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Gene Barry

Gene Barry

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Gene Barry was an American stage, screen, and television actor. Barry is best remembered for his leading roles in the films The Atomic City
The Atomic City
The Atomic City is a 1952 drama film directed by Jerry Hopper, starring Gene Barry, Lydia Clarke. At Los Alamos, New Mexico, a nuclear physicist lives and works. Terrorists kidnap Barry's son and demand that the physicist turn over the H-bomb formula...

 (1952) and The War of The Worlds
The War of the Worlds
The War of the Worlds is an 1898 science fiction novel written by H. G. Wells.The War of the Worlds may also refer to:- Radio broadcasts :* The War of the Worlds , the 1938 radio broadcast by Orson Welles...

 (1953) and for his portrayal of the title character in the TV series Bat Masterson
Bat Masterson (TV series)
Bat Masterson is an American Western television series which showed a fictionalized account of the life of real-life marshal/gambler/dandy Bat Masterson. The title character was played by Gene Barry and the half-hour black and white shows ran on NBC from 1958 to 1961...

, among many roles.

Personal life


Barry was born Eugene Klass in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, the son of Eva (née Conn) and Martin Klass; all of his grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. Barry exhibited early artistic skills with singing and playing violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

 as a child and later spent two years at the Chatham Square School of Music on a scholarship awarded for his vocal ability. When Barry was 25, he married Betty Claire Kalb (February 12, 1923 – January 31, 2003) on October 22, 1944. At the time of their marriage, Kalb was an actress known by the stage name, Julie Carson. Their marriage produced three children; two biological sons and an adopted daughter.

Career


Barry chose his professional name
Stage name
A stage name, also called a showbiz name or screen name, is a pseudonym used by performers and entertainers such as actors, wrestlers, comedians, and musicians.-Motivation to use a stage name:...

 in honor of John Barrymore
John Barrymore
John Sidney Blyth , better known as John Barrymore, was an acclaimed American actor. He first gained fame as a handsome stage actor in light comedy, then high drama and culminating in groundbreaking portrayals in Shakespearean plays Hamlet and Richard III...

 and made his Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 debut as Captain Paul Duval in the 1942 revival of Sigmund Romberg
Sigmund Romberg
Sigmund Romberg was a Hungarian-born American composer, best known for his operettas.-Biography:Romberg was born as Siegmund Rosenberg to a Jewish family in Gross-Kanizsa during the Austro-Hungarian kaiserlich und königlich monarchy period...

's The New Moon
The New Moon
The New Moon is the name of an operetta with music by Sigmund Romberg and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel, and Laurence Schwab. The show was the third and last in a string of Broadway hits for Romberg written in the style of Viennese operetta...

. He later portrayed Falke in Rosalinda (1942), Nova Kovich in The Merry Widow
The Merry Widow
The Merry Widow is an operetta by the Austro–Hungarian composer Franz Lehár. The librettists, Viktor Léon and Leo Stein, based the story – concerning a rich widow, and her countrymen's attempt to keep her money in the principality by finding her the right husband – on an 1861 comedy play,...

(1943), Lieutenant Bunin in Catherine Was Great (1944), Dorante and Comte De Chateau-Gaillard in The Would-Be Gentleman (1946), The Doctor in Happy as Larry (1950), and played a variety of roles in the musical revue Bless You All (1950).

In 1950, Barry began appearing on TV with the "NBC Television Opera Theatre". In 1955, he appeared on the CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 anthology series Appointment with Adventure
Appointment with Adventure
Appointment with Adventure is a half-hour adventure/dramatic anthology television series broadcast live on CBS from 1955-1956. The program has no host. It aired at 10 p.m...

.

In 1951, Barry was hired for in his first movie, in the role of "Dr. Frank Addison" in The Atomic City
The Atomic City
The Atomic City is a 1952 drama film directed by Jerry Hopper, starring Gene Barry, Lydia Clarke. At Los Alamos, New Mexico, a nuclear physicist lives and works. Terrorists kidnap Barry's son and demand that the physicist turn over the H-bomb formula...

(1952), and then in 1952, Barry was cast as "Dr. Clayton Forrester" in the science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 film The War of the Worlds
The War of the Worlds (1953 film)
The War of the Worlds is a 1953 science fiction film starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson. It was the first on-screen loose adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic novel of the same name...

(1953). Much later, Barry also made a cameo appearance
Cameo appearance
A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance of a known person in a work of the performing arts, such as plays, films, video games and television...

 in Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

's remake of War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds (2005 film)
War of the Worlds is a 2005 American science fiction film adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel of the same name, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh Friedman and David Koepp. It is one of three film adaptations of War of the Worlds released that year, alongside The Asylum's version and...

