Actor

Bobby Barber

Quick Facts

IntroAmerican actor
Was Actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage, Radio
Gendermale
Birth 18 December 1894, New York City
Death 24 May 1976, Seal Beach
(aged 81 years)

Biography

Bobby Barber (December 18, 1894 – May 24, 1976) was an American actor who appeared in over 100 films. Barber is notable for his work as a foil for Abbott and Costello on and off screen.
Barber was often used by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello as a form of “court jester” on the set of their films. It was his job to keep the energy level up with pranks and practical jokes. Sometimes, he even suddenly appeared on camera during a take to break up the cast and crew. In Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), Costello answers a knock at the door expecting to see large actor Lon Chaney Jr. Instead, the very short Barber walks in wearing a funny hat with a feather. In another outtake from that film, Bela Lugosi, in full Dracula regalia, is solemnly descending a staircase to meet Abbott and Costello when all of a sudden the actors and crew burst out laughing. Lugosi, annoyed, turns around to see Barber following right behind him, mimicking his steps.
Barber also appeared in bit parts, such as a delivery boy, waiter, bellhop, or man on the street, often uncredited in movies, and in many of Abbott and Costello’s films and about half their television shows. Sometimes his likeness was in a picture on a wall or a “wanted” poster in a post office. His final film appearance was in Lou Costello’s last movie, The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959). His film career included bit parts in over 100 (known) feature films.

Selected filmography

  • Mexicana (1945)
  • The Pilgrim Lady (1947)
  • Across the Wide Missouri (1951)
  • Paris Model (1953)