Edd Byrnes

  1. Barry Coe, Peyton Place, 1956.    He arrived in Hollywood on September 30, 1955 –  the day Jams Dean died.  In his Edward days, Byrnes tried out for Rodney Harrington  in the mother and father of all movie and TV soaps. He then became Edd Byrnes, playing the cocky Kookie, stealing the 77 Sunset Strip series from Efrem Zimbalist Jr and Roger Smith during 137 episodes, 1958-1963.  The TV Rodney became a longer lasting star: Ryan O’Neal. Neither one held a candle to Dean. 
  2. John Kerr, South Pacific, 1957.  He was only doing bits – 2nd soldier, Pilot #2, even Boy in Car Assisting Jimmy Up Stairway – when New York’s Edward Byrne Breitenberger auditioned for Lieutenant  Joseph Cable, in Joshua Logan’s film of the Broadway musical., Well, he lost to John Kerr – but won his breakthrough character of Kookie in 77 Sunset Strip, 1958-1963. and was on his way to  (mainly TV) screen roles.  Alas, none of them was better than Gerald Kookson III.  
  3. Ricky Nelson, Rio Bravo, 1959. Ariving in Hollywood the day James Dean died, Edd became  a hot TV star – for four years – as Kookie, the parking valet with the ever-ready comb in 77 Sunset Strip. And Warners wanted to keep him there.  (Edd’s Kookie was the reason that Henry Winkler’s  fastidious Fonzie was never seen combing his hair during  ten years of Happy Days). 
  4. Fabian, North To Alaska, 1960. Not even the might of John Wayne could swing Kookie loose.
  5. Richard Benedict, Ocean’s Eleven, 1960. TV and movies just didn’t mix in those prehistoric days! And so Curley became older.  Much older.
  6. Cliff Robertson, PT 109, 1963.  The hero  didn’t want  to be portrayed by Kookie.  And as the hero was JFK…



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  6