Jered Barclay, Screen and Stage Veteran, Dies at 91

Art Directors Guild Announces 2023 Awards Timeline

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

Barclay died on July 23 in North Hollywood from MDS Leukemia, a passing that was announced by actress Myra Turley, his longtime friend with whom he performed in an award-winning two-person play, A Tantalizing, directed by Harvey Perr. 

While also a director, photojournalist and acting coach, Barclay’s career spanned almost nine decades. He began his career in 1934 at the age of three, performing in vaudeville with Judy Garland, Shirley Temple, and Sammy Davis Jr. At age 6, he became a radio actor and at 12, Barclay traveled with the Clyde Beatty Circus before his theatrical debut at 14.

After receiving a B.A in Drama from the University of Washington, Barclay moved to Los Angeles and performed in three episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, in Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour, The Man with the Golden Arm, directed by Otto Preminger, and he played John Compo in Roger Corman’s 1958 sci-fi fantasy flick War of the Satellites. 

As Jerry Barclay, he appeared in cowboy classics like Rawhide, Bonanza, Cheyenne, Bronco, The Dakotas, Lawman, Colt .45 and Gunslinger.  Then in 1962, Barclay 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.

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

Barclay did animated voice overs 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

In the 1980s, Barclay launched a coaching career with actors like Rue McClanahan and  Dixie Carter, as well as Johnny Depp, Liza Minelli, Lily Tomlin, Patrick Swayze and Josh Brolin. In 1993, Barclay became an international travel photojournalist, covering all seven continents and 108 countries for 27 publications.