Barry Newman

Barry Newman Wiki – Barry Newman Bio

Barry Newman was an American actor of stage, screen and television known for his portrayal of Kowalski in Vanishing Point, and for his title role in the 1970s television series Petrocelli. He was nominated for Golden Globe and Emmy awards.

Newman was born in Boston, Massachusetts on November 7, 1930, the son of a Belarusian-born mother, Sarah, and an Austrian father, Carl Newman. Newman graduated from the prestigious Boston Latin School in 1948. He was a childhood friend of actor Leonard Nimoy.

After graduating from Brandeis University with a degree in anthropology in 1952, Newman was drafted into the Army, and having learned saxophone and clarinet in high school, he was assigned to the 3rd Army Band in Atlanta. After being discharged, Newman went to New York to receive his master’s degree in anthropology from Columbia University, when a friend, who was studying acting with Lee Strasberg, invited him to sit in on a class. His destiny changed as he fell in love with acting and left Columbia after only five weeks to study acting with Strasberg.


Barry Newman died at the age of 92 years old.


Newman’s first acting job was in Herman Wouk’s first comedy Nature’s Way, in which he played a jazz musician. New York critic Richard Watts called him “The creme of the Jesters”. This role was followed by a featured part in the play Maybe Tuesday, written by Mel Tolkin.

The film, which also starred Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger and Victoria Medlin, starred Newman as a Vietnam veteran/ex-stock car driver/dishonorably discharged cop given the job of driving a white 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 440 Magnum from Denver to San Francisco.

He said of the career-defining role, according to THR: ‘This was very unique. I had just done this movie about a lawyer, a Harvard graduate, and I thought this is a different kind of thing. The guy was the rebel, the antihero. I enjoyed doing that very much.’

Newman is perhaps best known for his starring role as Kowalski in the 1971 cult film, Vanishing Point, about an existential journey across the western United States by a car transport driver delivering a white Dodge Challenger from Denver, Colorado to San Francisco, California. Vanishing Point was followed by starring roles in 20th Century Fox’s Salzburg Connection and Paramount’s Fear Is the Key. In 1974, Petrocelli, a TV series created around the character Newman first played in The Lawyer, debuted on NBC and ran two seasons.

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Newman’s success with the TV movie Night Games, based on the 1970 movie The Lawyer, led to the TV series Petrocelli, starring Newman as a lawyer who lives and works in the fictional town of San Remo, Arizona (filmed in Tucson, Arizona). He was nominated for an Emmy in 1975 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and in 1976, for a Golden Globe.

Married to His Wife

He was survived by his wife, Angela Newman.


Cause of Death

Actor Barry Newman has died at the age of 92 at New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, on May 11, 2023.