Leonard Barr

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Leonard Barr
Shady Tree by Leonard Barr.jpg
Barr 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
Genres One-liners
Relative(s) Dean Martin (nephew)
Notable works and roles Diamonds Are Forever

Leonard Barr (born Leonard Barra; September 27, 1903 – November 22, 1980) was an American stand-up comic, actor, and dancer. He was the uncle of Dean Martin (being the brother of Dean Martin's mother Angela).[1]

Barr appeared several times with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis when they hosted the Colgate Comedy Hour. 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.[2]


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.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1971 Diamonds Are Forever Shady Tree
1973 The Sting Burlesque House Comedian
1978 Record City Sickly Man
1979 Skatetown, U.S.A.
1981 Under the Rainbow Pops (final film role)


  1. ^ "Famous Italian Americans" (PDF). Columbia News. 47 (1): 7. January 2013. 
  2. ^ Almost Famous (director's cut) on IMDb
  3. ^ Leszczak, Bob (2014). The Odd Couple on Stage and Screen. McFarland & Company. p. 25. ISBN 978-0786477906. 

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