Rest in peace. Comedian and actor Jerry Van Dyke has sadly died on Friday, January 5, at 86 years old. The younger brother of famed comedian Dick Van Dyke was best known for his role as Assistant Coach Luther Horatio Van Dam in the long-running ’90s sitcom Coach. His wife, Shirley Ann Jones, confirmed his death.
Jerry passed away on Friday afternoon at the couple’s ranch in Arkansas, Shirley confirmed to TMZ. She was with him by his side as he passed, and Shirley revealed that Jerry’s health had been deteriorating ever since the couple got involved in a car accident two years ago. Although it is unclear if Jerry’s brother, Dick, was present at the time of his passing, Shirley did confirm that the brothers spent time together while Dick visited them for Christmas last month.
Jerry Van Dyke with the rest of the Coach cast. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Jerry got his start in acting on his brother’s classic TV series The Dick Van Dyke Show in 1962, when he was cast as Stacey Petrie. He went to earn multiple roles on TV shows throughout his prolific career, and he even earned four Emmy nominations for his part on Coach. His most recent acting credits include his role as Tag Spence on The Middle.
Jerry Van Dyke with his brother Dick Van Dyke during his guest appearance on The Middle. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
His co-stars took to Twitter to mourn the loss of the actor, and they also shared touching tributes to his memory. The estate of the late Dick Van Dyke Show alum Rose Marie shared a statement on her official Twitter page that read, “We just learned of Jerry Van Dyke’s passing. Our hearts go out to his family, and most especially [Dick] who was so close with his brother. Rose Marie worked with Jerry several times including summer stock, The Love Boat, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
We just learned of Jerry Van Dyke's passing. Our hearts go out to his family, and most especially @iammrvandy who was so close with his brother. Rose Marie worked with Jerry several times including summer stock, The Love Boat, and @dickvandykeshow pic.twitter.com/4y32ItJKeq— Rose Marie-Official (@RoseMarie4Real) January 6, 2018
Patrica Heaton, who worked alongside Jerry on The Middle, also tweeted a heartfelt tribute to her co-star. “Much love to my wonderful TV dad [Jerry Van Dyke] and condolences to my TV dad-in-law [Dick Van Dyke]. Jerry, you were hilarious and terrifically talented — what an honor to be able to watch up close as you and your brother create your special magic. Rest In Peace Jerry.”
Much love to my wonderful TV dad #jerryvandyke and condolences to my TV dad-in-law #dickvandyke. Jerry, you were hilarious and terrifically talented – what an honor to be able to watch up close as you and your brother create your special magic. Rest In Peace Jerry… pic.twitter.com/O5Sx12vK3q— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) January 6, 2018
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Closer Weekly.