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From prison to the Oscars: The story of 'Gary from Chicago'

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/28/2017 The Associated Press
Mahershala Ali, right, hands his award for best actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" to a tourist named Gary during the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Mahershala Ali, right, hands his award for best actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" to a tourist named Gary during the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Gary from Chicago," the everyman catapulted to fame when he walked into the Oscars and onto the world's biggest stage, had just been released from prison days earlier.

Mahershala Ali, right, takes a selfie with a tourist named Gary while holding his award for best actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Mahershala Ali, right, takes a selfie with a tourist named Gary while holding his award for best actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Gary Alan Coe was among a group of tourists who were led into the show during a one of host Jimmy Kimmel's gags. Coe and his fiancee, Vickie, posed for selfies with Hollywood stars, had Denzel Washington perform a faux wedding for them and held Mahershala Ali's Oscar trophy.

Coe's public defender says in a Facebook post that he had served 20 years for petty theft when he was released, and had a 1975 conviction for attempted rape when he was a teenager.

The 59-year-old Coe said in an interview with ABC7 in Chicago that he is a changed man.

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