Edd 'Kookie' Byrnes Stalked for his 3 Million Dollar Vegas Win
Author: Paul Kyriazi
"Never take an ex-girlfriend with you to Las Vegas", Edd Byrnes says to Alan Young, who Edd confided in 20 years earlier. That's the first thing Edd says in his memoir of winning 3 million in Las Vegas in 1977.And then right away being hounded by a guy who says, "Hey, that's my machine. I've been playing it all night. And I had my chair leaning against it, which means someone is playing it. I just went to take a wiz, so that's my jackpot." Not only did Edd have that problem, but his ex-girlfriend starts demanding half ofhis jackpot because she pushed him to make the maximum bet in order for himto win the the 3 million. You know Edd Byrnes from the John Travolta movie Grease where he played Vince Fontaine, the star of "National Bandstand" for the dance contest scene. Or if you were around in the 60's he became a household name playing "Kookie" on TV's 77 Sunset Strip. His recording of Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb, earned him a gold record. He went on to many movies, TV roles, and stage plays.Now Edd would finally reveals what happened to him when he hit a big jackpot in Las Vegas, with his ex-girlfriend and a criminal trying to 'latch on to his winnings' before he could even deposit the check. I had worked with Edd on my audio-book McKnight's Memory. Edd was great playing the part of "Floyd" the henchman to Henry Silva's gangster using a New Jersey. The scene is a long card game played between Silva and Robert Culp with Edd dealing the cards and making wize cracks. After recording, my producer Larry Metzger and Iwalked Edd to the parking lot. When Edd walked off Larry said to me, "He's so cool." I replied, "Of course he's cool. He's Edd Byrnes." A that time, Edd became interested in producing his own audio-book. But he didn't want to repeat any of the stories from his first book "Kookie, No More". So he decided to tell what happened when he won the three million dollar. So he hired Larry and I to produce the project. Edd asked his actor friends to re-create what happened 20 years ago. So Alan Young , David Hedison, and Henry Silva recorded as themselves because they had helped Edd with the situation. The cool thing about this project is that Edd worked auto-biographical material into the story, giving listeners info on his rise to fame in Hollywood, his gold record, his TV shows, movies, and relationships with other actor friends. Alan Young makes several references to his movie The Time Machine (one of Edd's favorite movies), and how Edd first told his secret story to him in 1977 just before his role in Grease. Thename of the criminal, who stalked Edd for his jackpot, must remain anonymous and is played by Michael Callan of Cat Ballou and Mysterious Island fame. Edd's two ex-girlfriends, who must also remain anonymous, are played by other actresses. Later when Larry and I delivered the audio-book copies to Edd, I brought my dad along and we all met at a coffee shop to celebrate. I couldn't believe it. My dad and I use to watch 77 Sunset Strip every Saturday night, and now we were talking shop with "Kookie" himself. I should have asked him to park my car like he did in the show. Edd is so cool, he would have done it. But instead he gave me a hug for a job well done andmaybe for being his biggest fan. About the Author:
Director of 6 feature films including 'Omega Cop' with Adam West.
Creator of 'Live the James Bond Lifestyle' seminar.
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Edd 'Kookie' Byrnes Stalked for his 3 Million Dollar Vegas Win Pombia