Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #0004441: DONALD "RED" BARRY

Nifty vintage 8x10-inch black and white cowboy portrait in his prime, boldly signed and inscribed in red felt-tip pen in the late 1970s. A minor crease to the upper left-hand corner; otherwise, in good condition for its age.  Rough-and-tough college football star-turned-actor Donald "Red" Barry began his career playing villains and dimwitted henchmen in low-grade westerns cranked out by various Hollywood studios, perhaps most notably The Adventures of Jesse James (1939).  He was eventually spotted by Republic Pictures, who reinvented him as a hero with a heart of gold for their popular Adventures of Red Ryder serial of 1940, and kept him on to play similar characters in oaters throughout the decade.  Although he was groomed as the studio's answer to James Cagney, and showed promise in non-westerns, like The Purple Heart (1944), he exhibited a feisty, combative nature which increasingly alienated virtually everyone around him.  Republic eventually gave him the boot and he was forced to make ends meet by appearing, almost always as cold-hearted killers and often uncredited, in utterly forgettable westerns for Lippert and Screen Guild.  He also popped up in a number of B-level horror, sci-fi and fantasy flicks, including Frankenstein-- 1970 (1958), Orca (1977), Doctor Dracula (1978), and The Swarm (1978), and on multiple episodes of T.V.'s "Batman" (1966-1967).  In 1980, Barry committed suicide by gunshot, aged only 68.