George Coe appeared in multiple episodes with the original cast of Saturday Night Live, but only credited as a ‘Not Ready for Prime Time Player” in the very first episode in 1975. Which still counts for a lot.
Coe, who also earned an Academy Award nomination for his 1968 short film De Duva (The Dove) — which served as Madeline Kahn’s movie debut! — died July 18 in a convalescent facility in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 86.
A Queens native born George Julian Cohen on May 10, 1929, he served in the Navy during the Korean War, where he received a commendation for creating and airing comedy programs on the sub’s PA system to keep morale high. Coe made his Broadway debut in 1957. He’d go on to co-star in countless TV and movie productions over the course of four decades, most recently providing the voice of Woodhouse in the FX animated comedy, Archer. On SNL, Coe often served as an older authority figure in sketches to the upstart Baby Boomers who became the show’s breakout stars. He’d often play roles of authority onscreen in the years to come.
His daughter Amy Bickers told the Los Angeles Times: “He thought there was nothing more fun than his work, but he didn’t have the ego of a star. He loved being part of an ensemble.”