If You’re a Baby Boomer He Was a Major Player in Your TV Upbringing: The Star of ‘Bat Masterson’ (’58-’61), ‘Burke’s Law’ (’63-’66) and ‘The Name of the Game’ (’68-’71), Gene Barry, Dies at 90

Dec 11, 2009  •  Post A Comment

genebarry1.jpgGene Barry, who was ubiquitous on the TV dial for over four decades, has died at age 90, the New York Times reports.

If you’re a baby boomer, you grew up with him in his starring roles in "Bat Masterson," "Burke’s Law," and "The Name of the Game." [To see a wonderful clip of Barry in "Burke’s Law," click here.]

He also appeared in countless other TV guest-starring roles from the 1950s through the 1980s.

As for his movie career, the Times notes, "Mr. Barry signed a Hollywood contract in 1951. Two years later he starred in perhaps his most famous movie role, the scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester, in the George Pal production of  ‘War of the Worlds,’ based on the H. G. Wells novel. He also had a role in 2005 as Tom Cruise’s ex-father-in-law in the Steven Spielberg remake."

At age 65, in 1984, Barry became the toast of Broadway, garnering a Tony nomination, as the Times obituary says, "for his performance as Georges, the less flamboyant half of a gay couple, in ‘La Cage Aux Folles,’ the first Broadway musical in which the principal lovers were gay men. Mr. Barry ‘proves a most sensitive foil — far more sensitive than you’d ever guess from his starring roles on such television series as ‘Bat Masterson’ and ‘The Name of the Game,’ ‘ Frank Rich wrote in The New York Times, adding that Mr. Barry sang his love songs ‘with tender directness.’ "


–Chuck Ross


  1. Glad to see you wrote this Chuck. We all wanted to be Bat Masterson. In the words of my friends in the 90’s he was Kool Mo Dee. He was Kool and the Gang. Gene Barry was always clean, perfectly tailored, a ladies man in all of his major roles. I actually taped Bat Masterson on one of the cable channels cause it was fun to watch. He will be missed.

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