Incredible and unlikely as this may seem, Edd Byrnes, who played restaurant valet parker and aspiring private eye Gerald Lloyd “Kookie” Kookson III on the classic ABC-TV series 77 Sunset Strip, celebrates--appropriately--his 77th birthday today.
After completing his time on that 1958-1964 Roy Huggins-created detective drama, Byrnes went on to guest star in scores of other small-screen series, including Honey West, Mannix, Adam-12, Faraday and Company, Quincy, M.E., Simon & Simon, Crazy Like a Fox, and Murder, She Wrote. He also played a Dick Clark-like dance-show host in the 1978 film Grease. Yet audiences still seem to think of him first and foremost as the slick young hipster at Dino’s Restaurant, a fact he exploited well with the title of his 1998 autobiography, Kookie No More.
You can find more information, plus a whole lot of fan memorabilia all ready for purchasing, at Byrnes’ official Web site. And below, I’ve embedded a clip from 77 Sunset Strip featuring the slang-slinging Kookie and gumshoe Stuart Bailey (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.).