Jerry Van Dyke, the beloved brother of Dick Van Dyke and cherished comedian, dead. The star of shows like ‘Coach’ and ‘The Middle’ passed away, leaving fans heartbroken.
2018 was hit with a touch of sadness as Jerry Van Dyke passed away on Jan. 5, according to TMZ. Jerry’s wife, Shirley, said was by her husband’s side as he passed away at their ranch in Arkansas. He was 86 years old. She tells the publication that she and the younger brother of Dick Van Dyke, 92, was involved in a car accident over two years ago and that Jerry’s health “had deteriorated since.” The cause of death wasn’t immediately made known, but TMZ reports that Dick visited both his brother and his wife at the ranch over Christmas.
Jerry is best known for his role as Assistant Coach Luther Van Dam on the television sitcom Coach. During the show’s run, from 1989 to 1997, jerry earned 4 Emmy nominations as he acted alongside star Craig T. Nelson, 73. Prior to that, Jerry pursued stand-up comedy as a young man, performing on military bases across the world. He would make his acting debut, thanks to some help from his brother, by appearing on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He would also make regular appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, before becoming a regular on The Judy Garland Show. The loss affected many fans. Many flocked to Twitter to share their favorite Coach moments, or to mourn the loss of a funnyman.
Jerry also had starring roles in such television series as My Mother The Car, Teen Angel, 13 Queens Boulevard and Yes, Dear. Yes, there was once a show called My Mother The Car, but Jerry took his role in that clunker (pun intended) with a smile. “I became known as the guy who did the worst show in the history of television,” he joked while speaking to People in 1993. “At least it took the edge off being Dick Van Dyke’s brother.”
Dick and Jerry became closer in the later years of their lives, according to the NY Daily News. “I’m really getting to know him better at this age,” Jerry said in 2015. “The nicer he is to me, the more I think he thinks I’m going to die.”
His last major role was that of Tag Spence on The Middle. A beloved brother and father, he is survived by his wife of 40 years and their two children.
— Rachelle B😊❄️☃️☃️ (@Sunshinerays1) January 6, 2018
— AndyCohensFanPage (@LoveAndyC) January 6, 2018
RIP Jerry Van Dyke. Thanks for the hours of entertainment
— Boyd Rydel (@BoydRydel) January 6, 2018
Jerry Van Dyke, an incredibly funny man, has died.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Hayden Fox and the Screaming Eagles, as we all mourn the loss of Luther Van Dam.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) January 6, 2018
Our thoughts go out to Jerry’s family, friends and loved ones during this heartbreaking time of loss.