Jerry Van Dyke
|Jerry Van Dyke|
Jerry Van Dyke actually turned down the role of Gilligan on "Gilligan's Island." He later appeared in the 2001 CBS-TV docudrama film, "Surviving Gilligan's Island".
|Born:||July 27, 1931|
|Birthplace:||Danville, Illinois, U.S.A.|
|Also known for:||Roles as Stacy Petrie and Luther Van Dam on the TV sseries The Dick Van Dyke Show and Coach|
|Series:||Surviving Gilligan's Island TV movie|
|Character played:||As himself in an interview segment|
Jerry Van Dyke is an American comedian and actor and the younger brother of Dick Van Dyke with whom he made his TV acting debut on "The Dick Van Dyke Show." He also played Luther Van Dam on "Coach" from 1989 to 1997.
Born July 27, 1931 in Danville, Illinois, in 1931 to Loren Van Dyke, a descendant of Dutch settlers. His mother, Hazel Vorice McCord Van Dyke was of English and Scottish descent and a Mayflower descendant. A graduate of Danville High School, he pursued his stand-up comedy career while still in high school, appearing in strip joints and nightclubs, later joining the United States Air Force Tops In Blue in 1954 and 1955. He later starred on "The Jerry Van Dyke Show" at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana. Also performing in military bases around the world, he made recurring guest appearances on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Ed Sullivan Show," later becoming a regular on "The Judy Garland Show." He was the host of the series, "Picture This," later making supporting roles in the films "McLintock!," "Palm Springs Weekend" and "The Courtship of Eddie's Father.'
In 1963, Van Dyke turned down the role of Gilligan on "Gilligan's Island," a role which went instead to Bob Denver on the advice of his agent. He similarly rejected a chance to replace Don Knotts on "The Andy Griffith Show," choosing not to try and replace Knotts in the series. He finally accepted a starring role in the short-lived sitcom, "My Mother, the Car," a role that seemed rife for comedic opportunity, but the series failed to get an audience and went down in history as one of the worst TV shows ever made. Despite the failure, Van Dyke continued to work steadily in supporting television and film roles through most of his career, including another starring role in the short-lived series, "Accidental Family," in 1967.
Between movie roles in films such as "Love and Kisses" and "Angel in My Pocket," which reunited him with Andy Griffith, Van Dyke performed stand-up comedy through the 70s and 80s. He occaisionally returned to TV in roles on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Love, American Style," "Fantasy Island" and "Charles in Charge." He also starred in "The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon" in 1976 and "13 Queens Boulevard" in 1979.
In 1989, Van Dyke recieved the role of Luther Van Dam, a beloved, yet befuddled assistant coach on the long-running series "Coach" with Craig T. Nelson of "Poltergeist" fame, receiving four consecutive Emmy Award nominations from 1990 to 1993 for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series."
After "Coach" ended, Van Dyke appeared in a series of "Hardee's" and "Big Lots" commercials. He repised the role of Stacy Petrie on "The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited" in 2004 and was a recurring character on the "Yes, Dear" TV series, also appearing on "The New Addams Family," "My Name Is Earl" and "The Middle."
An avid poker player and four-string banjo player, Van Dyke has been married twice, and has had three children with his first wife Carol Van Dyke. He and his second wife, Shirley, live on their 800-acre ranch near Malvern, Arkansas.