reporting Jerry Van Dyke’s passing is the News-Gazette, which said the actor died Friday in Little Rock, Ark. 

 

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