George Coe, 'Saturday Night Live' Original Castmember, Dies at 86

Courtesy of Everett Collection
George Coe

He appeared on the premiere of the show in 1975 as well as in 'Kramer vs. Kramer' and as the voice of the valet on 'Archer.'

George Coe, an original member of Saturday Night Live's Not Ready for Prime Time Players who also appeared in such films as Kramer vs. Kramer and The Stepford Wives, has died. He was 86.

The veteran character actor, who provided the voice of Woodhouse, the heroin-addicted valet in the FX animated series Archer, died Saturday in Santa Monica following a long illness.

Coe received an Academy Award nomination in 1969 for his 15-minute short film, The Dove, a parody of Ingmar Bergman films that he starred in, produced and directed.

In the 1960s, the New York native, who graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, starred in the original Broadway productions of What Makes Sammy Run? based on the novel by Budd Schulberg, and Jerry Herman’s Mame, starring Angela Lansbury.

He also performed in Steven Sondheim's Company, which debuted on the Great White Way in 1970, and Harold Prince’s On the Twentieth Century in 1978.


Coe appeared on SNL's premiere episode in October 1975 and on the NBC late-night show several other times in the first season as authority figures in voiceovers and small roles.

Coe portrayed Dustin Hoffman’s advertisement agency boss in Robert Benton’s Oscar best picture Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), and he was Claude Axhelm, one of the manipulating husbands, in The Stepford Wives (1975).

Coe had regular roles on such TV shows as Working, L.A. Law and Max Headroom and showed up on episodes of The West Wing, Hill Street Blues, Moonlighting, Grey’s Anatomy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Golden Girls, Two and a Half Men and Wilfred.

His other film credits include The First Deadly Sin (1980), The End of Innocence (1990), The Mighty Ducks (1992), as Adam Sandler’s father in Funny People (2009) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), as the voice of the Autobot Wheeljack.

Coe, a former vice president for the SAG national board of directors, received the guild’s Ralph Morgan Award in 2009.

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