Barry Hugh Crocker
4 November 1935
|Partner(s)||Katy Manning (1990–present)|
|Children||One son, four daughters – 11 grandchildren|
Barry Hugh Crocker ) is a Gold Logie award-winning Australian character actor, television personality, singer, and variety entertainer with a crooning vocal style known for his iconic Australian films during the 1970s The Adventures of Barry McKenzie and sequel Barry McKenzie Holds His Own and singing the theme tune to the Australian soap opera Neighbours between 1985 and 1992.(born 4 November 1935
Crocker waa born in Geelong, Victoria. 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 in 1966 to star in a TV musical comedy show called 66 And All That, in 1966 hence the title which became the eponymous The Barry Crocker Show (1966–67) on Channel 10 Sydney (now Network Ten). This was followed by the musical variety show Say It With Music (1967–1969), also broadcast on Ten.
Crocker 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 record. In 1971 Sound of Music was the 11th most popular show in the country.
Crocker made his acting debut on a 1969 episode of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. He has been in a relationship with English actress Katy Manning since 1990, although she moved back to the UK in 2010 and they maintain a long-distance relationship.
In 1959, after successfully touring and a number of television appearances, he convinced Cyril Stevens of Spotlight Records in Thornbury to give him and his musical partner to see him. Cyril, who was a photographer by trade, had set up a recording studio in the early 1950s. He recorded manly Jazz and musical events around Victoria. Barry and Dave Clark were about to leave, Cyril wasn't impressed, when Cyril's son entered the room. He recognised the pair from television and concerts, and convinced his father to record the team. Two e.p.'s were recorded totaling eight tracks. The records were Spotlights' highest sellers.
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.
He sang the original recording of the theme song for the soap opera Neighbours.
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 1974 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-color" 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.
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, Crocker appeared as himself in the worldwide 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.
Crocker 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.
Crocker was chosen by Chaim Topol to co-star as his nemesis Lazer Wolfe in a long-running Australian season of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. He also featured in the role of The Lecturer in the 2008 Australian premiere of the stage musical Reefer Madness.
Crocker published an autobiography called Bazza – The Adventures of Barry Crocker, in 2003.
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
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"
- About Official Barry Crocker website
- "The Barry Crocker Show" – via www.imdb.com.
- "TELEVISION RATINGS". The Canberra Times. 45 (12, 803). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 6 May 1971. p. 8. Retrieved 20 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- Padman, Tony (9 September 2017). "Where is he now? Doctor Who's Katy Manning". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
- ""I've been a naughty girl" - Doctor Who companion Katy Manning interviewed". Radio Times. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
- The Adventures of Barry Crocker: Bazza. Barry Crocker. pp 167-8.: Google Books
- Susie Darlin' – BARRY CROCKER 1973 Pop Archives
- Albums by Barry Crocker Rate Your Music
- Music Makes My Day by Barry Crocker: Reviews and Rating Rate Your Music
- Barry Crocker Discography BarryCrocker.net
- Vagg, Stephen (14 July 2019). "Australian Singers Turned Actors". Filmink.
- Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen (17 February 2006) Moomba: A festival for the people Archived 29 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine PDF pp 17–22
- "OzWords: When People Become Words" (PDF). Australian National Dictionary Centre, Australian National University. October 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 April 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2010.