Edd 'Kookie' Byrnes Dies, Grease and 77 Sunset Strip Star Was 87

  • MovieWeb
Edd 'Kookie' Byrnes Dies, Grease and 77 Sunset Strip Star Was 87
Edd Byrnes, a veteran actor best known for his role as television host Vince Fontaine in the musical Grease and as Kookie in the classic TV series 77 Sunset Strip, has died. Reportedly, Byrnes passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday at his home in Santa Monica. According to the report, Byrnes died of "natural causes," though no additional information or cause of death has yet been revealed. He was 87 years old.

A native New Yorker, Byrnes was born Edward Byrne Breitenberger in 1932. He changed his name to "Byrnes" as a teenager to honor his grandfather, Edward Byrne, giving him the familiar Edd Byrnes name. In his early 20s, Byrnes began acting in plays at the Litchfield Community Playhouse in Connecticut, sparking an interest in acting and launching a career in the field. After about a year of performances on stage, Byrnes moved to Hollywood to pursue acting work full time.

By the mid '50s,
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