George Coe, Original ‘Saturday Night Live’ Cast Member, Dead at 86

Longtime TV and Broadway actor received a credit as SNL cast member in show’s 1975 debut

Last Updated: July 20, 2015 @ 11:49 AM

George Coe, an original “Saturday Night Live” cast member and a longtime member of the Screen Actors Guild, died Saturday in Santa Monica after a long illness. He was 86.

Coe acted for over 50 years, on television, film, commercials and the stage. He became a commercial veteran on camera and through his voice, doing voiceovers for Toyota for six years.

He also took on leadership roles, serving for more than a dozen years on SAG’s national board of directors, for which he served as Vice President for two years and was instrumental in spearheading the first low-budget contract.

In the late 1950s Coe began his Broadway career; he starred as M. Lindsey Woolsey opposite Angela Lansbury in the original cast of “Mame” and as Owen O’Malley.

He also was an an original cast member of “Saturday Night Live” when the show premiered in 1975. His appeal to NBC was his age, at the time 46, in order to complement the mostly young, unknown talent who launched the show.

Born in Jamaica, Queens, Coe’s TV credits included “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “The West Wing,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Golden Girls,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Judging Amy,” “Max Headroom,” “Bones,” “The King of Queens,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Columbo,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “Gilmore Girls.”