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|Don "Red" Barry|
"Red" Barry in 1979
January 11, 1912|
Houston, Texas, USA
|Died||July 17, 1980
North Hollywood, California
Cause of death
|Suicide by firearm|
|Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California|
|Spouse(s)||Peggy Stewart (1940–1944)
Barbara (1963-1980) (his death) (2 children)
Donald "Red" Barry de Acosta, or more probably Milton Poimboeuf, (January 11, 1912 – July 17, 1980) 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; 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.
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.
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.
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. In his last appearance on that show, he was tried for burning down the Garvey's barn and assaulting Andy Garvey.
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) .
Prior to acting, Barry had been a high school and college football player. During the height of his Red Ryder fame, he married B-movie actress Peggy Stewart, they divorced in 1944. On July 17, 1980, he died by suicide after a domestic dispute. He was estranged from second wife, Barbara, at the time, they had two daughters. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in Los Angeles, California.
- "Stories of the Century: "Milt Sharp", February 28, 1955". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- Don Barry at the Internet Movie Database
- Don "Red" Barry at AllMovie
- Don "Red" Barry at Find a Grave