(Hollywood) Ken Berry (85), the amiable and musically-talented TV actor of the 1960s and ’70s who starred in “F Troop,” “Mama’s Family” and “Mayberry R.F.D.,” died Saturday.
His former wife, actress Jackie Joseph-Lawrence posted the news on Facebook. “F Troop” co-star Larry Storch wrote on Facebook, “We hope you know how much you were loved. Goodnight Captain.”
Berry played Captain Parmenter on Western sitcom “F Troop” for two years in the mid-1960s.
Born in Moline, Ill., Berry started out as a singer and dancer. He served in the U.S. Army special services under Sergeant Leonard Nimoy, entertaining the troops and winning a slot on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”Unlike other recent deaths, this one should be free of controversy.
Nimoy helped introduce him to studios after he left the Army, and soon Berry was under contract to Universal to appear in movie musicals. Berry worked in several musical revues, including with Abbott and Costello, and with Lucille Ball. He also worked with Carol Burnett, who later invited him to guest on her show.
After brief stints on “Dr. Kildare” and George Burns-Connie Stevens sitcom “Wendy and Me,” he landed his first regular starring role on “F-Troop.”
I have no idea what his politics were, which with actors is feature, not a bug.
Famous for nothing particular, except sneezing "Retreat!" and reversing it to "Charge!", resulting in a cinematic Civil War victory, gaining a Medal of Honor, followed by a Purple Heart, and a posting to forlorn Fort Courage, the armpit of the Army (just like every other army post IRL since Valley Forge), for command of the hapless troopers of F-Troop. This resulted in two years' time over 65 episodes interacting with the savvy and formidable Hekawi tribe, in their village just north of Ventura Blvd, just down the street from Stalag 13, and across the lot from Gilligan's Island, at a time in America when the news from the activities of our real Army was far less amusing. Followed by sitcom legendary status in syndication.
We are merely saddened by this milestone marking the passing of time, and the loss of a man who entertained millions, while pissing off pretty much nobody you know.
Which ain't a bad epitaph.
The incorrigible Cpl. Agarn, Larry Storch, soldiers on at the ripe old age of 95, while Private Dobbs, James Hampton, is 82, and living quietly in Texas at last report.
Storch's kind words in remembrance of his former co-star are fitting and touching.