It is with great sadness that we share the death of Ken Berry. The rubber-legged author always electrified his viewers with his stunning performances on TV as the blundering Captain. Berry starred as Wilton Paramenter on ‘F Troop’ and also featured in ‘Mama’s Family’ as the accident-prone Vinton Harper. Ken Berry has died at 85.
He will forever be remembered as an agile song-and-dance man who was introduced to show business by his US Army Sergeant, Léonard Nimoy. Berry died on Saturday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Centre in Burbank, his ex-wife, actress Jackie Joseph-Lawrence informed the media.
Ken Berry was also famous for starring in Mayberry R.F.D, as Sam Jones the Town Councillor and the spinoff of The Andy Griffith Show that was created by CBS after Griffith left the series. It became the No.1 show with high ratings after its eighth and final season.
When did Berry come to the limelight?
Ken Berry came to fame for starring the greenhorn Captain Paramenter on ABC’s F Troop. This series only aired for two seasons consisting of 65 episodes from September 1965 to April 1976. This is just one of those series that leaves a legacy and has been watched for decades.
In the series, a private Paramenter was promoted to take command of Fort Courage in Kansas after his sneeze that sounded like a charge! Actually propelled the troops from the Union to victory over the Confederates.
Berry always fascinated his audience with his goofball antics that he showed off with the agility of a trained dancer. The scenes formed the highlight of the show and in 2012 during an interview with the Archive of American Television, he confirmed that he was the one who came up with the pratfalls.
Ken Berry said that at least that was something that he could bring to the show. He would choreograph stuff and find for things outside or in the set that he could use. One of Berry’s legions of fans was the silent film star, Buster Keaton, he was the master of physical comedy. Keaton once called Berry after the show and applauded him for his excellent work.
Soon after F Troop was canceled, Berry was featured in the final episodes of The Andy Griffith Show as the widowed farmer Sam. Despite its lineage, Mayberry R.F.D never approached the greatness of its progenitor and was even canceled after 3 seasons. Other shows like the Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hee Haw were removed from the airwaves.
Ken Berry’s return to glory:
Berry returned back to fame with his own series, The Ken Berry Wow’ Show in 1972. Berry also starred in other T.V shows including The Combat, Hazel, Rawhide, Medical Centre, Little House on The Prairie where he acted as a circus clown, Fantasy Island, and The Golden Girls.
Berry settled down in 1960, married actress Jackie Joseph and they adopted 2 children before divorcing in 1977. The highlight of Berry’s career was no doubt F Troop. He confessed that he had never been so happy in his life. Ken Berry will be missed by the many fans he has and the entire film industry at large.