Ken Berry had an early start in show biz

Vint was a veteran.

You'd never know it to talk to the guy, but Ken Berry was a triple threat. Despite his reluctance to proclaim his multi-hyphenate credentials, Berry was an accomplished actor, singer, and dancer. However, he was slow to embrace any of those labels.

"I don't think of myself as one or the other," Berry told the Durham, North Carolina Herald-Sun in 1983. "I just take the work."

By that point in time, Berry was well-known for sitcom work. He'd previously starred in The Andy Griffith Show spin-off Mayberry, R.F.D, which he headlined for three seasons. Berry's career saw a resurgence in the '80s as he joined the cast of Mama's Family, where he played Mama's son Vint who returns home to live with her.

While such an about-face from one show to the next might throw another actor out of whack, Berry had the experience to remain professional. That's because the Moline, Illinois native had been working professionally in the performing arts from the time he was 15. Berry traveled all over the United States and Europe as a part of Horace Heidt's Youth Opportunity Program.

"It was a tough grind," said Berry. "I don't know how I did it. I guess it was the fact I was only 15 — that and the fact that I was so excited to finally be making money for doing something I loved doing."

Berry returned to the States to finish up high school before moving to Hollywood, where he began the rest of his career.

Watch Mama's Family on MeTV!

Sundays at 4 & 4:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
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18 Comments

IndianaRockz 7 months ago
He sang & danced his way into your living room starring in Kinney Shoes (store) commercials. 🥿👞👟
CortneyNicole 7 months ago
Good story! Ken Berry was a great actor. He was one of the guest of the Carol Burnett show when he was a broadway singer and dancer then he played the dimwitted son character Vint on Mama's Family.

Thank you for sharing this story :)

top_cat_james_1 7 months ago
Should also mention "The Ken Berry WOW Show", a short-lived 1972 summer replacement variety show notable for its pre-fame supporting cast: Teri Garr, Cheryl Ladd, and Steve Martin.
Berry also starred in an episode of "The Brady Bunch" that was intended to be a 'backdoor pilot' for a series that never came to fruition, "Kelly's Kids", sort of a Brady Bunch with 1/2 the kids and a more diverse cast.
This "article" didn't even scratch the surface of Berry's career.
Kramden62 7 months ago
He also made an album, "Ken Berry RFD" (singing Country standards) for Andy Williams' Barnaby Records label in 1970.

It should be found on Ebay and/or Discogs.
TownOfMayberry 7 months ago
I think of him as ‘Sam Jones’ from Mayberry R.F.D. and The Andy Griffith Show, more than any of his other characters.
ncadams27 7 months ago
Ken Berry also played an intern on the first season of Dr. Kildare in the early sixties before F-Troop.
Runeshaper 7 months ago
Ken Berry was a solid actor. I always enjoyed seeing him on screen.
Andybandit 7 months ago
KB was a very good actor. Mayberry R.F.D and F-Troop should be aired between Adam-12 and MASH. Wishful thinking. One was Mayberry R.F.D was only 3 seasons and F-Troop was 2 seasons, and MeTV never aired these shows.
Bapa1 Andybandit 7 months ago
Actually, I think they did, for a short while.
MrsPhilHarris Andybandit 7 months ago
F-Troop was on ME maybe 4 or so years ago. I believe it aired on Sunday.
Andybandit 7 months ago
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FritzT007 7 months ago
Wow. I guess his outstanding sitcom "F Troop" doesn't count. How could you guys have missed that one. Try doing better research. Just a suggestion. Peace.
Deleted 7 months ago
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Dario 7 months ago
God, they're such dummies! 😖😖😖😖😖
justjeff 7 months ago
Why insult dummies by calling them "MeTV Writers"???🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
AnnaRentzVandenhazel 7 months ago
What about F-Troop? He starred in that as Captain Wilton Parmenter before Mayberry RFD!
You'd think that would be the *first* TV credit they'd mention, but No...................
🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄 😖😖😖😖😖 😒😒😒😒😒
justjeff 7 months ago
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justjeff daDoctah 7 months ago
Duly noted!
Kramden62 daDoctah 7 months ago
Jackie Joseph. She was also the voice of Melody in "Josie and the Pussycats," and also appeared in both "Gremlins" movies.
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