Actor Fred 'Rerun' Berry Dies at Age 52 - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-22-2003, 09:26 PM   #1
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Actor Fred 'Rerun' Berry Dies at Age 52

Looks like he's in the circle with Elliott Smith.

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Actor Fred 'Rerun' Berry Dies at Age 52
Oct 22, 6:50 PM EST

Fred Berry, the bulb-shaped, squeaky-voiced actor famous for playing red-beret-wearing Rerun on the 1970s TV sitcom "What's Happening!" has died at age 52, police said Wednesday.

Berry died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles of apparent natural causes, police Officer Jason Lee said. The county coroner was investigating the exact nature of the death, but friends said Berry had been in ill health due to a recent stroke.

He wore his red beret and suspenders in real life, and it was unclear whether he originally brought his own style to the character of Rerun or whether he was forever mimicking the character that made him famous.

Rerun was a 1970s version of latter-day goofball TV characters like Steve Urkel from "Family Matters": loud, a little whiny, a little dim and definitely geeky. "What's Happening!", which ran from 1976-1979, focused on three teenage friends Rerun, Raj and Dwayne who learn about life, women and trouble while growing up in Los Angeles.

Among the more famous episodes was one in which Rerun joined a bizarre cult and another in which he got busted for making bootlegged tapes of a Doobie Brothers concert.

The name Rerun, according to Berry, referred to the character's brainlessness: In the summer, he had to rerun all the classes he failed during the school year.

Berry's success on the show was clouded by his heavy use of marijuana and cocaine. "There were dealers right there in the studio, people that worked there," he said in 1996. "In the '70s, it was like that on a lot of TV shows. It was the Hollywood lifestyle then. Everybody was doing it."

By the time "What's Happening!" ended, Berry said he had blown more than a million dollars on drugs, cars, homes and an airplane. With no acting jobs heading his way, Berry tried to live off his fame by charging to appear at shopping malls.

Even later in life, he was still cashing in: lately, he earned money by calling fans on the telephone with the service www.HollywoodIsCalli ng.com. About $30 would earn a fan a 30 second call.

Berry's love life was another complication. He married a dancer while in his 20s, and the two divorced, remarried and divorced again. Berry repeated that performance with his second wife, whom he married and divorced twice (most recently in 1991). He also married and divorced two other women.

Rerun brought Berry another brief moment of success in 1985, when "What's Happening!" was revived as the syndicated "What's Happening Now!" Berry quit in a contract dispute after the first season and the show ended in 1987.

By 1986, Berry says, he abandoned drugs and started to speak at churches, schools and other groups, finally working as a minister in Madison, Ala., at the New Shiloh Church Ministry.

He was still dabbling in show business. Berry recently appeared on the TV shows "Star Dates" on the E! Entertainment Network, MTV's "Doggy Fizzle Televizzle" with Snoop Dogg and in a cameo role in the David Spade comedy film "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star."

Funeral services were unclear late Wednesday.

I always watched "What's Happenin'" when I was a kid. So sad, so young.
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Old 10-22-2003, 10:41 PM   #2
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I'm very sad to hear about this. I really enjoyed "What's Happening," and Rerun was always at the center of all the fun.
I would love to see reruns of Rerun and his friends on Nick at Nite or TV Land.
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:13 PM   #3
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Very sad indeed. I loved watching that show.
May he RIP.
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:34 PM   #4
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Wasn't he also recently on those "I Love The 70s" shows talking about "What's Happenin'"?

I'd never watched that show, though.

Anyway...man, only 52...rather sudden.

Very sad. R.I.P., Rerun.

Angela
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:53 PM   #5
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i loved that show, and rerun was my fave.

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Old 10-23-2003, 12:14 AM   #6
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Damn. I just saw him reunite with a high school friend on Classmates TV last week.

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Old 10-23-2003, 01:46 AM   #7
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Please don't compare Elliott Smith to Rerun. This is totally different.
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Old 10-23-2003, 01:49 AM   #8
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That sucks
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Old 10-23-2003, 07:48 AM   #9
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Sad.
He was an excellent dancer as well. As I recall he had to put weight on to play Rerun, which he was later unable to take off.

RIP
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Old 10-23-2003, 09:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Calluna
Please don't compare Elliott Smith to Rerun. This is totally different.

I wasn't comparing him to Elliott Smith. It's like that thing when famous people die, how they usually go in three's. I didn't mean anything else by it.
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Old 10-23-2003, 10:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Calluna
Please don't compare Elliott Smith to Rerun. This is totally different.
why is smith taking his life any more important than berry dying of natural causes? fred berry made thousands of people laugh as Rerun, and he shall truely be missed. saying we shouldn't compare him to smith is an insult to berry's life and family.



which doobie you be?
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Old 10-23-2003, 11:20 AM   #12
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Well said headache.

Because Fred Berry was considered a "clown" and wasn't taken seriously, are we supposed to treat his passing differently?

Talent or success should not measure how someone is mourned.
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Old 10-23-2003, 01:16 PM   #13
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Good points.... when any actor or singer dies for any reason, it is very sad. Each person has contributed their share to the world in different ways.
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Old 10-23-2003, 06:09 PM   #14
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I'm sorry if my comments offended anyone but I was offended in the first place otherwise I would not have felt compelled to respond. I don't see any reason for a celebrity to be forever linked to another completely unrelated celebrity just because they both died at a similar time. It's like with Johnny Cash and John Ritter. They both died on the same day and they are both named John so all the sudden they are linked together for eternity in some mysterious way? No, it's just coincidence. They are totally different. It doesn't mean anything and neither does this 'dying in threes' concept.

I don't expect any of you to understand how I feel and this is the last I have to say on the subject. I intended no disrespect towards Fred Berry by my comments and I don't want to turn this thread into an argument so let's just drop it and please continue paying your respects to him.
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