(2005), along with his co-star Ann Robinson
Ann Robinson
Ann Robinson is an American actress and stunt horse rider, perhaps best known for her work in the film, The War of the Worlds and in the 1947 to 1970 radio and television series, Dragnet, in which she starred opposite Jack Webb....

 from the film of 1952.

When the situation comedy Our Miss Brooks
Our Miss Brooks
Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast on CBS from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television , it became one of the medium's earliest hits...

was given a change in format in 1955, Barry was cast in a recurring role as the physical-education teacher "Gene Talbot", the new romantic interest of series star Eve Arden
Eve Arden
Eve Arden was an American actress. Her almost 60-year career crossed most media frontiers with supporting and leading roles, but she may be best-remembered for playing the sardonic but engaging title character, a high school teacher, on Our Miss Brooks, and as the Rydell High School principal in...

. While the show was cancelled in 1956, Barry's character—a ladies' man with expensive tastes—served as the model for three shows in which he starred.

Bat Masterson
Bat Masterson (TV series)
Bat Masterson is an American Western television series which showed a fictionalized account of the life of real-life marshal/gambler/dandy Bat Masterson. The title character was played by Gene Barry and the half-hour black and white shows ran on NBC from 1958 to 1961...

, a fictionalized recounting of the life of the real-life U.S. Marshal / gambler, was telecast by NBC-TV from 1958 to 1961. In 1990, Barry recreated the role of Bat Masterson for two episodes of Guns of Paradise
Paradise (TV series)
Paradise is an American Western family television series, broadcast by CBS from 1988 to 1991. Created by David Jacobs and Robert Porter, the series presents the adventures of fictitious gunfighter Ethan Allen Cord, whose sister left her four children in his custody when she died.-Synopsis:Paradise...

alongside Hugh O'Brian
Hugh O'Brian
Hugh O'Brian is an American actor, known for his starring role in the ABC television series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp .-Early years and career:...

 as Wyatt Earp
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp is a Western television series loosely based on the adventures of frontier marshal Wyatt Earp. The half-hour black and white series ran on ABC-TV from 1955 to 1961 and featured Hugh O'Brian as Earp. An off-camera barbershop quartet sang the theme song and hummed...

 and the following year in The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, also with O'Brian as Earp.

In his next TV series, Burke's Law
Burke's Law
Burke's Law is a detective series that ran on ABC from 1963 to 1965 and was revived on CBS in the 1990s. The show starred Gene Barry as Amos Burke, millionaire captain of Los Angeles police homicide division, who was chauffeured around to solve crimes in his Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud...

, Barry played a millionaire homicide captain who was chauffeured in his limousine as he solved crimes; in the final season, he became a secret agent. This series was telecast on ABC-TV from 1963 to 1965. For his performance in it, Barry won the Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

 for Best Actor in 1965. (This series returned to TV in 1993-94 with Barry once again in the title role.)

Barry's third TV series was called The Name of the Game
The Name of the Game (TV series)
The Name of the Game is an American television series starring Tony Franciosa, Gene Barry, and Robert Stack that ran from 1968 to 1971 on NBC, totaling 76 episodes of 90 minutes. It was a pioneering wheel series, setting the stage for the likes of The Bold Ones and the NBC Mystery Movie in the 1970s...

, in which he played the sophisticated publisher of a family of magazines, and he was one of three lead characters on the series. The other two lead actors were Robert Stack
Robert Stack
Robert Stack was an American actor. In addition to acting in more than 40 films, he was the star of the 1959-1963 ABC television series The Untouchables and later served as the host of Unsolved Mysteries.-Early life:...

 and Tony Franciosa who rotated with Barry week by week as the primary character in each week's program. This series was shown by NBC from 1968 to 1971. One of the magazines that Barry's character published was called People magazine, several years before the actual People magazine was first published.

Shortly before the filming of The Name of the Game series began, Barry played the villain—a wealthy psychiatrist— in Prescription: Murder, the two-hour pilot episode of the TV series Columbo.)

In 1972, Barry starred in the ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 television series The Adventurer
The Adventurer (TV series)
The Adventurer is an ITC Entertainment TV adventure series created by Dennis Spooner that ran for one season from 1972 to 1973. It premiered in the UK on 29 September 1972. The show starred Gene Barry as Gene Bradley, a government agent of independent means who poses as a glamorous American movie...

, along with Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Herbert "Barry" Morse was an Anglo-Canadian actor of stage, screen, and radio best known for his roles in the ABC television series The Fugitive and the British sci-fi drama Space: 1999...

 and Catherine Schell
Catherine Schell
Katherina Freiin Schell von Bauschlott is an Hungarian-born actress best known for her work on British televison.Schell rose to fame in various British film and television productions in the 1960s and 1970s...

. He played Gene Bradley, a government agent of independent means, who poses as a glamorous American movie star.

