Barry Coe
Jayne Mansfield Barry Coe 1962.JPG
Coe and Jayne Mansfield in 1962
Barry Clark Heacock

(1934-11-26)November 26, 1934
DiedJuly 16, 2019(2019-07-16) (aged 84)
Palm Desert, California, U.S.
Other namesJoseph Spalding Coe
Years active1955–78
Spouse(s)Jorunn Kristiansen Coe (1959–2019; his death)

Barry S. Coe (born Barry Clark Heacock; November 26, 1934 – July 16, 2019) was an American actor who appeared in film and on television from 1956–1978. Many of his movie parts were minor, but he co-starred in one series, titled Follow the Sun, which aired on ABC during the 1961–62 season. He also played "Mr. Goodwrench" on TV commercials in the 1970s and 1980s.

Life and career

Early life

Born Barry Clark Heacock, his name was changed to Joseph Spalding Coe when his mother, Jean Elizabeth Shea, married Joseph Spalding Coe in 1940 in Los Angeles. His father, Francis Elmer "Frank" Heacock, a writer and publicist for Warner Bros., was killed in an auto accident in North Hollywood, California on April 5, 1940. Coe attended the University of Southern California and was discovered by a talent scout during a trip with his fraternity to Palm Springs in the mid-1950s. He was signed by 20th Century Fox.[citation needed]

20th Century Fox

Coe’s early film roles included appearances in House of Bamboo (1955), How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955), On the Threshold of Space (1956), and D-Day the Sixth of June (1956). He had a small role in Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender (1956). He was in adaptations of The Late George Apley and Deep Water for The 20th Century Fox Hour.[1]

Coe's first really notable role was playing the lustful Rodney Harrington in Peyton Place (1957), based on the best-selling Grace Metalious 1956 novel of the same name. This was followed by a supporting part in Thundering Jets (1958), then went back to Fox for The Bravados (1958) with Gregory Peck, and A Private's Affair (1959). He played Carroll Baker's more age-appropriate boyfriend in But Not for Me at Paramount.[2]

Coe had supporting roles in One Foot in Hell (1960) with Alan Ladd and The Wizard of Baghdad (1961). In 1960, he received a Golden Globe for the Most Promising Newcomer - Male, along with James Shigeta, Troy Donahue, and George Hamilton.[1]

Follow the Sun

In 1961, Coe and Brett Halsey played magazine writers Paul Templin and Ben Gregory, respectively, with Gary Lockwood as Eric Jason, on the ABC television network series Follow the Sun from September 17, 1961 through April 8, 1962. The program was set in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the writers often ventured into private detective work. Despite some memorable episodes, Follow the Sun was cancelled after 29 segments.[3]

After Follow the Sun folded, Coe appeared in a supporting role in Fox's The 300 Spartans (1962)[4] then guest-starred in 1962 on the first episode of the fourth season of Bonanza. He portrayed Clay Stafford, who reveals himself to be the "fifth" Cartwright, a half brother to Little Joe (Michael Landon) via their mother Marie. Although stepfather Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) and Joe take Clay at his word, the other Cartwright brothers, Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Adam (Pernell Roberts) are skeptical and intend to investigate Clay's claim. The episode, "The First Born", could have introduced Coe as a new cast member. Entertainment writer Hal Ericson reported that friction (i.e., job security) on the set caused Bonanza producers to stick with the three brothers.[5] Coe guest-starred on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and appeared as a communications aide in Fantastic Voyage (1966) and as Walt Kilby in The Cat (1966) and The Seven Minutes (1971). He had a semiregular role on Bracken's World.[1]

Later career

He starred as Fred Saunders in Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls in 1973 and as a reporter in Gregory Peck's MacArthur in 1977. His last film role was as diving instructor Tom Andrews in Jaws 2 in 1978. He had a brief stint as Dr. Rex Pierce in the soap opera General Hospital in 1974. His other television appearances include Mission: Impossible and The Moneychangers. From the late 1970s into the early 1980s, Coe was "Mr. Goodwrench" in television advertising for General Motors’ passenger vehicle dealer services.[1]

Personal life and death

Until his death, Coe was married to the former Jorunn Kristiansen (born 1940), who was a Norwegian beauty queen in the 1950s and now a painter. Their son is William Shea Coe (born 1966). In the 1980s, Barry Coe's daughter attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He had a side business in nutritional supplements—Adventures in Nutrition; labels for the containers were printed by Joe Faust. He lived in Brentwood, California for several years. Coe died on July 16, 2019 from myelodysplastic syndrome at the age of 84 in Palm Desert, California.[6][7]


Year Title Role Notes
1955 House of Bamboo Captain Hanson's Aide Uncredited
1955 How to Be Very, Very Popular Student Uncredited
1956 On the Threshold of Space Communications Officer
1956 D-Day the Sixth of June Helmsman Uncredited
1956 Love Me Tender Mr. Davis
1957 Peyton Place Rodney Harrington
1958 Thundering Jets Capt. 'Cotton' Davis
1958 The Bravados Tom
1959 A Private's Affair Jerry Morgan
1959 But Not for Me Gordon Reynolds
1960 One Foot in Hell Stu Christian
1960 The Wizard of Baghdad Prince Husan
1962 The 300 Spartans Phylon
1965 A Letter to Nancy Pastor Bob Allen
1966 The Cat Walt Kilby
1966 Fantastic Voyage Communications Aide
1971 The Seven Minutes Court Clerk Uncredited
1972 One Minute Before Death Joseph Hudson
1973 Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls Fred Saunders
1976 El hombre desnudo
1977 MacArthur Television Reporter
1978 Jaws 2 Andrews (final film role)


  1. ^ a b c d Barry Coe (I),; accessed July 26, 2020.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-02-09. Retrieved 2008-01-28.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link); "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-04-26. Retrieved 2008-01-28.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Follow the Sun" (1961),; accessed July 25, 2020.
  4. ^ "Julie Newmar Will Do Film in Athens: Egan, Coe Will Be Her Costars; Liz Taylor Paged for Decision - ProQuest". ProQuest 167757774. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Bonanza: The First Born Synopsis". Archived from the original on April 21, 2009.
  6. ^ "Barry Coe, Actor in 'Peyton Place,' 'Follow the Sun' and 'Bonanza,' Dies at 84". The Hollywood Reporter.
  7. ^ "Barry Coe". Idaho Mountain Express. Retrieved August 6, 2019.