John Barron (actor)
24 December 1920|
Marylebone, London, England
|Died||3 July 2004
Watford, Hertfordshire, England
John Barron (24 December 1920 – 3 July 2004) was an English actor. Although Barron was a familiar face on British television from the 1950s, he is best remembered for his role in the BBC comedy The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976–79) playing CJ, Perrin's overbearing boss, later employee. The show also gave Barron the memorable catchphrase, "I didn't get where I am today by...".
Born in Marylebone, London, Barron was interested in acting from an early age. For his 18th birthday his godfather paid his entry fee to RADA. After serving as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, he returned to stage acting. In the 1950s, he moved into a directorial role, during which time he came to know Leonard Rossiter.
From the mid-1950s, he became more involved in television, and then film. His movies including The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961), Jigsaw (1962), Incense for the Damned (1970), Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973), Clash of Loyalties (1983), To Catch a King (1984) and Thirteen at Dinner (1985). During his career he also appeared in such popular TV series as Crown Court, The Avengers, Emergency – Ward 10, All Gas and Gaiters, The Saint, Department S, Doomwatch, Timeslip, Potter, To the Manor Born, Whoops Apocalypse and Yes Minister. Although he had long-running roles in popular dramas like the police series Softly, Softly (where he played the assistant chief constable between 1967–69), his best known role was in the situation comedy The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, which began in 1976, and starred Leonard Rossiter as the title character. Barron's character, CJ (Charles Jefferson), was Perrin's overbearing boss, famous for the catchphrase "I didn't get where I am today by...". He even used this in a TV commercial filmed for an insurance company in New Zealand in the 1980s. He also appeared in the 1986 Christmas Special of Duty Free.
He was president of the actors' union Equity from 1978 to 1982 and vice-president in 1977 and again from 1984-89. His one hobby was enjoying fine wine, a hobby he also inspired his friend Leonard Rossiter to take up. An active supporter of the Conservative Party, he presented a Party Political Broadcast on their behalf in the 1980s and presented features supporting his party's policies on the BBC's Newsnight programme.
He was married three times, first to the actress Joan Sterndale-Bennett which soon ended in divorce, then to Joan Peart who died in 1989 after forty years of marriage, and finally to Helen Christie who died in 1995. He had two stepdaughters, one each from the second and third marriages. Barron remained active in the profession before his death at the age of 83.
- Sink the Bismarck! (1960) - Officer P.R.O. (uncredited)
- The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) - 1st Sub-Editor (uncredited)
- The Court Martial of Major Keller (1961) - M.O. Aubrey
- Jigsaw (1962) - Ray Tenby
- Incense for the Damned (1970) - Diplomat
- Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973) - Dr. Stumpfegger
- Clash of Loyalties (1983) - General Haldane
- To Catch a King (1984) - Sir Walbert Selby
- Thirteen at Dinner (1985) - Lord Edgware
- staff (7 July 2004). "John Barron". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
- http://www.equity.org.uk/AboutUs/Magazine/default.aspx?edition=15&page=22 Obituary on Equity website
- Newley, Patrick (9 July 2004). "John Barron". The Stage. Retrieved 21 April 2011.