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Gene Barry: A Hollywood Icon’s Legacy in Film and Television

Gene Barry was an American actor and singer known for his work in stage, television, and film. Born Eugene Klass on June 14, 1919, in New York City, he began his career on Broadway before transitioning to Hollywood in the 1950s.

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Barry’s most notable television roles included Bat Masterson in the series of the same name, as well as Amos Burke in Burke’s Law and Glenn Howard in The Name of the Game. He also appeared in numerous films throughout his career, including War of the Worlds and The Atomic City. In addition to his acting work, Barry was also a talented singer, releasing several albums throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Throughout his career, Gene Barry was known for his effortless charm and elegance, both on and off-screen. He was a beloved figure in the entertainment industry, and his contributions to film and television continue to be celebrated today.

Early Life and Career

Gene Barry

Gene Barry, born Eugene Klass on June 14, 1919, in New York City, was an American actor known for his work in film, television, and theater. He was the son of Hyman Martin Klass and Eva Klass, both amateur musicians.

Barry showed a gift for music at an early age and was a talented violinist. He attended various public schools and graduated as valedictorian from New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn, New York. After high school, he attended the Chatham Square School of Music in New York City.

In 1941, Barry made his Broadway debut in the musical “Yokel Boy.” He went on to appear in numerous Broadway productions, including “Catherine Was Great,” “La Plume de Ma Tante,” and “Destry Rides Again.”

Barry’s film career began in 1951 when he was cast as Dr. Frank Addison in “The Atomic City.” He went on to appear in several films, including “The War of the Worlds” (1953), “Soldier of Fortune” (1955), and “Maroc 7” (1967).

However, it was in television where Barry became a household name. In 1958, he was cast as the title character in the Western series “Bat Masterson,” which ran for three seasons. He later starred in the detective series “Burke’s Law” from 1963 to 1966. Barry also made guest appearances on numerous other television shows, including “The Twilight Zone,” “The Love Boat,” and “Murder, She Wrote.”

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Throughout his career, Barry received several accolades, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and an Emmy nomination for his role in the miniseries “War and Remembrance.” He continued to work in the entertainment industry until his death on December 9, 2009, at the age of 90.

Personal Life

Gene Barry

Gene Barry was married three times in his life. His first marriage was to Betty Claire Kalb in 1944, and they had three children together: Michael, Frederick, and Elizabeth. The couple divorced in 1969 after 25 years of marriage.

In 1970, Barry married his second wife, fashion model and actress Julie Carson. They remained married until her death in 1996. The couple had one child together, a son named Maximillian.

Barry’s third and final marriage was to Susan Wehling, whom he married in 1997. They remained married until Barry’s death in 2009.

Throughout his life, Barry was known for his love of music and was a talented violinist. He also had a passion for golf and was a member of the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles.

In addition to his personal interests, Barry was a philanthropist and was involved with several charities, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the American Cancer Society.

Overall, Gene Barry’s personal life was marked by his dedication to his family, his passions, and his charitable endeavors.

Notable Roles

Gene Barry

Gene Barry was a prolific actor with a career spanning several decades. He is best known for his leading roles in films such as The Atomic City (1952) and The War of The Worlds (1953).

In addition to his film work, Barry also had a successful television career. He portrayed the title characters in the TV series Bat Masterson and Burke’s Law, among many other roles. Bat Masterson was a western series that ran from 1958 to 1961, and Barry’s portrayal of the character helped to cement his status as a leading man.

Burke’s Law was a detective series that aired from 1963 to 1966. In the show, Barry played Amos Burke, a Los Angeles police detective who solves crimes with the help of his team of investigators. The show was successful and helped to further establish Barry as a television star.

Barry also had a talent for comedy, as demonstrated in his role in the 1966 film The Oscar. In the film, he played a flamboyant publicist named Alfie Alperin. The role was a departure from his more serious work, and Barry’s performance was praised by critics.

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Overall, Gene Barry’s career was marked by a versatility that allowed him to excel in a variety of genres. His performances in both film and television continue to be remembered and celebrated by fans of classic Hollywood.

Filmography

Gene Barry

Gene Barry had a prolific career in film, television, and stage productions. He made his debut in the movie industry with the science fiction film, The War of the Worlds (1953), in which he played the role of Dr. Clayton Forrester. In 1954, he played the lead role of Bat Masterson in the movie, Masterson of Kansas.

Throughout his career, Gene Barry appeared in over 40 movies. Some of his notable movie appearances include:

  • The Atomic City (1952)
  • Those Redheads from Seattle (1953)
  • Red Garters (1954)
  • The Purple Mask (1955)
  • The Houston Story (1956)
  • Forty Guns (1957)
  • Thunder Road (1958)
  • Maroc 7 (1967)
  • The Second Coming of Suzanne (1974)

Gene Barry’s last movie appearance was in the 1983 drama film, War Games, in which he played the role of General Beringer.

In addition to his movie appearances, Gene Barry also appeared in numerous television shows and stage productions. He was best known for his role as the lead character, Amos Burke, in the TV series Burke’s Law. He also had recurring roles in the TV series The Name of the Game and The Adventurer.

Overall, Gene Barry’s career spanned over six decades, and his contributions to the entertainment industry will always be remembered.

Net Worth

Gene Barry was an accomplished American actor, singer, and stage performer. He had a successful career that spanned over six decades, and during this time, he accumulated a significant amount of wealth. While there is some variation in different estimates, it is estimated that Gene Barry’s net worth at the time of his death was around $93 million.

Barry’s primary source of income was his work in the entertainment industry. He appeared in numerous films and television shows, including leading roles in popular productions such as “The War of the Worlds” and “Burke’s Law.” He also had a successful career on Broadway, with notable performances in productions such as “La Cage aux Folles.”

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In addition to his work as an actor, Barry also had several business ventures. He was a successful restaurateur and owned several establishments in the Los Angeles area. He also invested in real estate and had several properties in California.

Overall, Gene Barry’s net worth reflects his long and successful career in the entertainment industry, as well as his savvy business investments. While his exact net worth may be subject to some variation, it is clear that he was a wealthy and successful individual.

Death and Legacy

Gene Barry passed away on December 9, 2009, in Woodland Hills, California, at the age of 90. The cause of his death is unknown. His wife, Betty Claire Kalb, and his three children, Michael, Frederick, and Elizabeth, survived him.

Gene Barry had a long and successful career in television, film, and stage that spanned more than 60 years. He was best known for his portrayal of debonair lawmen on television, including Bat Masterson, Burke’s Law, and The Name of the Game. He also appeared in several films, including The War of the Worlds and Maroc 7.

Despite his passing, Gene Barry’s legacy lives on. He was a talented actor and performer who left a lasting impression on the entertainment industry. His work continues to be celebrated and appreciated by fans and colleagues alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who played Bat Masterson?

Gene Barry played the role of Bat Masterson in the television series “Bat Masterson” from 1958 to 1961.

Who is Gene Barry’s wife?

Gene Barry’s wife was Betty Claire Kalb. They were married for 12 years until Gene Barry’s death in 2009.

What is actor Gene Barry’s real name?

Gene Barry’s real name was Eugene Klass.

What ever happened to Gene Barry?

Gene Barry passed away on December 9, 2009, in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, due to congestive heart failure.

What was Gene Barry’s net worth at death?

Gene Barry’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated to be around $2.5 million.

Did Gene Barry serve in the military?

Yes, Gene Barry served in the United States Army during World War II. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service.

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