Saturday, December 19, 2009


The debonair Bat Masterson, the dapper playboy Amos Burke, the man who fought "The War of the Worlds" and had a cameo in the re-make...Gene Barry (June 14, 1919 – December 9, 2009) was all this and much more. One of classic television's great leading men, he joined Kirk Douglas and Jeff Chandler among Jewish actors breaking that Woody Allen stereotype look. The former Eugene Klass borrowed his last name in tribute to John Barrymore.

While he was never a Barrymore, the easy-going actor had an impressive career in movies, TV, on Broadway and even in the world of commercial voice-overs. If you remember "Burke's Law," then you know that Mr. Barry was always an irrepressible singer, and a few episodes gave him the chance to carry a tune. He was always musical, studying violin in his early days, and getting a scholarship to the Chatham Square School of Music on the basis of his singing. His first Broadway appearances were in operetta (Rosalinda in 1942, The Merry Widow in 1943) and of course he returned to Broadway 40 years later for La Cage aux Folles. Mr. Barry issued a solo album during the run of "Burke's Law," and you get three samples below:
"It's all Right With Me," "Burke's Law" (not the best lyrics in the world for this wonderful theme song) and "I'll be Seeing You."

Update: Nov, 2011. Rapidshare's annoying "30 days without a download kills it" policy killed the original links. "Burke's Law" is back via a better company.



Tommy said...

When I was 14 my sister took me to England with her.

We had tickets to see Sammy Davis Jr. at a club called 'Talk of the Town.

Sammy took ill and had to cancel.

In his place we got to see Gene Barry's nightclub act.

He seemed like a nice man, but his show was lousy.

I mean lousy.

Really bad.

Thanks for the memory, bad as it is.

I thought he was dead.

Remember 'Name of the Game'?

Tommy said...

'War of the Worlds'

Anonymous said...

"In his place we got to see Gene Barry's nightclub act.

He seemed like a nice man, but his show was lousy."

Who could replace Sammy Davis Jr? Sinatra maybe. Give Gene credit for stepping in when he may not have had much rehearsal or known the club, stage or band he was working with. Can't imagine Gene dancing. Hope there was an option for people to just get their money back and go home.

"I thought he was dead."
Now he is

"Remember 'Name of the Game'?"

Wasn't he the head of a publishing company- but the show had Tony Franciosa and Robert Stack too. It doesn't hold up well which is why it is not on DVD