Ken Berry

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour-and-forty-minute Archive interview, Ken Berry (1933-2018) talks about his early interest in becoming a song and dance man. He recounts touring in a show for the Air Force and his experience on The Ed Sullivan Show. He recalls being hired by Lucille Ball and working on the Desilu lot, and discusses various early roles, including parts on The Ann Sothern Show, Dr. Kildare and The Dick Van Dyke Show. He describes his time as a regular on F Troop, The Andy Griffith Show, and its spin-off series Mayberry, R.F.D. Berry then outlines his later career, including his numerous guest appearances on The Carol Burnett Show and the role with which he is most closely associated, that of "Vinton Harper" on Mama's Family. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on March 7, 2012 in North Hollywood, CA.

"I want to be remembered as a working actor. One who tried never to step on anybody's lines or upstage anybody. I wanted to not be getting in anybody's way. I didn't want to cost anybody any money - everything moved fast and you had to know your lines and you had to be there."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Ken Berry on Vicki Lawrence as "Mama" on Mama's Family
Ken Berry on being the star of Mayberry, R.F.D.
Ken Berry on guest-starring on The Golden Girls
Ken Berry on his proudest career achievement 
Ken Berry on appearing on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town
Ken Berry on meeting and working for Lucille Ball
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on touring and performing for the Air Force
On performing on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town; on working for Desilu; on his recurring Dr. Kildare role
On his guest role on The Dick Van Dyke Show; on playing "Captain Wilton Parmenter" on F Troop; on the cast and cancellation of F Troop; on getting his role as "Sam Jones" on The Andy Griffith Show

Chapter 2

On acting on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry, R.F.D; on working with the casts of the shows; on making the transition between the shows
On being the star of Mayberry, R.F.D.; on the cancellation of Mayberry, R.F.D.; on the fans of Mayberry
On guest-starring on The Carol Burnett Show; on working with Carol Burnett; on guest-starring on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and The Brady Bunch
On career disappointments; on doing live theater; on his live-action Disney films; on how he came to be cast as "Vincent Harper" on Mama's Family

Chapter 3

On the original premise of Mama's Family; on his Mama's Family character, "Vinton Harper"; on the cast of Mama's Family
On the cancellation of Mama's Family; on difficulties in his later career; on his proudest achievements, advice to aspiring actors, and how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Andy Griffith Show, The

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Ken Berry on joining The Andy Griffith Show in 1968
Ken Berry on making the transition from The Andy Griffith Show to Mayberry, R.F.D.
Ken Berry on working with Andy Griffith on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry, R.F.D.
Ken Berry on working with Ron Howard on The Andy Griffith Show
Ken Berry on working with Frances Bavier on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry, R.F.D.
Ken Berry on the fans of Mayberry

Brady Bunch, The

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Ken Berry on appearing on The Brady Bunch in a backdoor pilot for "Kelly's Kids"

Carol Burnett Show, The (1967-78)

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Ken Berry on guest-starring on The Carol Burnett Show
Ken Berry on what made Carol Burnett a great boss during his time on The Carol Burnett Show

Dick Van Dyke Show, The

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Ken Berry on playing a choreographer on The Dick Van Dyke Show

Dr. Kildare

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Ken Berry on his recurring role on Dr. Kildare

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Ken Berry on appearing on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town

F Troop

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Ken Berry on how he came to be in F Troop
Ken Berry on the premise of F Troop
Ken Berry on the physical comedy in F Troop
Ken Berry on the cancellation of F Troop
Ken Berry on why F Troop worked

Golden Girls, The

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Ken Berry on guest-starring on The Golden Girls

Mama's Family

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Ken Berry on being cast on Mama's Family
Ken Berry on the original premise of Mama's Family
Ken Berry on playing "Vinton Harper" on Mama's Family
Ken Berry on Mama's Family's evolution from a sketch on The Carol Burnett Show to a full-fledged series
Ken Berry on Mama's Family's network cancellation and rebirth in syndication
Ken Berry on Vicki Lawrence as "Mama" on Mama's Family
Ken Berry on Dorothy Lyman as "Naomi Harper" on Mama's Family
Ken Berry on the cancellation of the syndicated Mama's Family

Mayberry R.F.D.

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Ken Berry on making the transition from The Andy Griffith Show to Mayberry, R.F.D.
Ken Berry on working with Andy Griffith on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry, R.F.D.
Ken Berry on working with Frances Bavier on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry, R.F.D.
Ken Berry on the premise of Mayberry, R.F.D.
Ken Berry on being the star of Mayberry, R.F.D.
Ken Berry on the process of producing Mayberry, R.F.D.
Ken Berry on Jodie and Buddy Foster on Mayberry, R.F.D.
Ken Berry on the fans of Mayberry

Medical Center

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Ken Berry on his only dramatic role in Medical Center

Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour

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Ken Berry on performing on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Ken Berry on Vicki Lawrence as "Mama" on Mama's Family
Ken Berry on playing "Vinton Harper" on Mama's Family

Memorable Moments on Television

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Ken Berry's long F Troop tracking shot

Pop Culture

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Ken Berry on Vicki Lawrence as "Mama" on Mama's Family
Ken Berry on playing "Vinton Harper" on Mama's Family

We Laughed

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Ken Berry's long F Troop tracking shot
Professions

Actor

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Ken Berry on advice to aspiring actors

Comedian

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Ken Berry on performing the physical comedy in F Troop

Performers

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Ken Berry on advice to aspiring actors
Genres

Comedy Series

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Ken Berry on acting in F Troop
Ken Berry on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D
Ken Berry on his role as "Vinton Harper" on Mama's Family
People

Lucille Ball

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Ken Berry on meeting and working for Lucille Ball

Frances Bavier

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Ken Berry on working with Frances Bavier on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry, R.F.D.

Carol Burnett

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Ken Berry on meeting Carol Burnett
Ken Berry on Carol Burnett as boss on The Carol Burnett Show

Andy Griffith

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Ken Berry on working with Andy Griffith on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry, R.F.D.

Ron Howard

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Ken Berry on working with Ron Howard on The Andy Griffith Show

Buster Keaton

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Ken Berry on a phone call from Buster Keaton

Vicki Lawrence

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Ken Berry on Vicki Lawrence as "Mama" on Mama's Family

Dorothy Lyman

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Ken Berry as Dorothy Lyman as "Naomi Harper" on Mama's Family

Larry Storch

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Ken Berry on working with Larry Storch and Forrest Tucker on F Troop

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