Barry Jenner was born January 14, 1941 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.'
Following that, (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 confided: 'it was a great pleasure to play him for the last two years of that series' life.'
Barry also worked on commercial voiceovers and various shows for The History Channel. Additionally, he did a "Walker Texas Ranger" and traveled to Washington D.C. to complete his second episode of "JAG". Then it was a variety of roles on projects such as: "The Caretaker", "Thrillzone", "Defending Santa", and "Enough Said" to name a few.
'I'm a very lucky guy,' said Barry when we interviewed him for this profile in 2002, 'I've had a 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.'.
Sadly, Barry Jenner passed away on August 8, 2016, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from leukemia at the age of 75.
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!
Admiral Ross (voice)
Norman Delaporte / Captain Evans
Sheldon / Sheldon Kramer
Rob / Bert
Lt. Lieu Murtaugh
Donald March / Mark Harris
Prosecuting Attorney Loomis
Richard Larson / Kramer
Dr. Larry Sanders
Dr. Jerry Kenderson
Edward Lawton / Eddie Lucas
Tony Cooper #3 (1974-1976)
Evan Webster (1976-1977)
|"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|
|"A Thurber Carnival"|
|"Death of a Salesman"|
|"The Desperate Hours"|
|"The Girls in 509"|
* © 1982 - NBCUniversal, Inc
** © 1994 - American Broadcasting Co.