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TV star Gene Barry passes away at 90

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 11th 2009 2:29PM
bat_masterson_gene_barry"It's Burke's Law." That was the opening tag for one of three successful TV series that starred Gene Barry, one of the classiest actors to appear on screen. On Wednesday, TV star Gene Barry died at at 90 of undetermined causes. He was living in an L.A. rest home, but I will remember Gene Barry as the man who made Burke's Law, Bat Masterson and The Name of the Game memorable TV entertainment.

Barry was also well-known as the original star of the 1953 version of The War of the Worlds, and when Steven Spielberg remade the film in 2005 with Tom Cruise, he gave Gene a quick cameo. In addition to being a versatile leading man -- capable of playing a bad guy, a bon vivant, cops, spies, gentlemen, gunslingers, and magazine publishers -- Gene Barry also was a song and dance man. In 1984, he was one of the toasts of Broadway in La Cage aux Folles. Currently Kelsey Grammer is about to play Gene's role in a 2010 spring revival.

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