George Coe veteran actor and SNL cast member dies at 86 after long illness

21 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

George Coe, ‘Saturday Night Live’ Original Castmember, Dies at 86.

Coe, who was born in Jamaica, Queens, on May 10, 1929, cut his teeth in Broadway theatre starting in 1957 with a role opposite Angela Lansbury in the original production of Mame. Though Coe was only credited in his first episode of SNL as one of the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” — what the SNL cast was called during the show’s first five seasons — he appeared several times during the first season.George Coe, an original Saturday Night Live cast member and longtime actor and voiceover artist with over 50 years of credits, passed away Saturday in Santa Monica, California after battling a long illness, Variety reports. In 2001, he was cast as Senator Howard Stackhouse in season two of The West Wing, a role he reprised twice again in the fourth season of the Aaron Sorkin drama.

Coe received an Academy Award nomination in 1969 for his 15-minute short film, The Dove, a parody of Ingmar Bergman films that he starred in, produced and directed. He also voiced the character of Woodhouse in the FX animated series Archer and the Autobot Wheeljack in Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Coe also starred in and co-directed The Dove, an Oscar-nominated short film released in 1968 which parodied the works of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. While Coe did not return for SNL’s second season, he enjoyed a lengthy acting career that boasted notable roles in films and television shows like 1979’s Kramer Vs.

An outspoken advocate for the rights of Screen Actors Guild members, Coe “cared deeply about making things better for actors,” wrote Wil Wheaton on Twitter following the news of Coe’s death. Coe appeared on SNL’s premiere episode in October 1975 and on the NBC late-night show several other times in the first season as authority figures in voiceovers and small roles.

In Norm Macdonald’s Twitter monologue offering a behind-the-scenes look at the SNL40 special, he revealed that Rolling Stone’s 141 SNL Cast Members Ranked list provided some needling among the crew backstage. “‘As long as I beat George Coe,’ I said, making a fine joke,” Macdonald tweeted. “Again the truth was a finer joke. And on it went.” 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings.

Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. A group associated with the Church of Scientology lobbied against a vetoed Texas bill that would have allowed doctors in the state to detain dangerous and mentally ill patients, The Texas Tribune reports. The paper has obtained records showing that a conglomerate group that included the Scientology-founded Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) sent information to the state’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott, who vetoed the bill. (Abbott is Christian.) The legislation would have given emergency room doctors a four-hour window in which they could detain patients who were mentally ill or appeared unsafe until authorities could assess the situation. Two weeks before Abbott’s veto, a group calling itself the SB 359 Veto Coalition hand-delivered a letter to the governor opposing the bill, the paper reports. Other groups who were involved in the Veto Coalition include the Texas Home School Coalition, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the anti-vaccine group Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education and Texans for Accountable Government.

The governor “should have reached out to physicians and other medical personnel who provide care in the real world of our emergency rooms before vetoing this legislation,” said the Texas Medical Association in a statement, which lobbied in favor of the bill.

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