Leonard Barr

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Leonard Barr
Shady Tree by Leonard Barr.jpg
Barr as Shady Tree in Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Birth name Leonard Barra
Born (1903-09-27)September 27, 1903
West Virginia
Died November 22, 1980(1980-11-22) (aged 77)
Burbank, California
Medium Stand-up, television, film
Nationality American
Genres One-liners
Notable works and roles Diamonds Are Forever

Leonard Barr (September 27, 1903 – November 22, 1980) was an American stand-up comic and actor.[1] He was the uncle of Dean Martin (being the brother of Dean Martin's mother Angela).[citation needed] Thanks to Martin, and TV talk shows, he achieved a significant amount of visibility and recognition in the twilight of his career.

He had a brief role in The Sting, appropriately as a burlesque comic. That is also the way his character is listed in the credits—as an anonymous comedian. However, in the wings of the stage just before the comic's entrance, he has a brief conversation with Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford), who addresses him as "Leonard".

He is perhaps best remembered internationally for his appearance in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever in which he played Shady Tree, a stand-up comedian and smuggler in Las Vegas who was assassinated by henchmen Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd.

He also appeared in The Odd Couple usually in the non-dialogue New York street scenes in the first season or 5 episodes later in 1975 with dialogue and, albeit unnamed, on an episode of M*A*S*H as a USO comedian. He also made numerous guest appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Cameron Crowe briefly depicted Barr as a foul-mouthed real-life character in Almost Famous, his semi-autobiographical film of 2000.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

The 77-year-old Leonard Barr suffered a stroke on October 28, 1980, in his hotel room in West Hollywood and died on November 22, 1980, in a hospital in Burbank, California.[citation needed]

References[edit]

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