Tribute: Jerry Van Dyke dies at 86

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Jerry Van Dyke, 86, the younger brother of actor Dick Van Dyke, died Friday at his 800-acre ranch in Arkansas.

Van Dyke was a comic actor best known for his role in “Coach” and “My Mother the Car,” and had been ill for the past two years after being involved in a car accident.  His wife, Shirley Ann Jones, reported that they were alone together at their ranch, which they’ve owned for 35 years, when he died.

Van Dyke was also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, which he joined during the Korean War, and twice won the “All Air Force Talent Show,” the LA Times reported.

After leaving the military, he became a guest-star on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” starring the brother of his real-life older brother on the show.

However, he is best known for his role as an assistant football coach on the ABC show, “Coach,” which aired from 1989 to 1997. In the early 1990’s, Van Dyke earned four Emmy nominations for the role.

People.com reported that Van Dyke turned down the role of Gilligan on “Gilligan’s Island” in 1964.

He was born on July 27, 1931, in Danville, Illinois, and is survived by Jones (his second wife) and two children, Jerri Lynn and Ronald. A third child, Kelly Van Dyke, died of suicide in 1991.

His brother Dick Van Dyke, 92, of West Plains, Missouri, reportedly visited him over the Christmas holidays.

 

 

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