Viral Oscars Star "Gary From Chicago" Completed 20-Year Prison Sentence 3 Days Before the Oscars

The engaged man dazzled the audience and Internet when he and his fiancée made a surprise appearance at the ceremony on Sunday

By Samantha Schnurr Feb 28, 2017 4:58 PMTags

While "Gary from Chicago" went viral after his surprise Oscar appearance, the Illinois native is trending for a new reason now. 

The man who took the Academy Award audience by storm as he mingled with the likes of Denzel Washington and kissed the hands of Hollywood's most celebrated women, the Internet has since learned that Gary Coe recently finished a 20-year prison sentence for multiple felonies. 

As he told ABC 7 Chicago, he was released from a California jail three days before walking into the Dolby Theater.

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"Change is possible," he told ABC. "It's a sad day to be in prison for 20 years and not be able to be a dad, granddad to your children. 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."

Meanwhile, he and his fiancée Vickie have become the target of free swag since their big moment, including tickets from the Chicago Bulls and deep dish pizza from Gino's East. Not to mention, Blackish star Anthony Anderson said he was ordained and willing to marry them. 

However, despite being fake married by Washington during the show Sunday, they told ABC they plan to get married in California this summer. 

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