Edd Byrnes, ‘Grease’ and ’77 Sunset Strip’ Star, Dies at 87

“He was an amazing man and one of my best friends,” Byrnes’ son Logan says on Twitter

Last Updated: January 9, 2020 @ 2:21 PM

Edd Byrnes, who played Vince Fontaine in “Grease” and also starred on the series “77 Sunset Strip” as the teen idol “Kookie,” has died. He was 87.

According to his son Logan Byrnes in a press release shared on Twitter Thursday, Byrnes died unexpectedly Wednesday at his home in Santa Monica due to natural causes.

“It is with profound sadness and grief that I share with you the passing of my father Edd Byrnes. He was an amazing man and one of my best friends,” Logan Byrnes said on Twitter Thursday.

Byrnes played the slick, cool-talking “Kookie” on the long-running Warner Bros. action and crime show “77 Sunset Strip,” and he reprised his character in the series “Hawaiian Eye.” In the ’70s, he had a role in “Grease” as the host who makes the rounds during the “hand-jive” dance off on National Bandstand.

Byrnes drove out to Hollywood from New York City in his early 20s, and he at one point was named one of TV Guide’s “25 Greatest Teen Idols.”

The actor’s other credits include shows like “Charlie’s Angels,” “Fantasy Island,” “Married With Children,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Maverick” and “The Love Boat.”

Byrnes also scored a charting, gold record hit song alongside Connie Stevens called “Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb).” The song hit #4 in 1959 and spent 13 weeks on the Billboard chart.

Byrnes leaves behind his son, Logan, an evening news anchor in San Diego and his longtime partner, Catherine Gross.

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