Actor and singer Barry Dennen has passed away at the age of 79 according to The Wrap. His death appears to be due to a brain injury he suffered back in June after a fall.
Dennen was born in Chicago on February 22, 1938. As a child he and his family moved to California. After attending UCLA, he moved to New York and began dating Barbara Streisand – though later in life he came out as homosexual. He helped Streisand develop the nightclub act which eventually made her a star. He moved to London for a while and began to find success in theater. He worked in both the United States and England for decades, in theater, film, and television.
In 1971 he appeared in the film version of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. He recommended the musical Jesus Christ Superstar – which he appeared in the Broadway version of – to Fiddler director Norman Jewison. The very next year, Jewison made Superstar and Dennen reprised his role as Pontius Pilate in the movie. He followed these two movie musicals with roles in Kentucky Fried Movie, Ragtime, and The Shining. He also did yet another movie musical: Shock Treatment – the sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
These movies were followed by the first of what would be many voiceover roles for Dennen. He provided the voices for two characters in the Jim Henson film The Dark Crystal. He continued to appear in live-action roles in films such as Trading Places and Superman III. But he also got working on the start of an extensive voiceover career, voicing characters in episodes of animated series such as The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries and Pink Panther and Sons.
Throughout the late 1980s Dennen did a lot of TV work, providing voices for series such as Johnny Quest, Ducktales, and Pound Puppies as well as guest starring on a number of TV shows including Newhart, Tales From the Darkside, Amazing Stories, and L.A. Law.
His career continued in a similar fashion when the 1990s began, with guest spots on Murder She Wrote, Murphy Brown and Mr. Belvedere and voiceover work on The Smurfs, Paddington Bear, Batman the Animated Series, Animaniacs, and Adventures of the Gummi Bears. Later in the decade he also began voicing characters for various video games, including several Star Trek games and three times voicing Fatman in Metal Gear Solid 2 games and videos. He provided voices both for Avatar: The Last Airbender video games and on a few episodes of the animated series.
Through last year Dennen continued voicing characters in video games. His last live-action role was in the 2016 movie musical Alleluia: The Devil’s Carnival – which not only allowed him to return to his musical roots, but reunited him with his Jesus Christ Superstar co-star Ted Neeley. He is survived by his two sons and his brother.
Rest In Peace Barry Dennen: February 22, 1939 – September 26, 2017
Source: The Wrap
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