George Coe, Original 'SNL' Cast Member & 'Archer' Star, Dies at 86
Coe spent more than 50 years acting both in front of the camera as well as through voiceover work, turning in defining performances in multiple media and genres. He began his career on Broadway in 1957 opposite Angela Lansbury in the original cast of "Mame," and went on to star in "On the Twentieth Century" and "Company," among other shows.
In television, Coe made history as one of the original cast members of "Saturday Night Live," debuting with the Not Ready for Prime Time Players on the show's first episode in 1975. He appeared in numerous other television series over the years, with roles on shows including "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Murder, She Wrote," "Celebrity Deathmatch," "Bones," "Grey's Anatomy," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Gilmore Girls," "The Golden Girls," and "The West Wing."
His most recent voiceover work as Woodhouse, the put-upon butler to the titular character on FX spy series "Archer," introduced Coe to a new generation of fans. Woodhouse's small role was eventually expanded thanks to strong fan reaction to Coe's pitch-perfect performance as the hilarious, deadpan character. (Woodhouse was missing from the most recent season of "Archer," most likely due to Coe's longtime illness; it's unclear if or how the character's absence will be explained going forward.)
On the film side, Coe enjoyed success in mainstream and critical favorites, including a role in Best Picture winner "Kramer vs. Kramer." He appeared in many more films throughout his long career, including the 1975 original "The Stepford Wives," "The Amateur," "The Mighty Ducks," "The Omega Code," and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."
Coe was nominated for an Academy Award for his 1968 comedy short film, "The Dove." He was also active in the Screen Actors Guild throughout his career, serving on the board of directors for 12 years and as vice president of the organization for two years.
Coe's "Archer" costar Aisha Tyler remembered her former castmate on Twitter, writing that the actor was "One of the loveliest & most talented men I have ever known."