We’re saddened to report that actor George Coe has died of a protracted illness. He was 86 years old.
In a career than spanned more than fifty years, Coe performed on Broadway (Mame, Company, On The Twentieth Century), was one of the original Not Ready For Prime Time Players of Saturday Night Live, and appeared in Kramer vs. Kramer as well as on a long, long list of television shows. But in his final years, he might be best known for lending his voice to the ever-tormented Woodhouse on Archer.
Woodhouse began as a whipping boy for the show’s titular super spy. But Coe’s charisma made the character popular enough that his role became more complex as the seasons went on, weaving in a gay romance, a heroic backstory, and a drug addiction so destructive it rewrites history.
Variety’s mention of Coe’s prolonged illness makes this reporter wonder if that’s why Woodhouse abruptly went missing in season six. Perhaps Coe needed time off.
During Comic-Con International in San Diego, producer Casey Willis had suggested to Spinoff Online Woodhouse would triumphantly return in season seven. But it seems possible Coe’s death could derail those plans. For now, much of that season is unwritten. And we’re waiting on word from Archer creator Adam Reed to see how the series will handle the passing of Coe.
While recasting is something cartoon shows often do, I’m hoping Coe will get a sendoff of his character that will pay tribute not just to the high-chasing Woodhouse, but also to the actor who brought audiences so much joy for half a century. Of course, through the lens of Archer that tribute would be all kinds of weird and inappropes. But I can’t imagine Coe would have it any other way.
Kristy Puchko will drown her sorrows in a bowl of spiderwebs today.