By Cynthia Littleton. He was Byrnes played Kookie, the parking lot attendant with a habit of running his comb through his slick hair. The series was among a slew of slick action-dramas that the fledgling Warner Bros.
Edd Byrnes, of '77 Sunset Strip' and 'Grease' fame, dies at 87
Edd “Kookie” Byrnes Dies: ’77 Sunset Strip’ Teen Idol & ‘Grease’ Actor Was 87 – Deadline
And so went the mass love affair between Edd Kookie Byrnes, 26, and a throng of 18, cheering bobby sox fans yesterday at Midway Airport. He was Byrnes as the parking-lot attendant at the restaurant next door to their office. As he ministered tenderly to the Thunderbird convertible driven by Mr. At public appearances he was pelted with combs. Byrnes was an entirely self-taught actor — and originally hired to appear in only a single episode of the show. By his own account, his life began with a turbulent, impoverished childhood followed by a stint as a male prostitute; peaked with fame, riches and a roster of celebrity friends; and ebbed amid alcoholism and drug addiction before culminating in sobriety and steady, if relatively low-profile, television work.
Edd Byrnes, known for "77 Sunset Strip," "Grease," dies at 87 at Santa Monica home, son says
Edward Byrne Breitenberger July 30, — January 8, , known professionally as Edd Byrnes , was an American actor, best known for his starring role in the television series 77 Sunset Strip. After his abusive alcoholic father died  when Edd was thirteen, he dropped his last name in favor of "Byrnes" based on the name of his maternal grandfather, Edward Byrne, a fireman. Byrnes developed the urge to act at high school but did not seriously consider pursuing it until after he had tried a number of other jobs, such as: driving an ambulance, roofing and selling flowers. In , Byrnes got an unpaid job in a summer stock theatre company in Connecticut, the Litchfield Community Playhouse.
Edd shared an impoverished and unhappy childhood with brother Vincent and sister Jo-Ann. Their mother worked hard at various jobs to keep the family together because her alcoholic husband was often absent from the scene. When Edd was fifteen, his father was found dead in a basement. Edd then dropped his surname Breitenberger in favor of "Byrnes", based on the name of his maternal grandfather, Edward Byrne, a New York City fireman. He found escape from family problems at the movies and at the gym, where he developed an athletic body.