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Barry Dennen
Barry dennen-1531403381.JPG
Dennen at a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar of May 6, 2017
Born (1938-02-22)February 22, 1938
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died September 26, 2017(2017-09-26) (aged 79)
Resting place Hollywood Forever Cemetery
  • Actor
  • singer
  • writer
Years active 1966–2016

Barry Dennen (February 22, 1938 – September 26, 2017) was an American actor, singer, and writer. He played Pontius Pilate on the original recording and later in the film of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Life and career

Dennen was born in Chicago, Illinois in February 22, 1938. His brother is Lyle Dennen.

In New York City from 1960 to 1961, he had a relationship with Barbra Streisand. They lived together for a year, during which time he helped her develop the nightclub act that began her successful career as a singer and actress.

He moved to London for 15 years and in 1968 landed the starring role of the master of ceremonies in the London version of Cabaret. In 1970, he played Pontius Pilate on the album of Jesus Christ Superstar, and he played the same role in the Broadway production (1971). In the same year, he played Mendel in Norman Jewison's film of Fiddler on the Roof. According to Dennen's website, he suggested to Jewison that he direct a film version of Jesus Christ Superstar. Jewison did so, and Dennen played Pilate again (1973).

Dennen also played a variety of small parts on American television shows including: Batman, Wonder Woman, Galtar and the Golden Lance, Tales from the Darkside and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, and films, such as Madhouse (1974), Brannigan (1975), The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), The Shining (1980), Ragtime (1981), Trading Places (1983), Superman III (1983), Twin Sitters (1994) and Titanic (1997). He also played auto dealer Irwin Lapsey in Shock Treatment (1981). In 1982, Dennen played the role of Buddy in the TV adaptation of Beau Geste.

Dennen also ventured into voice acting. He portrayed the Chamberlain SkekSil in The Dark Crystal (1982) as well as Tulku in The Shadow (1994). He also did voice work on cartoons such as DuckTales, Batman: The Animated Series, The Pirates of Dark Water, Animaniacs, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He also did voices for many video games, including Fatman in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Master Li in Jade Empire, Police Chief Bogen in Grim Fandango, Mimir in the video game Too Human, Dean Domino in Fallout: New Vegas expansion "Dead Money", The Dark One in The Mark of Kri, the Kangxi Emperor in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, Benedict Burgess Batteric III in Infinity Blade III, Chaos Knight, Phantom Lancer, and Rubick in Dota 2, and the venerable Odo and meister Glimmerheim in Dungeon Siege III.

In 1984, Dennen wrote the lyrics for the children's musical revue Wanna Play?!, which was produced in Kansas City and later produced on television twice. The show, written with writer Linda Bergman and composer Jeff Rizzo, is licensed by Samuel French. He wrote the screenplay for an episode of Amazing Stories titled "The Secret Cinema" (1985) and cowrote an episode of The Comic Strip Presents... titled "Demonella" (1993). His autobiographical book My Life With Barbra: A Love Story (1997) deals with their relationship and with his gradual realization that he was gay.

In June 2017, Dennen suffered a fall in his home in Burbank, California and required hospital care. He never fully recovered and died on September 26.


Year Title Role Notes
1970 The Juggler of Notre Dame The Juggler
1971 Fiddler on the Roof Mendel
1973 Jesus Christ Superstar Pontius Pilate
1974 Madhouse Gerry Blount
1975 Brannigan Julian
1977 The Kentucky Fried Movie Claude LaMont Segment "High Adventure"
1978 Rabbit Test Mad Bomber
1980 The Shining Bill Watson
1981 Shock Treatment Irwin Lapsey
1981 Ragtime Stage Manager
1982 The Dark Crystal Chamberlain / Podling Voice
1983 Trading Places Demitri
1983 Superman III Dr. McClean
1984 Memed, My Hawk Hikmet
1984 Not for Publication Señor Wopperico
1991 Liquid Dreams The Major
1994 Clifford Terry the Pterodactyl
1994 The Shadow Tulku voice, uncredited
1994 Twin Sitters Thomas
1997 Titanic Praying Man
2003 Manhood Singing Groom
2014 Heavenly Sword Flying Fox / Prophet Takashi voice
2015 Justice League: Throne of Atlantis Defense Advisor voice, direct-to-video
2015 Superstars: The Documentary Himself/Pontius Pilate
2016 Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival Heaven's Denizen uncredited
Year Title Role Notes Source
1968 Batman Fred 2 Episodes
1976 Monster Squad Mr. Mephisto Ep. "Mr. Mephisto"
1977 The New Adventures of Wonder Woman Hitler Ep. "Anschluss '77"
1987 Tales from the Darkside Aldo the Puppeteer Ep. "No Strings"
1992 Batman: The Animated Series Shadow Agent (voice) Ep. "Off Balance"
1993 Animaniacs Czar (voice) Ep. "Pavlov's Mice"
1999 Batman Beyond Captain (voice) Ep. "Disappearing Inque"
2006 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Gepetto, Blubbery Joe, Salesperson (voice) 2 Episodes
2006 Avatar: The Last Airbender General Sung, Additional Voices 2 Episodes
2010 The Dalton's Jack Dalton, Peabody (voice) Ep. "Cowed"
2012 Star Wars: The Clone Wars King Ramsis Dendup, Citizen, Rebel (voice) 3 Episodes
2013 Mad Shifu, Gatored Community Announcer Ep. "POblivion/Umbrellamentary"
2013 Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload Mandarin (voice)
Video games
Year Title Role Notes Source
1995 Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom Melek
1998 Grim Fandango Chief Bogen, 1st Thunder Boy, Blue Casket's Waiter
1999 Star Trek: Hidden Evil Adm. Ratok
2001 Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Fatman English Dub
2001 Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura King Loghaire Thunderstone
2002 Star Trek: Bridge Commander Gul Oden, Captain Terrik
2002 The Mark of Kri The Dark One
2003 Lionheart: Legacy Of The Crusader Goblin King
2003 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Vizier
2005 Jade Empire Master Li
2005 Fantastic Four Mole Man
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Crime Scene Tech, George Bennett, Frederick Grant, others
2007 Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Burning Earth additional voices
2008 Too Human Mimir
2009 Dragon Age: Origins Uldred, Rogek, Senior Enchanter Torrin
2010 Fallout: New Vegas Dean Domino Dead Money DLC
2011 White Knight Chronicles II Lorias
2011 Dungeon Siege III The Venerable Odo, Mayor Moritz Grimmelhaus, additional voices
2012 Darksiders II The Chancellor, Eternal Throne Guard 2, Human Soul 2
2013 Dota 2 Chaos Knight, Phantom Lancer, Rubick
2013 Infinity Blade III Benedict Burgess Batteric III
2014 Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Poltae Headman English dub
2014 Diablo III: Reaper of Souls additional voices
2015 Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Commandant English dub
2016 World of Warcraft: Legion Valewalker Farodin

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Barry Dennen para niños

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