10 January 2020 00:43
Actor Edd Byrnes died at 87 on Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Santa Monica, TMZ reported. 'It is with profound sadness and grief that I share with you the passing of my father Edd Byrnes,' his son Logan said Thursday on Twitter. Byrnes appeared in the smash hit Grease and played the role of Vince Fontaine, the host of the National Bandstand dance contest. The latest: Grease actor Edd Byrnes died at 87 on Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Santa Monica In the 1978 film - which he appeared in at the age of 45 - Byrnes' character Vince Fontaine achieved an impressive feat with a front handspring during a dance sequence with John Travolta and the cast. Byrnes had a long Hollywood career, playing roles such as the heartthrob Kookie on the ABC show 77 Sunset Strip from 1958-1964.
The show, which starred Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Roger Smith as private eyes, initially featured Byrnes' character Gerald 'Kookie' Lloyd Kookson III as a valet who worked at a neighboring restaurant off the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, and later as a junior private eye. Sad day: Edd's son Logan shared the announcement on Twitter Thursday Showman: In the 1978 film - which Byrnes appeared in at the age of 45 - Byrnes' character Vince Fontaine achieved an impressive feat with a front handspring during a dance sequence with John Travolta and the cast Legacy: Byrnes had a long and prosperous Hollywood career, playing roles such as the heartthrob Kookie on the TV show 77 Sunset Strip from 1958-1964 Byrnes became a breakout star on the show and a teen idol, at one point getting 15,000 weekly letters from fans, the New York Times reported. He also recorded a duet with Connie Stevens inspired by the character called Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb), a reference to the character's trademark combing of his hair. The highbrow and the hipster: Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Roger Smith, Byrnes and Louis Quinn were seen in this 1959 episode of 77 Sunset Strip Popular: Byrnes also recorded a duet with Connie Stevens inspired by Kookie called Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb), a reference to the character's trademark combing of his hair Focused: Following his turn as Fontaine in 1978's Grease, he went onto appear on TV shows including The Love Boat, CHiPs, Charlie's Angels and Fantasy Island Byrnes went on to appear on 1960s TV hits including The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Mannix, and 1970s shows such as Adam-12 and Love, American Style. Following his turn as Fontaine in 1978's Grease, he went onto appear on TV shows including The Love Boat, CHiPs, Charlie's Angels, Mr. Belvedere, Fantasy Island and Married...
Byrnes played Kookie, the parking attendant who was always quick with a quip to his next-door neighbors at the detective agency. His striking good looks made him an instant hit with the teenagers of the late 1950s, culminating in a gold record with actress Connie Stevens, "Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)." The song reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1959. Byrnes went on to play smooth dance contest host Vince Fontaine in the 1978 film version of Grease. That led to Byrnes leaving the 77 Sunset Strip show briefly, then returning when his absence caused an uproar. He came back in May 1960 and was no longer parking cars, but was now a partner in the detective agency. Byrnes career was mixed following his 77 Sunset Strip heyday. Byrnes also appeared in Reform School Girl (1957), Darby's Rangers (1958), Marjorie Morningstar (1958), Life Begins at 17 (1958), Up Periscope (1959), Yellowstone Kelly (1959), Beach Ball (1965), Michael Apted's Stardust (1974) and Troop Beverly Hills (1989) and on TV shows including Cheyenne, Maverick, Honey West, Mannix, Police Woman, Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island and Murder, She Wrote. Meredith collects data to deliver the best content, services, and personalized digital ads. We partner with third party advertisers, who may use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on sites and applications across devices, both on our sites and across the Internet. You always have the choice to experience our sites without personalized advertising based on your web browsing activity by visiting the DAA's Consumer Choice page, the NAI's website, and/or the EU online choices page, from each of your browsers or devices. To avoid personalized advertising based on your mobile app activity, you can install the DAA's AppChoices app here. Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our site. By clicking continue below and using our sites or applications, you agree that we and our third party advertisers can: