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77 Sunset Strip

Grease actor Edd Byrnes died Wednesday of natural causes. He was 87 years old.

His son Logan Byrnes confirmed the news via Twitter on Thursday.

“It is with profound sadness and grief that I share with you the passing of my father Edd Byrnes,” Logan, a news anchor, wrote. “He was an amazing man and one of my best friends.”

Byrnes “died unexpectedly Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 at his home in Santa Monica, California of natural causes,” according to an attached press release.

The actor got his start doing plays but moved on to television when his Broadway dreams didn’t pan out. He had small roles in ABC’s Crossroads, Wire Service, and Navy Log before deciding to drive cross country from New York City to Hollywood. He was cast in the series 77 Sunset Strip in 1958, where he portrayed the wisecracking Kookie.

In 1978’s Grease, he brought to life the Dick Clark-esque character Vince Fontaine, who hosts the National Dance-Off at Rydell High in the hit John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John film.

Byrnes is survived by his son Logan, and his longtime partner Cathrine Gross, and their dog Marlowe.

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