Oscars’ ‘Gary From Chicago’ finished a 20-year stint in prison just before meeting Hollywood’s A-list

A trip to the Oscars would be cool almost any day of the week. But doing that days after being released from decades in prison? That’s what happened to the Oscars’ newest viral sensation, Gary Alan Coe, better known as “Gary From Chicago.”

Coe, 59, and his fiancee, Vickie Vines, were the first of a dozen or so unsuspecting tourists to enter the Dolby Theatre while the Oscars were in progress.

“I spent this afternoon laughing and crying with Gary and Vicky,” public defender Karen Nash posted Monday on Facebook. “For those of you who missed it, I spent years working on Gary’s case. He got a life sentence for stealing perfume in 1997, and we finally won release this year. He got out on Friday, and was sight seeing with his lovely fiancé Vicky. If you watched the Oscars, you know the rest.”

Coe was released Thursday after being resentenced earlier this year under California’s Proposition 36.

Here’s a look at his record:

  • Coe entered Corcoran State Prison in October 1994 for grand theft exceeding $400.
  • He was paroled in October 1996
  • In early 1997, he was convicted of petty theft after stealing from a South Bay Robinsons-May store on New Year’s Eve 1996.
  • That conviction earned a three-strikes 25-to-life sentence because he had violent priors….