SANTA MONICA—Film and television veteran George Coe passed away on Saturday, July 18 at the age of 86. Coe reportedly succumbed to an unknown illness while in Santa Monica.
As an actor, Coe was an active member on the Screen Actors Guild national board of directors, serving from 1967 to 1973 and again in the early 2000s. He also held the position of vice-president for two years. As a reward for his long service to the union, Coe received the Ralph Morgan Award by the Screen Actors Guild Hollywood Division in 2009.
Current SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard released the following statement on Coe’s legacy: “He was a stalwart unionist and a tremendous presence in our union for many years. He served his fellow actors and the labor movement with conviction and pride. Our deepest condolences go out to his family.”
He was well-known among his fellow performers in the television industry. To audiences, he is best remembered as one of the original castmembers on “Saturday Night Live,” where he performed alongside Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, and Chevy Chase. Like Chase, Coe would only stay for its debut season before leaving.
He would go on to make a number of television appearances in the following decades on shows like “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law,” and “Murder, She Wrote.” The actor also played a senator on “The West Wing” and most recently voiced a character on FX’s animated comedy series “Archer” during its first four seasons.
Coe’s “Archer” co-star Aisha Tyler remembered the actor on Twitter, calling him “one of the loveliest & most talented men I have ever known.”
Among Coe’s film credits include “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “The Mighty Ducks.” In 1968, Coe was nominated for an Oscar for his co-directorial effort on the short comedy film “The Dove,” which he also starred in.