Ken Berry, who is best known for his roles in the classic TV shows Mama’s Family and F-Troop, died Saturday. He was 85.
Berry’s ex-wife Jackie Joseph-Lawrence announced the news of his death on Facebook saying, “With very deep sorrow, I must inform friends of Ken Berry that he died a short time ago.” No further details about his death were given.
Born in Illinois November 3, 1933, Berry showed an interest in singing and dancing at a young age. When he was 15 years old, he toured with a tap dancing ensemble. After high school, he went on to join the army where he served under pre-Star Trek Sergeant Leonard Nimoy. He would continue to perform in talent contests and a competition to appear on Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town where he placed third and appeared on television.
Berry is known for role as Vinton in classic TV shows such as Vicki Lawrence’s Mama’s Family. He also starred as Sam Jones in The Andy Griffith Show spinoff Mayberry R.F.D. But it was his role as Captain Parmenter in ABC’s F Troop that was his claim to fame. The show only aired two seasons from 1965-1967.
He was a member of The Billy Barnes Review performance ensemble and was part of Lucille Ball’s talent development program at Desilu. He was also a guest star on The Lucy Show. Hos other credits include. The Bob Newhart Show, The Julie Andrews Hour, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, The Donny & Marie Show, Love Boat, Fantasy Island, CHiPs,The Golden Girls, and several Mitzi Gaynor specials. On the big screen, he starred in Disney pics Herbie Rides Again and The Cat From Outer Space.