The Working Actor EDITOR'S INTRO
This is the thirty second in a continuing feature at IndustryCentral profiling "The Working Actor". (See Archives below)
William Shakespeare said "There are no small parts--.". William Shatner may have said it too, but the longhair with the tights was first, or so the reports go. In this feature we will explore what it really means to be an actor working in Motion Pictures and Television.
Broad public acknowledgment may have eluded some who find their way to these pages, or perhaps they may have brushed against what is referred to as stardom by virtue of one or more remarkable performances. However for many, the rewards of plying their craft in a field which has allowed them to earn a living may exceed the burdens of public acclaim. Given the chance, some in this clan might prefer the longevity offered by anonymity over the potential for short lived fame.
These individuals, either by design or fate, have managed to sustain a career by crafting performances which rendered them a good casting choice. They are usually thought of as a face you recognize, but you just can't get the name past the tip of your tongue.
Most of these folks have spent countless hours on stage in theaters ranging from 20 seats to 2000, building characters from the works of Ibsen, to Eliot, to Williams, to yes even Shakespeare, and so many of the modern Playwrights. They have rounded their skills doing drama, comedy, & musicals. Their work is a serious venture.
These people have given us screen performances which quite often were the catalyst that brought an Oscar or Emmy to another and yet they continue to work as "Characters" or "Co-Stars" without the trophies and plaques adorning their mantle.
Barry Jenner
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Barry Jenner was born and raised in North Philadelphia near Connie Mack Stadium. His father was a factory worker and his mother was a part time waitress and homemaker. An only child, Barry graduated from Lincoln High School in Philadelphia and West Chester State College in Pennsylvania. His major was Political Science with a minor in American History.

After graduation, he headed north to New York on a bus with a bag of groceries and the name of a small rooming house on the upper west side of Manhattan. Soon, he was fortunate enough to get a job at NBC as a page. He worked on game shows, news specials and eventually became the head page on the "Johnny Carson Tonight Show".

His first professional job was a summer-stock theater in Dorset Vermont. 'We did one show at night, while we built sets and rehearsed for the next show during the day. I was paid twenty dollars a week plus room and board. Sure, it was a lot of money, but I worked seven days a week.' Returning to New York after the summer, Barry got a job as a taxi driver in Manhattan, which meant a flexible schedule to attend classes and go to auditions. During that time he studied with Uta Hagen and Wynne Handman and did showcases and some regional theater.

Soon, an audition paid off and Barry signed a contract to appear on the NBC soap-opera "Somerset." After two years in that role, Barry was approached by Paul Rausch, the producer of "Another World", then taping down the hall at the NBC studios at Ave M and 14th Street in Brooklyn. Rausch said, 'How'd you like to come and work for me?' Barry answered 'Yes' and spent the next two years on "Another World."

Success in the commercial world built gradually, and during the coming years Barry became a dependable spokesman for many products including The Washington Post, T. J. Maxx, Hertz, Epson Computers and, in the early 80's, six years as the TV and radio spokesman for Nissan Trucks.

Barry moved to California in 1980 and began appearing as guest star on many network series, and the feature films, "Looker" and "The Boost." A recurring role on Lorimar's "Knot's Landing" brought him to the attention of "Dallas" producers and he was signed to a two year contract to play Dr. Jerry Kenderson on that hit series. All went well until the producers wanted to bring Patrick Duffy back to the series and decided that much of what had been happening was only a dream. Unfortunately, Barry was one of the characters that had to disappear when the dream ended.

"Dallas" however, brought enough recognizability that Barry made the national talk show circuit, including "The Merv Griffin Show". Also, he quickly became a favorite game show celebrity on shows like "Password", "Celebrity Doubletalk", and, his favorite, "The $100,000 Pyramid", with Dick Clark.

His next steady job came in the form of the rigid, bumbling Lt. Murtagh on ABC's "Family Matters." where he spent the next three years. 'Murtagh was great fun', says Barry, 'The straighter I played him, the more ridiculous and funny he became.' After "Family Matters" Barry spent two years as Sheldon Kramer on the sitcom "Something So Right." 'We spent a year on NBC, and then a year on ABC. The show was terrific, the writing was exceptional, and the cast, including Jere Burns and Mel Harris, was solid.'

Recently,(1999-2000) Barry played Starfleet Admiral William Ross on "Star Trek-Deep Space Nine." Admiral Ross was a multi-dimensional character created by the producers and writers of Deep Space Nine, and Barry feels, 'it was a great pleasure to play him for the last two years of that series' life.'

Today, Barry is working on commercial voiceovers and various shows for The History Channel. Recently he did a "Walker Texas Ranger" and traveled to Washington D.C. to complete his second episode of "JAG".

'I'm a very lucky guy,' says Barry, 'I've had very successful career. I have terrific friends. I'm married to the most beautiful woman I've ever met and we have a wonderful home and enjoy traveling together. Life is good.'

