HOT SPRING COUNTY, ARK. (CelebrityAccess) Jerry Van Dyke, 86, performer and actor, died of heart failure at his Arkansas ranch Jan. 5, according to his wife, Shirley Ann Jones.
Dyke, younger brother of Dick Van Dyke, was known for his television career as the assistant football coach on the 1980s-90s show “Coach” and the ill-fated ’60s comedy “My Mother The Car” but had an early career as a standup comic, and appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Judy Garland Show” and, of course, “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
He also had supporting roles in films like “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” and “McLintock.” A virtuoso banjo player, Van Dyke was also known for turning down the role of Gilligan on “Gilligan’s Island,” which went to Bob Denver, and rejected the offer to replace Don Knotts as Sheriff Andy’ Taylor’s deputy on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Van Dyke spent much of the 1970s touring Playboy Clubs as a standup comedian and doing various one-time appearances on television shows like “Love, American Style” and “Fantasy Island.”
Van Dyke was injured “very badly” in a “horrible car accident,” Shirley Ann Jones told CNN, and he never fully recovered from it.
This is the second recent tragedy to strike “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Show regular Rose Marie, who played comedy writer Sally Rogers on the program, died Dec. 28.