Jered Barclay, Screen and Stage Veteran, Dies at 91

Jered Barclay, the veteran stage and screen actor who performed in vaudeville and had voiceover roles in TV’s Smurfs and Transformers, has died. He was 91.

Barclay died Saturday in North Hollywood from MDS Leukemia, actress Myra Turley, his longtime friend with whom he performed in the two-person play A Tantalizing, directed by Harvey Perr, announced. 

Also a director, photojournalist and acting coach, Barclay began his nine-decade career in 1934 at age 3, performing in vaudeville with Judy Garland, Shirley Temple and Sammy Davis Jr. At 6, he became a radio actor and at 12 traveled with the Clyde Beatty Circus before his theatrical debut at 14.

After receiving a B.A. in drama from the University of Washington, the Seattle native moved to Los Angeles and performed on three episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, in Otto Preminger’s The Man With the Golden Arm (1955) and in Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour (1961), and he played John Compo in Roger Corman’s 1958 sci-fi fantasy flick War of the Satellites. 

As Jerry Barclay, he appeared in such cowboy classics as Rawhide, Bonanza, Cheyenne, Bronco, The Dakotas, Lawman, Colt .45 and Gunslinger.  Then in 1962, he moved to New York to perform in two Edward Albee plays, as Jerry in  Zoo Story, directed by Eddie Parone, and as a young man in The American Dream, directed by Alan Schneider.

In 1963, Barclay played Meff in James Saunders’ Next Time I’ll Sing to You alongside Estelle Parsons and James Earl Jones, and on Broadway he portrayed Deuperret in Peter Weiss’ Marat Sade and Ludwig Max von Kupfer in John Osborne’s A Patriot for Me

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Barclay did animated voiceovers for Hanna-Barbera’s Foofur, The Little Rascals, Challenge of the GoBots, The Dukes, The Kwicky Koala Show and The Smurfs. He also played Cerebros in The Transformers

Beginning in the ’80s, Barclay taught acting to the likes of Rue McClanahan, Dixie Carter, Johnny Depp, Liza Minnelli, Lily Tomlin, Patrick Swayze and Josh Brolin. In 1993, he became a travel photojournalist, covering all seven continents and 108 countries for 27 publications.