Harry Gold
Gold/Marshak/Liedtke & Assocs.
3500 West Olive Suite 1400
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 972 4300

Barry Jenner's advice to the aspiring actor:

"There are many easier paths to choose than to be a professsional actor. But there is no other career that can be so richly fulfilling. Be prepared: study; observe; train your mind and your body; read; absorb all you can about the performing arts. And don't forget to be patient with yourself. Most careers do not come in a flash of light, but build and grow gradually. Sure, we all want to climb the high mountain... travel to the far horizon, but the joy lies in the journey, not the final destination. When you work, work hard. Be the best damn actor you can be. Be proud of what you are and what you do.
                     ~~ Enjoy the trip!"

Barry Jenner's Credits (partial)
"Purple Heart" Co-Star  
"The Boost" Billy Dir: Harold Becker
"Popcorn" Co-Star Dir: Alan Ormsby
"Looker" Commercial Producer Dir: Michael Crichton
"If Tommorow Comes" (Mini-Series) Zeller Dir: Jerry London
"Fly Away Home" (MOW) Co-Star Dir: Stirling Siliphant
"Taking of Flight 847" (MOW) Ben Zimmerman Dir: Paul Wendkos
"MacGruder & Laud" (MOW) Co-Star Dir: Jerry London

Television - Contract Series Regular
"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" Admiral Bill Ross UPN
"Something So Right" Sheldon Kramer NBC/ABC
"Family Matters" Lieutenant Murtaugh ABC
"Dallas" Dr. Jerry Kenderson CBS
"Knots Landing" Jeff Cunningham CBS
"Another World" Evan Webster NBC
"Somerset" Tony Cooper NBC

Television - Guest Star Roles
"JAG"Norman Delaporte
"Walker, Texas Ranger"Frank Swain
"Mike Hammer" 
"Silk Stalkings"Rob
"Valerie"Dr. Gary McCall
"Love and Honor" 
"Grown Ups" 
"The Hogan Family" 
"Days of Our Lives" 
"Matlock"Donald March
"Good Morning, Miss Bliss"Brian
"St. Elsewhere" 
"Highway to Heaven"Wes Fowler
"Family Ties" 
"Simon & Simon"Warden Latham
"Fame"Jim Laird
"Remington Steele" 
"Falcon Crest"Proscuting Attorney Loomis
"All My Children" 
"Barnaby Jones" 
"Hart to Hart"Warren Keller
"$10,000 Pyramid, The"Regular Panelist

THEATRE (Off-Broadway)
"Club Champion's Widow" w/Maureen Stapleton Dir. Bobby Lewis
"Put Them All Together" w/Marriette Hartley Dir. Michael Kahn
"Yanks 3, Detroit 0, Top of the Ninth" American Place Theater Dir. Alan Arkin
"The Passing Game" American Theater Place Dir. Peter Yates
"A Long Day's Journey Into Night" w/ Olympia Dukakis Dir. Opollo Dukakis

THEATRE (Los Angeles and Regional)
"Soljers" Dramalogue - Best Actor Award
"The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" Dramalogue - Best Actor Award
"Hedda Gabbler"  
"A Thurber Carnival"  
"Death of a Salesman"  
"The Desperate Hours"  
"Our Town"  
"The Girls in 509"  

For more info and credits see IMDb

-- End ---

Archives John Aylward [January 2002]
John Aylward
January 2002
Denis Arndt [December 2001]
Denis Arndt
December 2001
Bill Smitrovich [November 2001]
Bill Smitrovich
November 2001
Alice Hirson [October 2001]
Alice Hirson
Octobber 2001
Warren Stevens [September 2001]
Warren Stevens
September 2001
Stephen Elliott [August 2001]
Stephen Elliott
August 2001
Eugene Roche [July 2001]
Eugene Roche
July 2001
Jon Polito [June 2001]
Jon Polito
June 2001
Peter Riegert [May 2001]
Peter Riegert
May 2001
Bonnie Bartlett [April 2001]
Bonnie Bartlett
April 2001
William Daniels [March 2001]
William Daniels
March 2001
Dick Whittinghill [February 2001]
Dick Whittinghill
February 2001
Chris Ellis [January 2001]
Chris Ellis
January 2001
James Whitmore Jr. [December 2000]
James Whitmore Jr.
December 2000
Vince Grant [November 2000]
Vince Grant
November 2000
Judith Hoag [October 2000]
Judith Hoag
October 2000
Madison Mason [September 2000]
Madison Mason
September 2000
Jay Acovone [August 2000]
Jay Acovone
August 2000
Richard Riehle [July 2000]
Richard Riehle
July 2000
Charlie Brill [June 2000]
Charlie Brill
June 2000
Edie McClurg [May 2000]
Edie McClurg
May 2000
Miguel Sandoval [April 2000]
Miguel Sandoval
April 2000
Tom Bower [March 2000]
Tom Bower
March 2000
Amy Aquino [February 2000]
Amy Aquino
February 2000
Danny Chambers [January 2000]
Danny Chambers
January 2000
Eve Gordon [December 1999]
Eve Gordon
December 1999
Barbara Niven [November 1999]
Barbara Niven
November 1999
Bill Lucking [October 1999]
Bill Lucking
October 1999
Richard Roundtree [September 1999]
Richard Roundtree
September 1999
Pat Harrington [August 1999]
Pat Harrington
August 1999
Robert Donner [July 1999]
Robert Donner
July 1999

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