Oscar Tourist ‘Gary From Chicago’ Is Convicted Felon Released From Prison 3 Days Before Show

Academy Awards show stealer served 20 years behind bars

gary from chicago

Gary Allan Coe, known from the Oscars as “Gary From Chicago,” was released from a California prison just three days before Jimmy Kimmel ushered a group of unknowing tourists into the Dolby Theatre on Sunday to meet Hollywood’s top talent.

Coe, 59, served 20 years in prison. In a recent interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News, he said he had been convicted of multiple felonies.

“Change is possible. It’s a sad day to be in prison for 20 years and not be able to be a dad, granddad to your children,” Coe told ABC 7. “You know what my son told me today, man, and I almost come to tears. He said he’s proud of me. So to hear your children say that they’re proud of me means the world to me,” he added.

His release is so recent that he is still listed as an inmate on public prison records. According to these records, Coe was admitted to the Corcoran Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in California.

One of Coe’s felonies is attempted rape, according to public records cited by both Fox News and The Daily Mail. Coe is a registered sex offender in the state of California for attempting rape by force or fear, according to reports. But, it appears, that was a prior charge from Coe’s teen years. A Chicago Tribune story cited a recent Facebook post by Coe’s attorney, public defender Karen Nash, which said Coe had been sentenced in 1997 for stealing perfume and that he had not been sentenced on a rape charge. Instead, she wrote, he had a prior from 1975 for attempted rape when he was a teenager.

He met his fiancee, Vickie Vines, during his time behind bars. Vines also stole the show at the 89th Academy Awards with her hilarious facial expressions as she met actors like Ryan Gosling and Denzel Washington.

“I’ve been watching Denzel since he was on ‘St. Elsewhere.’ Oh my god. I could die and go to heaven right now,” she told ABC 7.

Gary From Chicago became an overnight sensation when Kimmel invited a group of unknowing tourists on a Starline tour to the Dolby Theatre, while the Oscars were going on. Coe took as many pictures and selfies while he met stars like Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Meryl Streep as he could and even gave a shoutout to the windy city.