Facts about Jerry Van Dyke
Jerry Van Dyke Biography
The younger brother of actor Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Van Dyke was a journeyman actor before scoring a TV hit with Coach.
Jerry Van Dyke joined the Air Force in 1952, where he entertained troops and spent his spare time honing his comedy chops. After more years doing stand-up comedy, he began to appear on TV — most notably as his brother’s brother on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He starred in the short-lived My Mother the Car, a comedy series with the bizarre premise that his dead mother’s spirit had inhabited an old-time jalopy. It ran one season, from 1965-66.
Jerry Van Dyke spent the next two decades bouncing around as a guest on shows like That Girl and The Love Boat before scoring his biggest hit with Coach. He played goofy and not-too-bright assistant football coach Luther Van Dam, with Craig T. Nelson playing head coach Hayden Fox. The show ran from 1989-1997, and Van Dyke earned four Emmy nominations as best supporting actor in a comedy series (1990-93).
In later years he had recurring roles on the sitcoms Yes Dear and The Middle. He died in 2018, two years after suffering debilitating injuries in an automobile crash.
Jerry Van Dyke turned down the lead role in the TV series Gilligan’s Island, according to his 2018 obituary in People.com. Bob Denver took the role instead… Jerry Van Dyke married the former Carol Johnson in the 1950s, and they divorced in the 1970s. They had three children: daughters Jerri Lynne and Kelly Jean, and son Ronald… Jerry Van Dyke remarried in 1977 to Shirley Ann Jones; she is not the actress Shirley Jones.
Something in Common with Jerry Van Dyke
4 Good Links
- His obituary from The Los Angeles Times
- Wikipedia has all the details on his hit TV series
- Another fine obit from The Hollywood Reporter
- The TV fan site recalls his very strange 1965 series