Ken Berry, Star of ‘Mayberry, RFD’ and ‘Mama’s Family,’ Dies at 85

The veteran comic actor also starred in “F-Troop” and movies like “Herbie Rides Again” and “The Cat From Outer Space”

ken berry
Photo: ABC Television

Ken Berry, the veteran comic actor who starred in such 1960s, ’70s and ’80s sitcoms as “F-Troop,” “Mayberry, RFD” and the “Carol Burnett Show” spinoff “Mama’s Family,” died Saturday at the age of 85.

His ex-wife Jackie Joseph-Lawrence reported the news, “with very deep sorrow,” on her Facebook page. “F-Troop” co-star Larry Storch also shared the news on his own Facebook page, adding, “Goodnight Captain. We miss you already.”

The Illinois native known for his aw-shucks charm also made memorable appearances in Disney films such as “Herbie Rides Again” and “The Cat From Outer Space.”

After serving in the U.S. Army under Sgt. Leonard Nimoy, mostly entertaining the troops, Berry landed a spot on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He became a contract player for Universal Studios, appearing predominantly in musical films, and then transitioned to TV.

He served as comic relief on the early-’60s medical show “Dr. Kildare.” By the end of the decade, he starred as clumsy Captain Parmenter on the Western spoof “F-Troop,” and then the widowed farmer Sam Jones on both “The Andy Griffith Show” and later “Mayberry, RFD.”

Berry also had a long association with Carol Burnett, first on her eponymous sitcom and later as a co-star on its 1980s spinoff “Mama’s Family.”

Over the years, he also performed in multiple stage productions across the country, mostly musicals like the George M. Cohan bio-musical “George M!” as well as cameos in TV shows such as “The Brady Bunch,” “CHiPs” and “The Golden Girls.”