It’s a sad day for Grease fans. Actor Edd Byrnes, who achieved early stardom as Kookie the streetwise sarcastic parking attendant on the 1950s ABC crime series 77 Sunset Strip has passed away at 87, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Byrnes reportedly passed unexpectedly Wednesday at his home in Santa Monica, California due to natural causes alongside his son Logan Byrnes, who is currently a San Diego news anchor. He would later announce his father’s death over Twitter.
Before becoming the suave dance show host Vince Fontaine in Grease, he was known as Edward Byrne Breitenberger – a New York City native who developed an strong desire to act at age 13. Following his stint in high school, the actor traveled to Los Angeles, in September 1955, ironically a day after James Dean’s death.
Byrnes would test positively for the pilot of 77 Sunset Strip and was so evoking that the show’s producers wrote him in as a new character named Gerald Lloyd Kookson III. His film credits include Reform School Girl, Darby’s Rangers, Marjorie Morningstar, Up Periscope, Yellowstone Kelly, Beach Ball, and Troop Beverly Hills. The actor would also appear in a plethora of television series outside of 77 Sunset Strip such as Cheyenne, Maverick, Manix, Police Woman, Honey West, Charlie’s Angels, Murder, She Wrote and Fantasy Island.