Breakout Oscars star Gary From Chicago was just released from 20 years in jail

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
Gary… Chicago man becomes an instant Oscar legend – Credit: Reuters
Gary… Chicago man becomes an instant Oscar legend – Credit: Reuters

After you’ve just spent 20 years in jail, heading off to the Oscars would be on most ex-offenders’ to-do lists.

And so it came to be for ‘Gary From Chicago’, the breakout star of Sunday night’s glittering – and occasionally shambolic – celebration of the movie business.


Gary – full name Gary Alan Coe – was among a group of tourists unwittingly hijacked from an LA tour bus and shepherded into the Dolby Theater as part of a skit by the show’s host Jimmy Kimmel.

He met Ryan Gosling, got a selfie with Mahershala Ali and while holding his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, kissed Nicole Kidman and Octavia Spencer’s hands, and managed to get Denzel Washington to pronounce he and his fiancee Vickie ‘man and wife’.

(Credit: ABC)
(Credit: ABC)

But in a redemption tale worthy of Hollywood itself, it’s now emerged that Gary was released from a 20-year stint in jail just three days earlier.

Speaking to ABC7, he declined to detail the charges which saw him incarcerated for two decades (though it is said to be ‘several felonies’), but added: “Change is possible. It’s a sad day to be in prison for 20 years and not be able to be a dad, granddad to your children.

(Credit: Reuters)
(Credit: Reuters)

“You know what my son told me today, man, and I almost come to tears. He said he’s proud of me. So to hear your children say that they’re proud of me means the world to me.”

Gary met Vickie while behind bars, found religion, and the pair are planning to have a proper wedding – sorry, Denzel – in July.

Anthony Anderson, the star of the series ‘Blackish’, has kindly offered to officiate at their wedding, as he’s legally permitted to do so in California.

So that’s nice.

Read more
Warren Beatty announces wrong winner
Was DiCaprio to blame for flub?
The best reactions to the flub