George Coe, an original Saturday Night Live cast member and longtime actor and voiceover artist with over 50 years of credits, passed away Saturday in Santa Monica, California after battling a long illness, Variety reports. He was 86. Coe was featured among the other “Not Ready For Prime Time Players” when Saturday Night Live debuted on October 11, 1975.
While Coe appeared on other episodes during SNL‘s first season, he was only credited as a featured cast member on the debut, where he was listed alongside Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner. At 46 years old, Coe, who was hired because NBC wanted an older presence to balance out all the young, then-unknown talent, was also the oldest member of the cast to ever join the show until 47-year-old Leslie Jones edged him out in 2014.
While Coe did not return for SNL‘s second season, he enjoyed a lengthy acting career that boasted notable roles in films and television shows like 1979’s Kramer Vs. Kramer, 1987’s Max Headroom, 1987’s Blind Date and a pair of appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Coe was also an accomplished voiceover actor, providing his voice to a wide array of works like Celebrity Deathmatch, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Most recently, Coe voiced Sterling Archer’s under-appreciated, much-abused butler Woodhouse on the FX series Archer for six seasons. “One of the loveliest & most talented men I have ever known,” comedian Aisha Tyler, who voices Lana Kane on Archer, tweeted about her co-star.
In Norm Macdonald’s Twitter monologue offering a behind-the-scenes look at the SNL40 special, he revealed that Rolling Stone‘s 141 SNL Cast Members Ranked list provided some needling among the crew backstage. “‘As long as I beat George Coe,’ I said, making a fine joke,” Macdonald tweeted. “Again the truth was a finer joke. Coe had easily outranked me. And on it went.”