Actor Dave Barry

Dave Barry (August 26, 1918 – August 16, 2001) was an American actor, comedian, entertainer and radio moderator.


Early life

Dave Barry (family name David Siegal, last name legally changed in the 1940s) began his performing career in the 1930s at the age of sixteen with parts in radio and doing voice work for cartoons. The son of a furniture store owner, he made his debut on the radio talent show Major Bowes Amateur Hour as did another talented female voice-over artist who he later worked with, Sara Berner. He built up a reputation as a stand-up comedian, entertaining troops during his military service in World War II on shows like Command Performance with Mary Pickford in 1942 just a few months after the USA entered the war. Barry started as a “Borscht Belt” comic in the Catskills while serving in the army during World War II and traveling with the USO along with Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante, Eddie Cantor, Red Skelton and many celebrities of the time. Starting in the mid 1940s, Barry became something of a fixture in Las Vegas just as the city was starting to become famous, playing engagements at the Flamingo, Desert Inn and the El Rancho Hotel performing with celebrities of the day such as Betty Grable, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Rose Marie, Sammy Davis Jr., Debbie Reynolds and later Wayne Newton. In 1966 Barry headlined the Dessert Inn variety musical show “Hello America,” and later “Hooray For Hollywood,” which were produced by Vegas extravaganza king Donn Arden. Later, for nearly a decade in the 1970s Barry provided the comedy opening act for Midnight Idol Wayne Newton, warming audiences at a variety of Howard Hughes owned Hotels (the Sands, The Dessert Inn and the Frontier).

Voice acting career

Since Barry excelled at mimicry and mastered an endless stream of accents/dialects and offbeat sounds. When Barry moved to Hollywood in the early 1940s, he sought out more cartoon voice work with Columbia, Warner Bros., Disney, Republic Pictures, and Screen Gems. He became sought after as an animation voice actor in the mid 1930s at the age of just 18, hired by the legendary Warner Bros. (Merrie Melodies) mogul Leon Schlesinger with the Hollywood-themed The Coo-Coo Nut Grove (1936), where he voiced actor Ned Sparks, Porky’s Road Race (1937) and then a year later with Disney with the celebrity-filled Mother Goose Goes Hollywood (1938). Barry partnered with many of the most creative minds of early animation, and animated voice work (especially celebrities) became a lucrative side gig supplementing his comedy résumé and income. During a 1942 Miami stand-up performance, he was doing his stand-up act at a hotel when a man from the audience (who worked for the Miami-based Famous Studios) approached him at the bar after the show. He said they needed a deeply baritone voice for Popeye’s nemesis Bluto in a series of Popeye features. Barry got the Miami job starting with the patriotic Seein’ Red, White ‘N’ Blue (1943). Barry provided the deeply baritone swaggering voice for Bluto between 1942 and 1944 in six Popeye cartoons.

Barry’s work in cartoons grew as animation gained popularity, voicing countless credited (and mostly uncredited) features . His most sought-after skill was uncannily impersonating celebrities of the period including Groucho Marx, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, James Cagney and Clark Gable, which he did with gusto in countless Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. He also voiced Elmer Fuddstone in Pre-Hysterical Hare (1958), standing in for Arthur Q. Bryan when he was ill and not able to voice him. For Looney Tunes, Dave Barry became best known for numerous appearances of Humphrey Bogart and other classic celebrities in cartoons such as Bacall to Arms (1946), 8 Ball Bunny (1950) and the star-studded Hollywood Steps Out (1941). He also voiced many nameless background characters.

Barry also performed a series of distinctive radio announcer voices for the famous “Marilyn Monroe Is Getting Married” radio episode on the Edgar Bergen show (October 26, 1952) with Marilyn Monroe and Bergen’s ventriloquist dummy Charlie McCarthy.

He also provided numerous voices for Capitol Records children’s albums in the 1950s like “Bozo Under The Sea” with Pinto Colvig, Bugs Bunny, Merrie Melodies, Pink Panther, Popeye the Sailor, Roland and Rattfink and Sniffles along with Elmer Fudd and Mr. Magoo.

Barry also worked with well known voice actor Daws Butler on a number of novelty records in the 1960s including Capitol Records “Dog’s Best Friend / H-H-Him”.

His last voice-over role was on The Pink Panther Laugh-and-a-Half Hour-and-a-Half Show in 1976.

Film and television career

At the end of the 1940s, Barry began also to garner roles in both film and television. He appeared with Marilyn Monroe in the B-movie Ladies of the Chorus (1948), and eleven years later he was reunited with her in what was perhaps his most famous role: bumbling band manager Beinstock in Billy Wilder’s comedy Some Like It Hot (1959).

He appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950s. He also guest-starred on television series such as 87th Precinct, Green Acres, The Monkees, Get Smart, I Dream of Jeannie, Emergency!, and in his final role as Jack Brice in the 1978 episode High Rollers of Flying High on CBS.

In 1963, Barry was cast as Harry in the episode “Has Anyone Seen Eddie?” of ABC’s Going My Way, with Gene Kelly, an adaptation of the 1944 film of the same name.

Nightclub career

Barry also worked as a club entertainer and comedian in Las Vegas. He started working stand-up in Vegas in 1946 at the El Rancho Vegas and the original Last Frontier, and later at the El Cortez (Las Vegas) and the Hacienda Resort. He worked as the opening act for famous performers such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and many more. He appeared with Wayne Newton at the height of Newton’s popularity for more than a decade in the 1970s at the Frontier, Sands, and Desert Inn.

