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.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 6, 2018
We just learned of Jerry Van Dyke’s passing. Our hearts go out to his family, and most especially @iammrvandy who was so close with his brother. Rose Marie worked with Jerry several times including summer stock, The Love Boat, and @dickvandykeshow pic.twitter.com/4y32ItJKeq
— Rose Marie-Official (@RoseMarie4Real) January 6, 2018
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 6, 2018
Much love to my wonderful TV dad #jerryvandyke and condolences to my TV dad-in-law #dickvandyke. Jerry, you were hilarious and terrifically talented – what an honor to be able to watch up close as you and your brother create your special magic. Rest In Peace Jerry… pic.twitter.com/O5Sx12vK3q
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) January 6, 2018