Barry returned to Broadway on two occasions - in 1962 in The Perfect Setup, and in 1983 in the Broadway premiere of the musical La Cage aux Folles. For his portrayal of Georges, Barry was nominated for a Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

.

For his contribution to live theatre, Gene Barry received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California...

 which is located at 6555 Hollywood Boulevard.

Death


Barry died on December 9, 2009 at Sunrise Senior Living
Sunrise Senior Living
Sunrise Senior Living, Inc. is a senior living company based in Tysons Corner, unincorporated Fairfax County, northern Virginia, which operates over 300 Sunrise locations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Sunrise specializes in Alzheimer's care, Assisted living and Skilled nursing...

 in Woodland Hills, California
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California
Woodland Hills is a district in the city of Los Angeles, California.Woodland Hills is located in the southwestern area of the San Fernando Valley, east of Calabasas and west of Tarzana, with Warner Center in its northern section...

, at the age of 90. At his death, he was survived by his sons, Michael and Frederick, and his daughter, Elizabeth, as well as three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Betty, had died earlier, in 2003, after nearly 58 years of marriage.

Filmography

  • The Atomic City
    The Atomic City
    The Atomic City is a 1952 drama film directed by Jerry Hopper, starring Gene Barry, Lydia Clarke. At Los Alamos, New Mexico, a nuclear physicist lives and works. Terrorists kidnap Barry's son and demand that the physicist turn over the H-bomb formula...

    (1952)
  • The Girls of Pleasure Island
    The Girls of Pleasure Island
    The Girls of Pleasure Island is a 1953 Technicolor comedy film directed by Alvin Ganzer and F. Hugh Herbert. The screenplay by F. Hugh Herbert is based on the novel by former Marine William Maier...

    (1953)
  • The War of the Worlds
    The War of the Worlds (1953 film)
    The War of the Worlds is a 1953 science fiction film starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson. It was the first on-screen loose adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic novel of the same name...

    (1953)
  • Those Redheads from Seattle (1953)
  • Alaska Seas
    Alaska Seas
    Alaska Seas is a 1954 crime drama film directed by Jerry Hopper and starring Robert Ryan and Brian Keith.-Plot:Matt Kelly is released from jail and skips town in his boat without paying outstanding storage fees. Back in his home town he is hired by his old friend Jim Kimmerly , the head of the...

    (1954)
  • Red Garters
    Red Garters (film)
    Red Garters is a 1954 film starring Rosemary Clooney, Guy Mitchell, and Jack Carson. It was a musical spoof of Westerns. The director was George Marshall....

    (1954)
  • Naked Alibi
    Naked Alibi
    Naked Alibi is a 1954 black-and-white film starring Sterling Hayden. Portions of the film, considered film noir, were shot in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.-Plot:...

    (1954)
  • Soldier of Fortune
    Soldier of Fortune (film)
    Soldier of Fortune is a 1955 adventure film about the rescue of an American held prisoner in the People's Republic of China in the 1950s. It was directed by Edward Dmytryk, starred Clark Gable and Susan Hayward and was written by Ernest K...

    (1955)
  • The Purple Mask (1955)
  • The Houston Story (1956)
  • Back from Eternity
    Back from Eternity
    Back from Eternity is a 1956 drama film about a planeload of people stranded in the South American jungle and subsequently menaced by headhunters. It is a remake of an earlier 1939 film, Five Came Back, starred Chester Morris and Lucille Ball, also directed and produced by John Farrow...

    (1956)
  • China Gate
    China Gate (1957 film)
    China Gate is a 1957 Hollywood Cinemascope war film written, produced and directed by Samuel Fuller and released through 20th Century Fox.-Plot:...

    (1957)
  • The 27th Day
    The 27th Day
    The 27th Day is a 1957 science fiction film from Columbia Pictures. It was directed by William Asher, produced by Helen Ainsworth, and the screenplay was written by John Mantley, who also wrote the original novel...

    (1957)
  • Forty Guns
    Forty Guns
    Forty Guns is a 1957 CinemaScope western film written and directed by Samuel Fuller and released by the 20th Century Fox studio. The film stars Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan and Gene Barry.-Plot:...

    (1957)
  • Hong Kong Confidential (1958)
  • Thunder Road
    Thunder Road
    Thunder Road is the title of a 1958 drama–crime film about running moonshine in the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee in the early 1950s. It was directed by Arthur Ripley and starred Robert Mitchum, who also produced the film, co-wrote the screenplay, and is rumored to have directed much of the...

    (1958)
  • Maroc 7
    Maroc 7
    Maroc 7 is a 1967 British thriller film directed by Gerry O'Hara and starring Gene Barry, Elsa Martinelli, Leslie Phillips and Denholm Elliot...

