Sunday, December 02, 2018

I Love Shanties

Ken Berry, star of such TV shows as Mayberry R.F.D., F-Troop, and Mama's Family has passed away at the age of 85. He became fascinated with dancing at the age of 13 and was entered into many variety shows. In 1955, at the behest of his army sergeant, Leonard Nimoy, he went to Los Angeles where he studied acting. It was at the Billy Barnes Revue that he caught the eye of Lucille Ball who offered him a job at Desilu Studios. The next several years would see him get the lead in the western comedy F-Troop and then as the replacement for Andy Griffith in the continuation series Mayberry R.F.D. He also appeared in the pilot for Kelly's Kids, a Brady Bunch spin-off that wasn't picked up.
The next few years were a little slow for him but he continued to travel the country and perform on stage. He had appeared numerous times as a guest on The Carol Burnett Show and was given the role of Vinton Harper on Mama's Family, a spin-off of one of the recurring sketches. While the series was canceled after two seasons, it was later picked up for first-run syndication, lasting three more seasons. After Mama's Family, Ken Berry all but retired from acting, his last role being in an episode of Maggie Winters in 1999.

"Yeah, that's funny. So are you really never eating lobster again or will you be joining us tonight?"

Seafood's not that great. There. I said it. And no amount of butter or fried bread coating will change my mind. Come at me!

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