skip navigation
Ken Berry

Ken Berry

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (2)

Recent DVDs

Dr. Kildare: The Complete... Dr. Kildare's swansong fifth season carried with it some significant changes to... more info $44.96was $59.99 Buy Now

Dr. Kildare: The Complete... As James Kildare, M.D. (Richard Chamberlain) lends his hard-won experience and... more info $44.96was $59.99 Buy Now

Hello Down There ... When an inventor (Tony Randall) needs human guinea pigs to test his experimental... more info $18.95was $21.99 Buy Now

Herbie Rides Again & Herbie... Films Include: Herbie Rides Again Herbie is back in gear, revved up and ready... more info $11.95was $14.99 Buy Now

The Cat From Outer Space ... Ken Berry, Sandy Duncan, McLean Stevenson. An intelligent being from another... more info $10.25was $14.99 Buy Now

Mama's Family: Mama's... In the world of prime-time television, success often begets success by way of... more info $8.95was $12.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Kenneth Ronald Berry Died: December 1, 2018
Born: November 3, 1933 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: actor, singer, dancer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

American actor and dancer Ken Berry used his wholesome looks to carve out a lasting place in pop culture with his roles in the sitcoms "F Troop" (ABC, 1965-67) and "Mama's Family" (NBC/Syndicated, 1983-90). A native of Moline, Illinois, he began taking tap dance lessons as a teenager, and toured with a big band show. Later, he served in the Army alongside actor Leonard Nimoy, who helped him make contacts within the entertainment industry. After winning a military talent competition, he was invited to appear on Ed Sullivan's "The Toast of the Town" (CBS, 1948-55). Initially, he concentrated on stage performing, appearing on Broadway and as the opening act for Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. He made his television debut as a professional on "The Chevy Showroom" (ABC, 1957-60), before landing recurring roles on "The Ann Sothern Show" (CBS, 1958-61) and "Dr. Kildare" (NBC, 1961-66). In the mid-'60s he graduated to series lead with the role of Captain Wilton Parmenter on the Western comedy "F Troop." That character's good-natured earnestness would provide the template for most of Berry's remaining career. He replaced Andy Griffith when the star left his eponymous show, playing Sam Jones on the spinoff...

American actor and dancer Ken Berry used his wholesome looks to carve out a lasting place in pop culture with his roles in the sitcoms "F Troop" (ABC, 1965-67) and "Mama's Family" (NBC/Syndicated, 1983-90). A native of Moline, Illinois, he began taking tap dance lessons as a teenager, and toured with a big band show. Later, he served in the Army alongside actor Leonard Nimoy, who helped him make contacts within the entertainment industry. After winning a military talent competition, he was invited to appear on Ed Sullivan's "The Toast of the Town" (CBS, 1948-55). Initially, he concentrated on stage performing, appearing on Broadway and as the opening act for Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. He made his television debut as a professional on "The Chevy Showroom" (ABC, 1957-60), before landing recurring roles on "The Ann Sothern Show" (CBS, 1958-61) and "Dr. Kildare" (NBC, 1961-66). In the mid-'60s he graduated to series lead with the role of Captain Wilton Parmenter on the Western comedy "F Troop." That character's good-natured earnestness would provide the template for most of Berry's remaining career. He replaced Andy Griffith when the star left his eponymous show, playing Sam Jones on the spinoff "Mayberry, RFD" (CBS, 1968-71). His background as a song-and-dance man made his a sought after guest on variety shows, most especially "The Carol Burnett Show" (CBS, 1967-1978). The actor also hosted his own short-lived variety show, "The Ken Berry 'Wow' Show" (CBS, 1972). Beyond variety, Berry also made frequent guest appearances on shows like "Love, American Style" (ABC, 1969-74) and "Fantasy Island" (ABC, 1978-84). On film, he appeared in the Disney films "Herbie Rides Again" (1974) and "The Cat from Outer Space" (1978). His time on Burnett's show proved fruitful later when he was cast as Vinton Harper on "Mama's Family." Based on a long-running sketch from "The Carol Burnett Show," the sitcom had Berry playing the son of Vicki Lawrence's acerbic "Mama" character. After the sitcom ended, the actor largely scaled back. He made a guest appearance on "The Golden Girls" (NBC, 1984-92) and his last on screen acting role was in the short-lived sitcom "Maggie Winters" (CBS, 1998-99). Berry passed away in Burbank, California on December 1, 2018 at the age of 85.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Eight Men Out (1988)
3.
 Love Boat II, The (1977) Jim Berkley
4.
 Mountain Man (1976) Zachary Moore
5.
6.
 Letters From Three Lovers (1973) Jack ("Dear Maggie")
7.
 Every Man Needs One (1972) David Chase
8.
9.
 Hello Down There (1969) Mel Cheever
10.
 Wake Me When the War Is Over (1969) Lieutenant Roger Carrington
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1960:
Made screen debut in "Harrigan and Sons"
1965:
Starred in the Western-themed sitcom "F Troop"
1983:
Joined the cast of "Mama's Family"

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute