Swinging in the hammock
Fred "Rerun" Berry dead at 52
Actor Fred Berry -- TV's 'Rerun' -- dies at 52
Wednesday, October 22, 2003 Posted: 11:47 PM EDT (0347 GMT)
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Actor Fred Berry, best known as "Rerun" on the 1970s TV show "What's Happening!!", has died, his business manager said Wednesday. He was 52.
Arlene Thornton said the actor died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. She did not have any details on the cause of death. The Associated Press reported that Berry died of natural causes. The AP said the county coroner was investigating, but that Berry's friends said he had been ill because of a recent stroke.
Berry played the jolly and rotund Freddie "Rerun" Stubbs on the sitcom, which aired on ABC from 1976 to 1979. He was also part of the cast of "What's Happening Now!", an updated version of the show that aired in syndication from 1985 to 1988.
More recently, Berry played himself in this summer's movie "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" and on an April episode of the NBC sitcom "Scrubs," according to IMBD.com
In a 2002 interview with People magazine, Berry said he keeps the "Rerun" character alive by appearing in his trademark red beret and baggy pants as a pitchman for various companies through his business, Celeb-Events International.
"I'm working on my career on a corporate level now," he told the magazine. "They have celebrity weekends where they bring me out to sell (products to clients)."
He also said he had lost more than 100 pounds in the years after the sitcom ended.
Berry also was a minister.
"I'm not the ordinary orthodox pat-you-on-the-head type," he told the magazine. "I'm the type of minister that will get in your face. I'm real because it's a real world out there."
Born in St. Louis in 1951, Berry told People he was a millionaire by age 29, but fell into drug and alcohol addiction.
"The stress of success got to me. The fat jokes got to me. And I got heavily into drugs and alcohol. I was empty inside," he told the magazine in 1996.
In 1985 Berry kicked his addictions.
He is survived by two daughters and a son. He was married six times, to four women.
Berry told People in 2002 that was happy to be known as "Rerun."
"I'm still called 'Rerun' and I love it!" he says. "People ask me to dance every day, no matter where I am -- in the grocery store or in the boardroom."
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" -- Steve Parker
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You know, I keep trying to drum up some sympathy for this, but I'm failing. Outside of the fact that anyone at his age is too young to die, I'm not feeling the sorrow. I'm a bad human being.
Amanda G, could it be that you might think his drug abuse only added to any health problems and that did him in? Sometimes we just have less sympathy when we feel someone should of had control over their life but didn't.
Originally Posted by AmandaG
If you want me to think that you are a bad human being, you'll have to try harder.
That's possible, Eldee. However, I think what bugged me about him was that he was content to be nothing more than a caricature of his former "glory days" throughout his entire life. I loved him as much as anyone back in the 70's, but...eh. I just wish he'd let the whole "Rerun" thing go.
On the other hand, it's always a shame to see a life cut short.
It is a shame about a life being cut short. I guess he just lived up to his name. I saw his dates on a dating show and believe that he also became a minister. (A frisky one at that).
Originally Posted by AmandaG
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