Barry Bostwick

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Barry Bostwick
Bostwick at the premiere for Earth in April 2009
BornBarry Knapp Bostwick
(1945-02-24) February 24, 1945 (age 69)
San Mateo, California, U.S.
OccupationActor / Singer
Years active1970–present
Spouse(s)Stacey Nelkin (1987-1991)
Sherri Jensen (1994-present)
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Barry Bostwick
Bostwick at the premiere for Earth in April 2009
BornBarry Knapp Bostwick
(1945-02-24) February 24, 1945 (age 69)
San Mateo, California, U.S.
OccupationActor / Singer
Years active1970–present
Spouse(s)Stacey Nelkin (1987-1991)
Sherri Jensen (1994-present)

Barry Knapp Bostwick (born February 24, 1945) is a Tony Award winning American stage and screen actor. He is known for playing Brad Majors in the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He replaced Peter Scolari as Mr. Tyler in the sitcom What I Like About You,[1] as well as portraying Mayor Randall Winston in the sitcom Spin City and the father of the President in the TV series Scandal. Bostwick has also had considerable success in musical theater.

Early life[edit]

Bostwick was born in San Mateo, California. He is the son of Elizabeth "Betty" (née Defendorf), a housewife, and Henry "Bud" Bostwick, a city planner and actor.[2][3] His only sibling, Henry "Pete" Bostwick, was killed in a car accident on July 20, 1973.[4] Bostwick attended San Diego's United States International University in 1967, majoring in acting, got his start on the Hillbarn Theatre stage now located in Foster City, and worked for a time as a circus performer. He also attended NYU's Graduate Acting Program, graduating in 1968.[5]


In 1970, Bostwick was a member of a pop group called The Klowns, assembled and promoted by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, whose members performed wearing stylized clown makeup and costumes. Their lone, 1970 album was produced by Jeff Barry, and generated a minor Billboard hit single, "Lady Love".

He replaced C.C. Courtney in the musical Salvation. His next stage appearance was in the 1971 rock opera Soon, which closed after three performances. In 1972, Bostwick originated the role of bad boy Danny Zuko in the stage production of Grease, earning a Tony Award nomination for his performance. In 1975 he starred with Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon in The Rocky Horror Picture Show portraying the character of Brad Majors. He also won a Tony Award for his performance in the 1977 musical The Robber Bridegroom. In 1981, Bostwick starred in the TV series adaptation of the hit 1978 movie Foul Play, with his role modeled after Chevy Chase's and co-star Deborah Raffin in Goldie Hawn's part. The following year, he starred in Megaforce. Bostwick starred, along with Carl Weintraub, as Rick Armstrong in the short-lived ABC sitcom Dads during the 1986-87 season. From 1996 to 2002, Bostwick portrayed Randall Winston, the mayor of New York City in the sitcom Spin City opposite Michael J. Fox and his successor, Charlie Sheen. In 2006, Bostwick replaced Peter Scolari as Mr. Tyler, the father of Amanda Bynes' and Jennie Garth's lead characters, on What I Like About You.[1]

Since 2004, Bostwick has had a recurring role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He has also had leading roles in various miniseries, including George Washington, its sequel The Forging of a Nation, Scruples, A Woman of Substance, War and Remembrance, and Till We Meet Again.

Bostwick served as host of the nationally televised annual Capitol Fourth celebration on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for eight years. Bostwick was also seen in a Pepsi Twist' commercial. In the Cold Case episode "Creatures of the Night", in which he is the main suspect, the theme of the episode revolves around The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is among his best-known performances to date.

In 2003, Bostwick appeared on Scrubs as a patient diagnosed with prostate cancer, a disease Bostwick had in real life. In 2008, he appeared in an episode of TV series Ugly Betty as an attorney to the Meade family. In 2007, Bostwick gained a recurring role, as Grandpa Clyde Flynn on the animated television series, Phineas and Ferb. Bostwick is also the spokesperson for Optimum Voice.[6] In June 2009 he played Father Jimmy, the ineffective exorcist in the independent horror comedy The Selling, written by Gabriel Diani and directed by Emily Lou.

Other television credits include guest appearances in Charlie's Angels, Hawaii Five-O, The Golden Palace, Grace Under Fire, and Las Vegas.

