Another TV legend has sadly passed away. Jerry Van Dyke, best known for playing Luthor on the ABC sitcom Coach died at the age of 86 from complications from a serious car accident over 2 years ago. Jerry Van Dyke was with his wife Shirley when he died at his Arkansas ranch on Friday as reported by TMZ. Jerry Van Dyke is the younger brother of Dick Van Dyke who has yet to release a statement as of this writing.
Jerry Van Dyke started his career performing at military bases around the world in the early 60s. After that stint, Van Dyke toured the country as a stand-up comic and then transitioned into work on the screen. He landed small roles in G.E. True and Perry Mason television series before eventually ending up on his brother's self-titled show up until 1965. In the '70s Van Dyke appeared on hit shows like Mary Tyler Moore and 13 Queens Boulevard. Van Dyke also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show as well as The Judy Garland Show. A boisterous performer who supported himself with a banjo-and-comedy stage act when television or movie roles weren't available, Jerry Van Dyke was a ham to his brother's more straight laced persona.
In the late 80s and early 90s, Jerry Van Dyke became well-known for his work on the series Coach, where he played assistant Coach Luther Van Dam alongside Craig T. Nelson. Van Dyke received 4 consecutive Emmy nominations for his role on Coach and the actor clearly loved being on the show, mentioning that it was the first successful gig that he ever had and that he made a lot of money. Later in life, Jerry had recurring roles on Yes, Dear and most recently The Middle. The actor got to star alongside his brother who also did a guest spot on the hit CBS comedy series.
Jerry Van Dyke's wife Shirley said she and her husband were in a car accident two-and-a-half years ago and that the accident destroyed their lives. In the aftermath, Jerry Van Dyke spent seven months hospitalized, and his health deteriorated until he passed away Friday in Arkansas, according to his wife. The couple never had children together, though Jerry Van Dyke had children from a previous marriage. Shirley maintains that they didn't want to feel tied down by having more children.
Jerry Van Dyke's death is being felt in Hollywood, as many stars have already begun to react to the news of his passing. Patricia Heaton, who played Jerry's daughter on The Middle, sent out a touching tweet remembering her television father. Patricia described Jerry as "hilarious and terrifically talented," and shared a sweet photo of the Van Dyke brothers. Condolences are being sent to Dick Van Dyke via social media as well, who was six years older than Jerry. TMZ also reported the brothers got to spend time together over the Christmas holiday. You can read more about Jerry Van Dike courtesy of TMZ. Rest in Peace, Jerry Van Dyke.