American actor and former television teen idol Edd Byrnes has died aged 86, following what his family believe to have been a stroke.
International audiences will probably best remember Byrnes from the 1978 musical film Grease, in which he played Vince Fontaine, who hosts the televised dancing competition at Rydell High School and seduces female student and ‘Pink Lady’ Marty.
Set in the 1950s, the film featured a number of stars from 1950s television, including Brynes himself and Frankie Avalon, who sings the dream sequence tune Beauty School Drop-out.
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Byrnes was also known in the US for playing Kookie on the hit teen series 77 Sunset Strip, in which he played a teen parking valet and protégé detective who continually attends to his signature pompadour hair-do.
The character’s frequent hair-combing even inspired the hit song Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb), sung by Connie Stevens and featuring Brynes.
Although he struggled to shake his trademark role, Byrnes also went on to appear in shows like Love Boat and Murder, She Wrote.