Barry Crocker

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Barry Crocker
Born (1935-11-04) 4 November 1935 (age 79)
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Other names Bazza
Occupation Singer,
Actor (theatre, television and film),
Variety entertainer
Partner(s) Katy Manning (1990–2010)
Children One son, four daughters – 11 grandchildren

Barry Hugh Crocker (AM) (born 4 November 1935 in Geelong, Victoria,[1] Australia) is a popular Gold Logie award winning character actor and television personality, singer, and variety entertainer with a crooning vocal style known for his iconic Australian films The Adventures of Barry McKenzie and sequel Barry McKenzie Holds His Own and singing the theme tune to the popular Australian soap opera Neighbours.


After undergoing National Service with the RAAF in 1955, Crocker toured with a theatre group and did the club circuit in Melbourne, followed by a partnership with David Clark (aka Dave Nelson), and performed in England and the United States. He returned to Australia to star in a TV musical comedy show called 66 And All That, which became The Barry Crocker Show (1966–67)[2] on Network Ten.

Barry went on to become the presenter and leading performer on The Sound of Music TV series, taking over from entertainer Bobby Limb which earned him a Gold Logie in 1970 as Australia's top (male) TV personality. His singing talents eventually earned him over 30 gold records.

Barry made his acting debut on a 1969 episode of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.

Music career[edit]

In May 1973, he released the album "Music Makes My Day", featuring an updated version of American Rockabilly singer Robin Luke's "Susie Darlin" on the Festival Records label. The recording featured Olivia Newton-John and Pat Carroll on backup vocals and enjoyed chart success, reaching Number 25 in Sydney, Number 7 in Melbourne, Number 3 in Brisbane and Adelaide.[3][4][5][6]

He sang the original recording of the theme song for the soap opera Neighbours.

He wrote and recorded the theme song for the Australian Rules Geelong Football Club, entitled Come on the Cats.[1]

Acting career[edit]

Barry Crocker has also had a successful career as a stage, television and motion picture actor, most notably starring alongside Barry Humphries in the title role of Bruce Beresford's 1972 movie The Adventures of Barry McKenzie and its sequel, Barry McKenzie Holds His Own. The "bogan" character of Barry McKenzie gave rise to Crocker recording such ribald songs as "My One Eyed Trouser Snake" and other "off-colour" songs.

Barry Crocker was Beresford's first choice as lead actor when it came to the filming of David Williamson's popular play Don's Party, but serious back problems curtailed Crocker's screen career at this point, opening the way for John Hargreaves to achieve film success in the coveted role of Don.

Nevertheless, Barry Crocker was crowned Melbourne's King of Moomba in 1976.[7]

He had the lead role as Governor Alan Smith in the short-lived prison drama Punishment (1981). He guest starred on two episodes of the Australian satirical black comedy series Review with Myles Barlow. More recent TV roles have included parts in Pizza, Swift'N'Shift, and Housos for SBS and the Strange Calls, an ABC2 comedy series.

In 1994, Bazza appeared as himself in the world-wide record-breaking film Muriel's Wedding. Barry proved his acting/comedy credentials once again as the retro-disco-host Donny Destry in the movie Razzle Dazzle in 2009.

Barry appeared as Charles "Hoot" Russell, Greg Russell's father in the Hey Dad..! episode "Hoot's Boots". This was the second-to-last episode of the show, which spanned 14 seasons. A DVD box set of "Hey Dad" has had to be abandoned, following the conviction of the original "Dad" - Robert Hughes - on several sex charges.

Barry's stage roles over the years are almost too numerous to mention, but along the way he was chosen by the legendary Chaim Topol to co-star as his nemesis Lazer Wolfe in a long-running Australian season of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Barry also featured in the role of The Lecturer in the 2008 Australian premiere of the stage musical Reefer Madness.[citation needed]. A versatile actor, Barry would take on any type of role, be it musical, comedic or dramatic. His unending talents kept him in demand by stage, TV and film producers for over fifty-five years.

Barry presented the Australian version of Behind Mansion Walls on the Crime and Investigation network on Foxtel in Australia. His enchanting and enticing performance has garnered critical acclaim in Australia and abroad.

Barry has recounted the early part of his incredible life in a best-selling autobiography called Bazza - The Adventures of Barry Crocker, published by Pan MacMillan in 2003.

He has since written an even more important document entitled BARRY CROCKER – LAST OF THE ENTERTAINERS, filled with dramatic, sad and hilarious experiences, profusely illustrated with hundreds of photographs of Australian showbiz people, and also the dozens of overseas stars with whom Barry has been involved. Arguably the most ambitious account of popular Australian Show Business so far, the book was designed by Graham Rendoth and his best-selling team at Reno Design and is expected to be published sometime during 2015.

Other appearances[edit]

In 2005, Crocker was featured on the Nine Network program This Is Your Life. It was a rare accolade, as Barry had already been the subject of this prestigious TV program thirty years earlier, in 1975, when the show was hosted by Roger Climpson. Barry was caught by surprise when host Mike Munro and the TV production team arrived, after a lot of careful planning by his long-term partner, Katy Manning, the popular English actress.

At the time, Crocker was still performing his self-created long-running, award-winning one-man show Barry Crocker's Banjo on a regular basis, bringing the true-life story of A B "Banjo" Paterson to audiences young and old across Australia.

In popular culture[edit]

During the 1990s, the rhyming slang expression, "Barry Crocker" or simply "Barry" or "Baz" emerged in Australian English, to mean a "shocker", as in "very poor".[8]

The most recent public, and very deliberate, use of this expression was infamously seen on the front page of Sydney's Daily Telegraph on Thursday, 17 April 2014, when NSW Liberal Premier Barry O'Farrell was forced to resign, allegedly for accepting a gift of an expensive bottle of wine without declaring it, and then later denying in court that he had even received the gift. The headlines, consisting of almost half the front page, read: "A BARRY CROCKER"


  1. ^ a b About Official Barry Crocker website
  2. ^
  3. ^ Susie Darlin' – BARRY CROCKER 1973 Pop Archives
  4. ^ Albums by Barry Crocker Rate Your Music
  5. ^ Music Makes My Day by Barry Crocker: Reviews and Rating Rate Your Music
  6. ^ Barry Crocker Discography
  7. ^ Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen (17 February 2006) Moomba: A festival for the people PDF pp 17–22
  8. ^ "OzWords: When People Become Words" (pdf). Australian National Dictionary Centre, Australian National University. October 2005. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 

External links[edit]