Gene Barry was in the original War of the Worlds movie in the 1950's. Stephen Spielberg put him in the movie to pay him a tribute for being in the first movi. At 84 he looked silver haired and prettty strong for his age. I also noticed that was Gene bARRY WHEN i FIRST SAW THE MOVIE A MONTH AGO. I first thought that he died becasue this is how we stay in touch with the Columbo guest murderers.
I loved Gene Barry in Prescription: Murder.
His performance no doubt gave a strong push for NBC to consider making Columbo a regular series. So we Columbo fans owe him a lot.
BTW-for those of you who like historic airplanes, "The War of the Worlds" movie shows the weird looking "Flying Wing" (B-49) bomber aircraft which was one of the most amazing airplanes of all time-it had no fuselage and looked just like a boomerang! Today the B-2 Spirit is like that but in the primitive technology of the 1940s-50s it was really a miracle it could fly at all.
From time to time when a "remake" is made, the original stars are used for cameos, such as the Maverick a few years ago, with Mel Gibson, where James Garner was also in the film.
I agree we owe much to Gene Barry in that he unquestionably helped develop the kind of arrogant, cunning antagonist we saw later on in Robert Culp and Robert Vaughn. But perhaps we should also acknowledge Joesph Cotton, who played the role on stage.
Gene Barry to me, was the epitome of the sophisticated, cool, calm and calculating killer and has always been my number one choice for a previous Columbo murderer to return.
And if you ever had the pleasure to see him in Burke's Law..(I have a few episodes on tape...guest starring JC)...well he was the epitome of suave!!
If I can please slip in another plug for Martin Ross' excellent "Columbo" fan fiction site, "Just One More Paragraph"...,
I believe its premiere piece, by our Forum's own Eric Paddon, is the original tale of Dr. Ray Fleming finally emerging from prison to take revenge against his old adversary -- called "Vengeance Is Mine", a great launch to a great site. Reading it, you can happily imagine an aging but still suave and evil Gene Barry in the part.
All "fan fiction" is mainly for fan fun, but this one would really make a great new or final episode, to bring the series full circle after almost 40 years. Great job, Eric!
Hey Ted!...you can slip in anything you want here! It is your site!
But I will definitely check out Eric's story on that site....thanks!