Ken Berry, who starred in “Mama’s Family” and other TV shows, died at 85, according to news reports on Dec. 2.
His “F Troop” co-star, Larry Storch, wrote on Facebook: “Dear friends. We are sad to let you know our beloved Captain, Mr Ken Berry passed away tonight. We just spoke with Jackie Joseph who confirmed the devastating news. We are at a true loss for words. Ken, we hope you know how much you were loved. Goodnight Captain. We miss you already.”
Dear friends. We are sad to let you know our beloved Captain, Mr Ken Berry passed away tonight. We just spoke with…
“With very deep sorrow, I must inform friends of Ken Berry that he died a short time ago,” his former wife, the actress Jackie Joseph-Lawrence, also confirmed, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He died on Dec. 1 at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, she told the publication.
Actor Jon Cryer, 53, honored the actor on Twitter, saying he had a knack for comedy, “Find myself so grateful to have been able to enjoy Ken Berry’s work for so much of my childhood. A fantastic physical comedian,” he tweeted.
Berry also appeared in “Mayberry R.F.D.” and the “The Andy Griffith Show.” He also appeared in comedy movies such as “Herbie Rides Again” and “The Cat From Outer Space,” and he made appearances on “Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “CHiPs,” and “The Golden Girls,” Variety magazine noted.
He enlisted in the Army following the Korean War in the early 1950s before winning a talent contest, the Hollywood Reporter said. He later got onto Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town.
“Lenny told me, ‘You ought to get in touch with some of the people at the talent departments at the studios,’” Berry told the Archive of American Television in 2012. “I said, ‘I don’t know how to do that.’ He said, ‘Ah, I’ll do it for you.’ And he did. He sent wires out to agencies and the people in charge of the talent programs at the various studios. I got a couple of bites, and I took the one from Universal.”
“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.’ His other credits include, ‘The Bob Newhart Show,’ ‘The Julie Andrews Hour,’ ‘The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,’ ‘The Donny & Marie Show,’ ‘Love Boat,’ ‘Fantasy Island’ … and several Mitzi Gaynor specials. On the big screen, he starred in Disney pics ‘Herbie Rides Again’ and ‘The Cat From Outer Space,'” according to Deadline Hollywood.
“I have never been that happy in my life,” he once said of his “F Troop” role. He played Capt. Wilton Parmenter for two seasons from 1965 to 1967 in the Wild West sitcom. “I walked on air for a long time. It never let me down. I felt like that every day I went to work. I knew how lucky I was at the time.”
Aside from his ex-wife, the actor is survived by their daughter, Jennifer, according to ExtraTV. Their son, John, died of brain cancer in 2016. John was the founder of indie rock band Idaho.
Other details about Berry’s cause of death are not clear.