Barry Bostwick was supposed to appear on season 3 of Private Practice as "the Captain", a father of the Addison Montgomery character, but had to resign due to a scheduling conflict.[7] In 2011, Bostwick portrayed a small town sheriff in the John Landis-produced thriller Some Guy Who Kills People![8]

In October 2010, Bostwick briefly appeared in the Rocky Horror-themed Glee episode.[9]

Since 2009, Bostwick has had a recurring role as Roger Frank on the sitcom Cougar Town which stars Courteney Cox. In season 3 of the show we learn that Bostwick's character has become mayor of the town the comedy is set in, Gulf Haven.

Personal life[edit]

Bostwick married Stacey Nelkin in 1987, but they were divorced in 1991. Bostwick married his second wife Sherri Ellen Jensen in 1994 and has two children, Brian and Chelsea.

In 1997, Bostwick was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 10 days later had his prostate removed. In 2004, he won the Gilda Radner Courage Award from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.


Feature films[edit]


1979Murder by Natural CausesGil Weston
1979You Can't Take It With YouAnthony Kirby, Jr.Filmed version of play
1979Hawaii Five OLucas Sandover"Year of the Horse"
1980ScruplesSpider Elliot
1981Red Flag: The Ultimate GameMaj Jay Rivers
1982WorkingSteelworkerAmerican Playhouse production
1984George WashingtonGen. George Washington
1985DeceptionsGrant Roberts
1986George Washington II: The Forging of a NationGen. George Washington
Betrayed By InnocenceNick DeLeon
1987I'll Take ManhattanZachary Amberville
1988War and RemembranceLieutenant Carter “Lady” Aster
Body of EvidenceMark Dwyer
1989Till We Meet AgainTerrence 'Mac' McGuire
1990ChallengerComm. Francis R. (Dick) Scobee
1990The Great Air RaceRoscoe Turner
1992The Golden PalaceNick DiCarlo, a gigolo
1994Once in a LifetimeDr. Matthew Dane
1996–2002Spin CityMayor Randall Winston144 episodes
1998One Hot Summer NightArt Brooks
2004–2007Law & Order: Special Victims UnitOliver Gates6 episodes total
2005Las VegasMartinSeason 3, Episode 11 - "Down and Dirty"
2005Cold CaseRoy Brigham AnthonySeason 2, Episode 21 - "Creatures of the Night"
2007–presentPhineas and FerbGrandpa Clyde Flynn
2007Ugly BettyClaire Meade's attorneyEpisodes "Odor in the Court," "Betty Suarez Land"
2008Depth ChargePresident Taylor
2009Nip/TuckRoger Payne"Don Hoberman"
2009SupernaturalThe Amazing Jay"Criss Angel is a Douchebag"
2009-2010'Til DeathGeorge Von Stuessen"Eddie's Book," "The Baby"
2010-12Cougar TownRoger FrankSeasons 1-3, 7 episodes
2010GleeTim StanwickCameo in "The Rocky Horror Glee Show" with Meat Loaf
2012Hot in ClevelandHughSeason 3, Episode 23: "What's Behind the Door"
2012The New NormalMarty SawyerSeason 1, Episode 9: "Pardon Me"
2012-2014ScandalGerald Grantvarious episodes
2013The Haunting OfHimselfSeason 2, Episode 1: "The Haunting of Barry Bostwick"
2013Masters of SexMorrisSeason 1, Episode 6, "Brave New World"
2014EnlistedRussellSeason 1, Episode 8: "Vets"


2013Research.[11]Dr. Rust

Stage productions[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
1972Tony AwardsBest Actor in a MusicalGreaseNominated
1976Best Featured Actor in a PlayThey Knew What They WantedNominated
1977Drama Desk AwardsOutstanding Actor in a MusicalThe Robber BridegroomNominated
Tony AwardsBest Actor in a MusicalWon
1978New York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Supporting ActorMovie MovieNominated
1979National Society of Film Critics AwardsBest Supporting ActorNominated
1989Golden Globe AwardsBest Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television FilmWar and RemembranceWon
2013Fangoria Chainsaw AwardsBest Supporting ActorSome Guy Who Kills PeopleNominated

Further reading[edit]


External links[edit]