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Edd Byrnes (1932–2020), “77 Sunset Strip” star

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Played teen idol Kookie on the hip detective series

Edd Byrnes became a teen idol from his role as Kookie on the hip detective series “77 Sunset Strip.” Kookie was the cool young parking lot attendant at the club next to the detective agency run by two smooth PI’s played by Roger Smith and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Byrnes's character was a breakout star, snapping his fingers and combing his ducktail on the popular series that ran on ABC in the late 1950s to early 1960s. At the height of his Kookie fame, he recorded a popular song with actress Connie Stevens called “Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb.” After “Strip,” he had minor roles in movies and TV series but is probably best remembered as hip dance show host Vince Fontaine in the movie version of “Grease.”

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Died: Wednesday, January 8, 2020 (Who else died on January 8?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 87.


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On Kookie’s popularity: "As Kookie, I was one of the first young fellows on television, one of the first that the young could identify with," he said in 1969, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

What they said about him:  "Very sad about this. When I was a kid I would watch the show & think he was a lighthearted James Dean.Later in my life of sobriety we became friends.Great actor, sweet man. RIP" —Singer and actor Michael Des Barres

Full obituary: The New York Times

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