A look back at the life and career of Ken Berry in pictures

The singing and dancing star often worked alongside good friends like Carol Burnett.

Image: The Everett Collection

This past weekend, television legend Ken Berry died at the age of 85. The multi-talented actor had the rare fortune of headlining three successful sitcoms — F Troop, Mayberry R.F.D. and Mama's Family — which made him a familiar face in American pop culture for decades.

And what a face it was. Berry had the ability to goof it up or go serious, while singing and dancing, if need be. 

In these behind the scenes photos from his career, we learn a little more about him. Berry collected antiques, and made lasting friendships in Hollywood. Let's take a closer look at this charming star.

An apple a day

The Everett Collection

Berry shows off his skills with a saber in a promotional shot for F Troop.


I'll Grant you that

The Everett Collection

Berry was a master of funny faces — even with the serious mug of President Ulysses S. Grant hanging above him.


A jacket and Jackie in each arm

AP Photo / Harold P. Matosian

On October 16, 1968, Berry and his wife Jackie Joseph arrive for the West Coast premiere of Finian's Rainbow in Hollywood.


For the record

AP Photo

Ken and Jackie were avid antique collectors and their North Hollywood home was filled with fascinating treasures. No, those are not saws nor cymbals. Those are musical recordings. The couple was selecting discs to play on an old Symphonion.


The write stuff

AP Photo

Seated at his antique desk, under his antique telephone, Berry studies a script for F Troop


Termites invasion

AP Photo

Berry, in the middle with a blond wig and guitar, spoofs the Beatles and British Invasion for an F Troop episode.


A memorable Melody

The Everett Collection

Berry helps F Troop costar Melody Patterson make a wish on her birthday. In case you didn't count the candles, she was only 17.


The Price is right

The Everett Collection

Berry poses with Vincent Price, who appeared in the F Troop episode "V Is for Vampire."


Mayberry B.F.F.

The Everett Collection

After leaving the fictional Fort Courage, Berry found a new TV home in Mayberry. His character of Sam Jones took the baton from Andy to headline the spin-off Mayberry R.F.D.


Between a Rock and a Riddler

The Everett Collection

Berry appears on The Carol Burnett Show alongside Frank Gorshin and Rock Hudson. He guest-starred on Carol's variety show 19 times in total.


Seal of approval

The Everett Collection

Berry gets a kiss from a co-star on the set of his 1969 underwater comedy film Hello Down There.


Bedtime story

The Everett Collection

In 1972, Berry teamed with Carol Burnett again for a TV movie adaptation of Once Upon a Mattress.


Makin' them say, "Wow"

The Everett Collection

That same year, Berry headlined his own variety show for ABC, titled The Ken Berry 'Wow' Show.


A little song and dance

The Everett Collection

Berry warms up for his 'Wow' Show, which unfortunately ran a mere five episodes.


Cat on a hot tin scooter

The Everett Collection

Berry later joined the Disney pantheon, starring in the 1978 live-action family comedy The Cat from Outer Space, alongside other sitcom legends like Harry Morgan and McLean Stevenson.


Taking a Break

The Everett Collection

Berry made one of his last guest appearances on the sitcom Gimme a Break, alongside star Nell Carter, in 1985.


'Stached away

The Everett Collection

Berry's longest lasting role was also his last major role, acting alongside Vicki Lawrence (and, occasionally, old pal Carol Burnett) on Mama's Family.

Watch Mama's Family on MeTV!

Weekdays at 6 PM *available in most MeTV markets
Save with
Enjoy even more classic shows on-air! Find where to watch MeTV in Washington, DC
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

1 Comments

Post a comment
Click here to learn about MeTV's new commenting system!
cperrynaples 11 days ago
Notice the mustache in the last photo. Vint was much more sophisticated in the Carol Burnett sketches than on "Mama's Family"!
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?