Don "Red" Barry

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Don "Red" Barry
"Red" Barry (1979).jpg
"Red" Barry in 1979
Born (1912-01-11)January 11, 1912
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Died July 17, 1980(1980-07-17) (aged 68)
North Hollywood, California, U.S.
Cause of death Suicide by firearm
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California
Occupation Actor, writer
Years active 1933–1980
Spouse(s) Peggy Stewart (1940–44; divorced)
Barbara (1963-80; his death); 2 children

Donald Barry de Acosta (January 11, 1912 – July 17, 1980), known as Red Barry, was an American film and television actor. He was nicknamed "Red" after appearing as the first Red Ryder in the highly successful 1940 film Adventures of Red Ryder;[1] the character was played in later films by "Wild Bill" Elliott and Allan Lane. Barry went on to bigger budget films following Red Ryder, but none reached his previous level of success. He played Red Doyle in the 1964 Perry Mason episode 'The Case of the Simple Simon'.

Early years

Barry was born in Houston, Texas.[1] He attended Allen Academy[2] and the Texas School of Mines.[3] Prior to acting, Barry had been a high school and college football player. He went to Los Angeles, California, to work in advertising.[4]



Barry's initial venture into acting was in a production of Tobacco Road on stage in New York in the late 1930s.[5]


Played in the 1936 "Night Waitress. By the 1950s, Barry was a supporting actor instead of playing leads in westerns. Early in 1955, he appeared as the bandit Milt Sharp in an episode of the syndicated series, Stories of the Century, starring and narrated by Jim Davis.[6]

Barry played "Clete" in the 1956 western film Seven Men from Now, starring Randolph Scott. He guest starred as Tanner in the 1958 episode "Bullet Proof" of the ABC/Warner Brothers series Sugarfoot, starring Will Hutchins; he was cast as Arkansas in the 1959 Sugarfoot episode "The Return of the Canary Kid". Barry appeared four times in the ABC/WB western Colt .45. Barry was cast as black-clad gunfighter in a 1961 episode, "Last Stop: Oblivion", of the ABC/WB western series, Maverick with Jack Kelly and fellow guest star Buddy Ebsen.

Barry's voice in the television westerns sounded much like that of the character actor Dub Taylor. About this time, he also guest starred on two other ABC/WB dramas, Bourbon Street Beat and The Roaring 20s. He appeared as well in the syndicated crime drama, U.S. Marshal, starring John Bromfield, and the NBC education drama series, Mr. Novak, starring James Franciscus.

On January 13, 1965, Barry was cast in the final episode of the short-lived Mickey ABC sitcom starring Mickey Rooney. Barry was cast as a freeloading friend who had saved Mickey's life in World War II. In 1966, Barry played Confederate soldier "Lt. Farrow" in the Western film Alvarez Kelly. Barry played a supporting role in the 1968 film, Shalako, with Sean Connery.[citation needed]

Barry played supporting roles in dozens of television series, particularly westerns. He appeared eight times on the long-running NBC series, The Virginian, in the 1960s. He appeared in six episodes of Michael Landon's Little House on the Prairie as farmer Judd Larrabee,[citation needed] and appeared in all-star TV miniseries, such as Rich Man, Poor Man Book II and The Dream Merchants.


In addition to acting, Barry was also a writer, writing the stories upon which the films Red Light (1949) starring George Raft and Virginia Mayo, Train to Tombstone (1950), and Convict Stage (1965) were based, and co-writing the screenplay as well as directing and playing the leading role of Jesse James in Jesse James' Women (1954).[citation needed]

Personal life

During the height of his Red Ryder fame, he married B-movie actress Peggy Stewart, they divorced on April 12, 1944.[7]


On July 17, 1980, Barry died by suicide after a domestic dispute.[5] He was estranged from his second wife, Barbara at the time—with whom he had two daughters. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles.[8]

Selected filmography


  1. ^ a b Cline, William C. (1997). In the Nick of Time: Motion Picture Sound Serials. McFarland. pp. 71–72. ISBN 9780786404711. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Donald Barry Just right Type for Fast-action Range Roles". Cumberland Evening Times. Maryland, Cumberland. September 5, 1940. p. 9. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Willis, John (1966). Screen World, 1966. Biblo & Tannen Publishers. p. 221. ISBN 9780819603074. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Connelly, Mary Jo (November 21, 1976). "Red Ryder made Don Barry famous ... but Lana, Ann, Joan and Susan spiced up those Hollywood nights". The Argus. California, Fremont. p. 11. Retrieved April 10, 2017 – via  open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ a b "Actor 'Red' Barry kills self". The San Bernardino County Sun. California, San Bernardino. Associated Press. July 19, 1980. p. 2. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via  open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ "Stories of the Century: "Milt Sharp", February 28, 1955". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Divorces". Billboard. May 27, 1944. p. 32. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "Donald "Red" Barry (1912 - 1980) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2016-06-15. 

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