NEW YORK – Jerry Van Dyke, the younger brother of Dick Van Dyke, who struggled for decades to achieve his own stardom before clicking as the flirtatious "Coach" on television, died Friday in Arkansas, according to his manager . He was 86 years old.
John Castonia said that Van Dyke died at his ranch in Hot Spring County. His wife, Shirley Ann Jones, was at his side. No cause was immediately known.
Van Dyke had an affable and silly appeal, but he spent much of his career working on failed sitcoms and in the shadow of his older brother, even playing the star's brother on "The Dick Van Dyke Show." . "
Until" Coach "appeared in 1989, Van Dyke was best known to critics as the guy who had starred in one of the most unlikely television sitcoms," My Mother the Car "of 1965. His premise : a small town a lawyer speaks with his deceased mother (voiced by actress Ann Sothern), who speaks from the radio of an old car.
Other bombs included "Accidental Family" of 1967, in which he was a comedian of a nightclub, "The Headmaster" of 1970 in which he was a teacher of gymnastics and "Picture This" of 1963, a game that lasted only three months.He also joined "The Judy Garland Show" in 1963, to provide Comic relief, but he was fired at the end of the season.
"The writers of the series wrote terrible, horrible and horrible things," he recalled in a 1994 interview with The Associated Press, "and they forced me to do it." example, I had to go out and tell Judy Garland: " What does a nice old lady like you do on TV? " He added: "And that was only the first week!"
In "Coach" he finally succeeded, playing as assistant coach Luther Van Dam, comic book role for Craig T. Nelson's trainer, Hayden Fox. The two topped an unfortunate football team at the University of Minnesota, their Follies were broadcast from 1989 to 1997, and Van Dyke was nominated four times for an Emmy.
"I never knew how success was, or have a success series, or even do something GOOD," Van Dyke told The Associated Press. "I finally got a job that I enjoy doing, which is not hard to do, and they pay me a lot of money."
Nelson, his co-star on the show, paid tribute to his former on-screen partner on Saturday: "I'm incredibly sad to learn of Jerry's death, he was such a brilliant comedian and we had a great time working together in # 39; Coach & # 39; They are just devastating news. "
Dawn Wells, an actress who starred with Van Dyke in an episode of" Fantasy Island ", called it in a statement" one of the funniest comedians, kind and nice Hollywood. " It was a pleasure to work with him. We will miss you. "
Over the years, Van Dyke made special appearances on numerous shows, including" The Mary Tyler Moore Show, "whose star had played his sister-in-law on" The Dick Van Dyke Show. ""
He also appeared in "The Andy Griffith Show," "Perry Mason," and in such films as "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," "Palm Springs Weekend," "Angel in My Pocket," and "McLintock." ! "
His decision to take the role of" Car "was one of the two disastrous moves of his career in the mid-1960s. He also approved the opportunity to play the lead role in" Gilligan's Island " and replacing the late Don Knotts as the stand-in for "The Andy Griffith Show."
"My Mother the Car" lasted one season. (A critic of the New York Times said, "The premiere last night was a good argument for not buckle up. ") But" Gilligan's Island "turned her star, Bob Denver, into a television icon and still airs non-stop on reruns Van Dyke said in 1990 that his brother told him" My Mother the Car "sounded good. (At the time, a talking horse program," Mr. Ed, "and other fantasy comedies worked well.)
" I never asked him for advice after that, "said Jerry Van Dyke.
He also lamented the loss of a role in 1982 when he was ready for a conc I support in a series to star Bob Newhart, which will run for eight seasons. But Tom Poston got his role as George the helper in "Newhart". In recent years, Van Dyke made recurring appearances on "The Middle" (where he and his brother Dick starred in an episode) and "Yes, Dear."
Patricia Heaton, who played Van Dyke's daughter in "The Middle", tweeted her respect: "Jerry, you were hilarious and terribly talented, what an honor to be able to watch closely while you and your brother create your special magic"  He was born in Danville, Illinois, in 1931, six years after his brother. He said he knew since childhood that he wanted to be a comedian and grew up listening to the radio programs of Bob Hope, Red Skelton and others. At the age of 8 he had earned a reputation as a class clown.
He had his first contact with acting in a guest role on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" as the brother of Rob Petrie playing banjo. "I left thinking," television is a piece of cake, I want more of this, "he told the AP.
Van Dyke entered the University of Eastern Illinois, but his education was interrupted by service in the Air Force during the Korean War. He spent much of that time entertaining his colleagues in military shows with jokes and banjo games.
When he left the service, he took that act on the way, with little success. Finally, he followed his brother to Hollywood.
He is survived by his wife, two children from his previous marriage with Carol Johnson – Jerri and Ronald – and his brother.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.