Ken Berry was born November 3, 1933 in Moline, Illinois. It's apparent that Ken had an early interest in show business. His idols included dancing greats; Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, which influenced him to start taking dance lessons at 12 years of age. Fred was fortunate to be selected at the tender age of 15 to join the Horace Heidt Youth Opportunity Program. This special program allowed Ken to travel throughout the United States and abroad. A wonderful experience for such a young person so much so, until after his return to Moline, his focus was then on acting.
Ken graduated from high school and headed straight to California to further his acting career. He served in the military as part of an artillery unit. Ken was very dissatisfied and often attempted to change his vocation. Eventually Ken was successful in doing so after appearing in a talent show one night. His performance was so good until he was invited to join the Special Services-the entertainment bureau of the Army, Leonard Nimoy was his sergeant.
After Ken's military career ended in 1955, he returned to California. Ken also used his GI Bill funds to attend acting classes. In 1960, he met and married Jackie Joseph who was also a singer and dancer. They were married May 29, 1960.