The death of Edd Byrnes has prompted an outpouring of responses from Grease fans everywhere. The 87-year-old actor was best known for his role of Vince Fontaine in the 1978 musical, a Dick Clark-like character who hosted the National Dance-Off at Rydell High. Now, both fans and friends have taken to social media to share their stories and memories of the departed actor.
"Very sad about this," tweeted actor and rock singer Michael Des Barres. "When I was a kid I would watch the show and think he was a lighthearted James Dean. Later in my life of sobriety, we became friends. Great actor, sweet man."
Writer Hanna Ines Flint offered up one of Fontaine's quotes from the film in remembrance.
"Thank you, fans and friends and odds and ends. And now, for you gals and guys, a few words to the wise. You Jims and Sals are my best pals. And to look your best for the big contest, just be yourselves and have a ball. That's what it's all about, after all."
The tributes continued on Instagram, with one user offering a simple "Rest in peace" message, while another admitted that they were "gutted to hear Edd Byrnes has died," adding that "he was my crush in Grease."
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Byrnes' son, Logan, first announced that his father passed away on Sunday from natural causes. In addition to a press release, he offered the following statement on Twitter.
"It is with profound sadness and grief that I share with you the passing of my father Edd Byrnes. He was an amazing man and one of my best friends."
Having already dabbled in acting in his native Connecticut, Byrnes moved to Hollywood in the mid-1950s. By 1958, he starred in the crime thriller pilot Girl on the Run. By the fall of that year, it was reworked as Sunset Strip '77, with Byrnes playing Gerald Lloyd "Kookie" Kookson III, who quickly became a teen idol. His last role was in the 1999 TV movie Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story.
Byrnes is survived by Logan, who works as a news anchor in San Diego; his ex-wife Asa Maynor; his longtime partner Catherine Gross; and his Maltipoo, Marlowe.