Barry began his nearly six decade-long career at the age of three by singing Johnny Ray’s “Cry” on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, winning second place (First place went to an Italian orphans’ choir). At six, he recorded “Nuttin’ for Christmas,” being the youngest performer ever to have a top ten record. “Nuttin’” is still listed by Billboard magazine as one of the top ten best-selling Christmas records of all time.
At thirteen, he earned a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut as Nick in Herb Gardner’s “A Thousand Clowns,” a role that he later reprised in the successful film version.
Barry became a fixture as a character actor in feature films and television, most prominently as a co-star on the hit series “The New Dick Van Dyke Show” and “Fish,” and as the lawyer Gary Rabinowitz, Carroll O’Connor’s nemesis on “Archie Bunker’s Place.” He has also recurred as Larry David’s Rabbi on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” His voice was heard for decades as the Nestle Quik Bunny and he originated the voice of Donatello on the television animated megahit, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Outside of show business, Barry’s interests moved into law and politics. In his mid-thirties, he returned to school, graduated summa cum laude as a political science major from California State University, Los Angeles, and went on to Loyola Law School, graduating in the top five percent of his class. Putting his love of show business and law together, he became active in the Screen Actors Guild and ultimately became its longest-serving National President, holding the office for seven years – one year longer than either Charlton Heston or Ronald Reagan. In 1998, he was the Democratic candidate for Congress, coming within three points of defeating a popular Republican incumbent.
After a six-decade career, Barry has decided to turn to mentoring others and is currently a visiting professional, teaching acting for stage, screen, and television in the MFA program at his alma mater, Cal State L.A.