Gene Barry

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Born

6/14/1919 , New York City

Died

12/9/2009

Birth Name

Eugene Klass

Gender

Male

Biography:

Gene Barry (born June 14, 1919) is an American actor known primarily for his work in the medium of television.

Born Eugene Klass in New York City, Gene Barry exhibited early musical skills as a singer and violinist. He adopted his professional name in honor of his idol, John Barrymore

Following high school, Barry appeared on radio and vaudeville, finally getting his big break on Broadway in 1944, when he was cast in Catherine Was Great. Gene met his future wife, Betty while appearing in that production.

After several years of working in relative obscurity in a succession of plays and musicals, Gene Barry entered the world of Hollywood, appearing in a number of B movies. His most memorable role from that period was as a scientist in the 1953 production of The War of the Worlds (he made a brief cameo appearance in the 2005 Steven Spielberg remake of that movie, along with co-star Ann Robinson).

The still-young medium of television was the next frontier explored by Barry, and was the one where he would find his niche. After a small role in the final season of Our Miss Brooks , his suave demeanor landed him a starring role as dapper Western lawman Bat Masterson in 1958. Other, similar roles would follow on The Name of the Game and Burke's Law, where he portrayed Amos Burke, a chauffeur-driven millionaire who also happened to be an L.A. police Captain. He won the 1965 Golden Globe for that role.

Barry has since appeared in a number of films, television programs, and stage shows, including brief television revivals of his characters Bat Masterson and Amos Burke. A 1983 return to Broadway in the musical version of La Cage aux Folles netted him a nomination for the 1984 Tony award as Best Actor (Musical).

His wife of 60 years, Betty Clair Kalb, died in 2003. He has two sons, Michael (a director) and Frederick, and a daughter, Elizabeth.

In 1988, Gene Barry received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to live theater.
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