Dave Barry also appeared regularly in comedy clubs across the USA: Chicago (Chez Paree), San Francisco (Bimbo’s 365 Club), New York (Paramount Theatre (New York City)), Austin TX (The Paramount), Florida (The Americana) and Los Angeles (Billy Gray’s Band Box, Slapsy Maxie’s Nightclub, The Moulin Rouge, The Chi Chi, The Cocoanut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel, Charlie Foy’s Supper Club, and Ciro’s).

Nightclub work in these glamorous cigarette smoke-filled showrooms paired Barry with top names of the period including Sammy Davis Jr., Judy Garland, Della Reese, Frank Sinatra, Liberace, The Four Step Brothers, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Tommy Dorsey. In June 1949 Barry was flown in for a one-month engagement at the London Palladium paired with The Marx Brothers (Harpo Marx and Chico Marx).

Personal life and death

Barry was the father of five children (Alan, Kerry, Steve, Dana, and Wendy) and was married to his wife, singer Ginny (Ginger), for over 50 years until his death from cancer in 2001.



Year Title Role Notes
1942 Kickin’ the Conga ‘Round Bluto Voice
Alona on the Sarong Seas Bluto Voice
A Hull of a Mess Bluto Voice
1943 Seein’ Red, White ‘N’ Blue Bluto Voice
Too Weak to Work Bluto Voice
Imagination Roly-Poly Toy Voice
1944 We’re On Our Way to Rio Bluto Voice
Tangled Travels Greek Dialect Voice
The Stupid Cupid Daffy Duck (gurgling sounds) Voice
1945 Life with Feathers Radio Announcer Voice
Hare Conditioned Store Manager Voice
1946 Bacall to Arms Bogey Gocart Voice
1947 Up n’ Atom Narrator Voice
Slick Hare Humphrey Bogart Voice
Kitty Caddy Bob Hope / Bing Crosby Voice
Catch as Cats Can Frank Sinatra Canary Voice
It’s a Grand Old Nag Mister Retake Voice
1947 Joe Palooka In The Knockout Eddie Steele
1948 Topsy Turkey Indian / Turkey / Moose Voice
What Makes Daffy Duck Daffy Duck (one line) Voice
Embraceable You The Comic Uncredited
1949 Ladies of the Chorus Ripple the Decorator Uncredited
Curtain Razor Bingo the Parrot Voice
A Ham in a Role Shakespearean Dog (gurgling voice) Voice
1950 What’s Up, Doc? Al Jolson Voice
8 Ball Bunny Humphrey Bogart Voice
1954 Playgirl Jonathan Hughes, Photographer
1955 High Society Palumbo the Pianist
1957 Four Girls in Town Vince
The Shadow on the Window Miller Uncredited
1958 Voice in the Mirror Quintet Pianist
Pre-Hysterical Hare Elmer Fudd / Elmer Fuddstone Voice
1959 Some Like It Hot Beinstock
1965 Pinkfinger Spy Voice
1966 Spinout Harry
1969 The Deadwood Thunderball Rattfink Voice
1974 How to Seduce a Woman Ticket Seller
1979 Disco Sexpot (final film role)


Year Title Role Notes
1947 Bugs Bunny and the Tortoise Sneezing Duck
1955 Bugs Bunny Easter Song and Mr. Easter Rabbit Bugs Bunny
1948 Bozo Under The Sea Swordfish, stingray, whale, clam, octopus, sailfish
1948 Hershel In Hollywood Himself
1953 Cock-A-Doodle Benny/Brand Me With Your Kisses Himself with Buddy Bregman
1956 Do-It-Yourself Psychiatry Himself
1956 Out Of This World With Flying Saucers Himself with Sara Berner
1959 The Dave Barry Laugh Show Himself
1960 Laughs for Losers Himself
1965 Dog’s Best Friend / H-H-Him The Reporter with Daws Butler
1968 The Interpreter. Dave Barry At The United Nations Himself
1968 It’s Fun to Be Jewish Himself
1972 Will The Real Howard Hughes Please Stand Up? Himself with Selma Diamond
1973 Golda Goes To Washington/Nixon Goes to Tel Aviv Himself


Year Title Role Notes
1955 The Danny Thomas Show Episode: “The Benefit Show”
1957 M Squad Richard Lowell Episode: “The Specialists”
1960 77 Sunset Strip Himself Episode: “The Dresden Doll”
1961 87th Precinct Doug Quinn Episode: “Run, Rabbit, Run”
1963 Going My Way Harry Episode: “Has Anyone Seen Eddie?”
1967 The Monkees Inspector Blount Episode: “Monkees Chow Mein”
1969 The Pink Panther Show Secret Agent #1 / Secret Agent #2 Voice
Episode: “Pickled Pink/Ape Suzette+/Pinkfinger”
Green Acres Insurance Man Episode: “You and Your Big Shrunken Head”
1976 The Pink Panther Laugh and a Half Hour and a Half Show Various Characters Voice
1976–1977 Switch Room Clerk / Wortheimer 2 episodes
1977 Emergency! Tom Jensen Episode: “An Ounce of Prevention”

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    Actor Dave Barry – Wikipedia

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