    (1967)
  • Subterfuge
    Subterfuge (1968 film)
    Subterfuge is a 1968 British espionage film directed by Peter Graham Scott and starring Gene Barry, Joan Collins and Richard Todd.-Cast:* Gene Barry as Michael A...

    (1968)
  • The Second Coming of Suzanne
    The Second Coming of Suzanne
    The Second Coming of Suzanne is a 1974 film directed by Michael Barry. It stars Jared Martin as an obsessed San Francisco indie film maker who hires a beautiful young woman called Suzanne to star as a female Christ in his next film...

    (1974)
  • Guyana: Crime of the Century
    Guyana: Crime of the Century
    Guyana: Crime of the Century is a 1979 exploitation horror film written and directed by René Cardona Jr.. The film, which was shot in Mexico is very loosely based on the Jonestown Massacre. It stars a number of American actors such as Stuart Whitman and Gene Barry...

    (1979)
  • War of the Worlds
    War of the Worlds (2005 film)
    War of the Worlds is a 2005 American science fiction film adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel of the same name, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh Friedman and David Koepp. It is one of three film adaptations of War of the Worlds released that year, alongside The Asylum's version and...

    (2005)

Television work

  • Our Miss Brooks
    Our Miss Brooks
    Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast on CBS from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television , it became one of the medium's earliest hits...

    (1955–1956)
  • Bat Masterson
    Bat Masterson (TV series)
    Bat Masterson is an American Western television series which showed a fictionalized account of the life of real-life marshal/gambler/dandy Bat Masterson. The title character was played by Gene Barry and the half-hour black and white shows ran on NBC from 1958 to 1961...

    (1958–1961)
  • Burke's Law
    Burke's Law
    Burke's Law is a detective series that ran on ABC from 1963 to 1965 and was revived on CBS in the 1990s. The show starred Gene Barry as Amos Burke, millionaire captain of Los Angeles police homicide division, who was chauffeured around to solve crimes in his Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud...

    (1963
    1963 in television
    The year 1963 in television involved some significant events.Below is a list of television-related events in 1963.-Events:*January 13 – BBC Television broadcasts the play The Madhouse on Castle Street in the Sunday-Night Theatre strand...

    –1966)
  • Prescription: Murder (1968)
  • Istanbul Express (1968)
  • The Name of the Game
    The Name of the Game (TV series)
    The Name of the Game is an American television series starring Tony Franciosa, Gene Barry, and Robert Stack that ran from 1968 to 1971 on NBC, totaling 76 episodes of 90 minutes. It was a pioneering wheel series, setting the stage for the likes of The Bold Ones and the NBC Mystery Movie in the 1970s...

    (1968–1971)
  • Do You Take This Stranger? (1971)
  • The Devil and Miss Sarah (1971)
  • The Adventurer
    The Adventurer (TV series)
    The Adventurer is an ITC Entertainment TV adventure series created by Dennis Spooner that ran for one season from 1972 to 1973. It premiered in the UK on 29 September 1972. The show starred Gene Barry as Gene Bradley, a government agent of independent means who poses as a glamorous American movie...

    (1972–1973)
  • Ransom for Alice! (1977)
  • Aspen (1977) (miniseries)
  • A Cry for Love (1980)
  • The Girl, the Gold Watch & Dynamite
    The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything
    The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything is a science fiction novel written by John D. MacDonald, considered "a classic screwball mystery".-Plot synopsis:...

    (1981)
  • The Adventures of Nellie Bly
    Nellie Bly
    Nellie Bly was the pen name of American pioneer female journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochran. She remains notable for two feats: a record-breaking trip around the world in emulation of Jules Verne's character Phileas Fogg, and an exposé in which she faked insanity to study a mental institution from...

    (1981)
  • Perry Mason: The Case of the Lost Love
    Perry Mason (TV series)
    Perry Mason is an American legal drama produced by Paisano Productions that ran from September 1957 to May 1966 on CBS. The title character, portrayed by Raymond Burr, is a fictional Los Angeles defense attorney who originally appeared in detective fiction by Erle Stanley Gardner...

    (1987)
  • Turn Back the Clock (1989)
  • The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991)
  • Burke's Law
    Burke's Law
    Burke's Law is a detective series that ran on ABC from 1963 to 1965 and was revived on CBS in the 1990s. The show starred Gene Barry as Amos Burke, millionaire captain of Los Angeles police homicide division, who was chauffeured around to solve crimes in his Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud...

    (1994–1995)
  • These Old Broads
    These Old Broads
    These Old Broads is a 2001 television film written by Carrie Fisher and starring her mother Debbie Reynolds, as well as Shirley MacLaine, Joan Collins, and Elizabeth Taylor in her final film role...

    (2001)

External links