Friday, December 11, 2009

RIP - Gene Barry

Gene Barry (real name : Eugene Klass)
b. : 14 June 1919
d. : 09 December 2009
. Word comes that the debonair Gene Barry passed away on Wednesday. He is best known for the title role in the 50's western Bat Masterson, but that is a bit before my time. I remember watching it once or twice, but just barely. . For me, he will always be the suave Amos Burke of the 1963-66 series Burke's Law, where he played a millionaire police detective who gets chaufferred around in a silver Rolls Royce. How cool is that? There were lots of big-name guest stars (akin to, say, the Columbo series), and Burke never failed to catch the murderer. . The plots were unbelievable and campy. I remember (I think) one episode where the victim, while being strangled as he read a book, had the presence of mind to turn to page 88 and point to it as he expired. Burke eventually figured out that, since a piano has 88 keys, it was the pianist who was the killer. . Yeah, right. But I enjoyed the show as a kid, even though I'd probably be disenchanted if I were to watch it now. . Wikipedia also says Barry played the grandfather in the 2005 Spielberg-Cruise flick War Of The Worlds. I saw it, found the special effects to be great, but everything else to be meh, and don't remember Barry's character at all. I might have to re-watch this just to look for Gene. . BTW, that's a great image of a TV guide cover above. Did it really only cost 15 cents an issue back then? Wow.

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