Actor and comedian Jerry Van Dyke has died. Jerry’s wife Shirley confirmed to TMZ that the showbiz veteran passed away on Friday afternoon at their Arkansas ranch at the age of 86. She noted that a car accident both were involved in two years ago provided deteriorated health in the aftermath.
Jerry Van Dyke made his mark as both a stand-up comedian and as an actor in a fascinating career spanning decades of work. Van Dyke’s career included the distinction of being Judy Garland’s co-star on The Judy Garland Show, the late ’60s series Accidental Family and the lead human role in the infamous sitcom My Mother the Car. (He also appeared on his brother’s classic comedy The Dick Van Dyke Show on multiple occasions.) Jerry Van Dyke is arguably best known to audiences for his work as Luther Van Dam in the Craig T. Nelson fronted sitcom Coach. Van Dyke earned four consecutive Emmy nominations thanks to his comedy chops on the series.
Van Dyke maintained his reputation as a welcome variety show and comedy guest up to the point of his passing. In recent years, he was doing quietly marvelous stuff as talkative grandpa Tag Spence on The Middle. His onscreen Middle daughter Patricia Heaton marked Van Dyke’s passing with a pair of heartfelt tweets.