Original Company Co-Star George Coe Dies at 86 | Playbill

Obituaries Original Company Co-Star George Coe Dies at 86 George Coe, an actor with numerous stage and television credits, but who was perhaps best known to theatergoers as a member of the cast of the original Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company, died July 18 after a long illness. He was 86.

In Company, the story of an eternal bachelor, Bobby, and his many married, meddling friends, Mr. Coe played David, who is one of three husbands to sing the wistful "Sorry-Grateful" and one of five men to sing the ribald come-on "Have I Got a Girl for You." He also took part of the full-cast numbers "Company" and "Side by Side by Side."

Mr. Coe had only a handful of Broadway credits, but they were choice. He was the hapless writer Julian Blumberg in What Makes Sammy Run?, the 1964 musical adaptation of Budd Schulberg’s searing satire of Hollywood mores. He played M. Lindsay Woolsey in the original production of Mame. And he was Owen O’Malley, the cynical press agent and Oscar Jaffe sidekick, in the 1978 musical On the Twentieth Century.

Off-Broadway in the '60s, he appeared in Telemachus Clay and Shout From the Rooftops.

Mr. Coe had the weird status as a curious footnote in the history of "Saturday Night Live." When the live sketch show premiered Oct. 11, 1975, he was listed in the credits as a cast member. But his name never appeared again, though he was used in nine more episodes. According to accounts, he was cast as a bulwark against the inexperienced younger members of the cast. He mainly played commercial spokesmen and older authority figures.

From the early '80s on, he began to work extensively as a guest performer on a wide variety of television shows, from sitcoms to dramas, often playing judges or senators or other august figures. His film roles included "Kramer Vs. Kramer," "Blind Date," "The Entity," "Funny People," "Cousins," "Micki and Maude" and "The Stepford Wives."

Very active in the Screen Actors' Guild, he served more than a dozen years on the SAG national board of directors. The Hollywood Division of SAG awarded him the Ralph Morgan Award for service to the guild in 2009.

George Coe was born May 10, 1929, in Queens, New York. After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, he was cast in the 1963 cabaret show Money, in which he played 22 different roles. The performance got him attention and led to his casting in What Makes Sammy Run?.

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