Barry Coe

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Barry Coe
Jayne Mansfield Barry Coe 1962.JPG
Barry Coe and Jayne Mansfield (1962)
Born Barry Clark Heacock
(1934-11-26) November 26, 1934 (age 79)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Former actor
Years active 1955–1978
Spouse(s) Jorunn Kristiansen Coe (born 1940)

Barry S. Coe (born November 26, 1934) is an American actor who appeared in film and on television from 1956-1978. Many of his motion pictures parts were minor, but he co-starred in one series, Follow the Sun, which aired on ABC during the 1961-1962 season, and also played the recognizable "Mr. Goodwrench" on TV commercials in the 70s and 80s.

Life and career[edit]

Born Barry Clark Heacock, his name was changed to Joseph Spalding Coe when his mother Jean Elizabeth Shea married Joseph Spalding Coe Sr. (Ellsworth Spaulding9, Edwin Delos8, Orris Kirkland7, Seth6, Ephraim5, Ephraim4, John3, Robert2, Robert1) in 1940 in Los Angeles. His father Francis Elmer "Frank" Heacock, a writer and publicist for Warner Brothers, was killed in an auto accident in North Hollywood, CA, April 5, 1940.

Coe attended the University of Southern California and was discovered by a talent scout during a trip with his fraternity to Palm Springs in the mid-1950s. Thereafter he was signed under contract for 20th Century Fox as an actor.

Coe's first film appearance was as Mr. Davis in Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender in 1956. While at the 20Th Century Fox studios he went on a date with actress Barbara Eden. The next year he played the lustful Rodney Harrington in the original Peyton Place film, based on the bestselling Grace Metalious 1956 novel of the same name. In 1958, he appeared in The Bravados, and in 1959, he was cast in But Not for Me.[1]

In 1960, Coe secured a Golden Globe award for the Most Promising Newcomer - Male, along with James Shigeta, Troy Donahue, and George Hamilton.[2]

In 1961 Coe and Brett Halsey played magazine writers Paul Templin and Ben Gregory, respectively, with Gary Lockwood as their researcher, Eric Jason. The program was set in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the writers often ventured into private detective work. Despite some memorable episodes, Follow the Sun was cancelled after twenty-nine segments.[3]

After Follow the Sun folded, Coe guest starred in 1962 on the first episode of the fourth season of NBC's Western series Bonanza. He portrayed ranch hand Clay Stafford, who reveals himself to be the "fifth" Cartwright, a half brother to Little Joe (Michael Landon) via their mother Marie. Although stepfather Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) and Joe take Clay at his word, the other Cartwright brothers, Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Adam (Pernell Roberts) are skeptical and intend to investigate Clay's claim. The episode called "The First Born" could have introduced Coe as a new cast member. Entertainment writer Hal Ericson reported that friction (i.e. job security) on the set caused Bonanza producers to stick with the three brothers.[4]

In 1960, Coe appeared as Stu Christian in One Foot in Hell with Alan Ladd and Don Murray, the story of a man whose wife dies because he could not afford medication that cost $1.87. He was Phylon in The 300 Spartans in 1962. In 1966, he appeared as an unnamed communications aide in Fantastic Voyage and as Walt Kilby in The Cat.[5] He starred as Fred Saunders in Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls in 1973 and as an unnamed reporter in Gregory Peck's MacArthur in 1977. His last film role was as Tom Andrews in Jaws 2 in 1978. He had a brief stint as Joel Stratton in the ABC soap opera General Hospital in 1974. There were other television appearances too, including ABC's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, NBC's Bracken's World, and CBS's Mission: Impossible starring Peter Graves.[2]

From the late 1970s into the early 1980s, Coe was "Mr. Goodwrench" in television advertising for a chain of national auto parts stores under General Motors.[2]

Coe is married to the former Jorunn Kristiansen, who was a Norwegian beauty queen in the 1950s and now a painter (born 1940). Their son is William Shea Coe (born 1966). In the 1980s, Barry Coe's daughter attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Barry Coe had a side business in nutritional supplements—Adventures in Nutrition; labels for the containers were printed by Joe Faust. He lived in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California for several years.

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