Notable Deaths Elsewhere

December 12, 2009|By The Washington Post

GENE BARRY, 90

'Bat Masterson' star

Gene Barry, a debonair leading man who was best known as the sharply dressed lawman of the television series "Bat Masterson" and "Burke's Law," and then earned a Tony Award nomination as a gay nightclub owner raising a son in "La Cage aux Folles," died Dec. 9 at an assisted-living home in Woodland Hills, Calif.

Family members said they did not know the cause of death.

After an early stage career that included acting opposite Mae West in a Broadway comedy, Mr. Barry went to Hollywood and starred in a series of films that included the 1953 alien-invasion movie "The War of the Worlds." But it was on television that he thrived over the next 20 years, usually specializing in affable and urbane characters.

He had a recurring role as a physical-education teacher who romances Eve Arden on CBS's "Our Miss Brooks" before earning top billing on "Bat Masterson" for NBC in 1958. The show ran until 1961. Mr. Barry's affinity for playing the dapper hero extended to two other TV shows - "Burke's Law" and "The Name of the Game."

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