'Coach' actor Jerry Van Dyke, brother of Dick, dies at 86

One of Jerry's earliest television appearances was as his brother's fictional sibling on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" in 1962.
By Delila James | Jan 07, 2018
Actor Jerry Van Dyke, younger brother of Dick Van Dyke, died Friday, age 86, at his ranch in Arkansas, according to a report by The New York Times.

Shirley Ann Jones, Van Dyke's wife, said the actor's health had gone downhill since a 2015 traffic accident.

One of Jerry's earliest television appearances was as his brother's fictional sibling on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" in 1962. Over the years, he often would play the comedic foil to Dick's more lofty character.

While Dick enjoyed rapid success, his brother limped along on short-term projects and TV game shows. Then, in 1989, Jerry got a role on the ABC sitcom "Coach," playing Luther Van Dam, assistant coach to Hayden Fox, portrayed by Craig T. Nelson. The show ran until 1997.

While Van Dyke was nominated for four Emmys in recognition for his supporting role as Luther Van Dam, he never snagged the prize. After "Coach," he appeared in various sitcoms, including "My Name is Earl" and "Raising Hope."

Jerry about five years younger than his brother Dick was born on July 27, 1931, in Danville, Illinois. Like his brother, he began his career as a comedian when just a teenager.

"I couldn't do anything else," he told USA Today jokingly in 1990. "I decided to be a comedian at 8 years old and didn't tend to my studies in school. Had I known how to do anything else, I would have quit. Many times."

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