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Old 10-22-2003, 07:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Aw man... 'Rerun' died today...

Fred "Rerun" Berry Dead
Wed Oct 22, 6:25 PM ET

By Joal Ryan

Fred Berry was well into his 20s when he was cast as a high-schooler on the 1970s sitcom What's Happening!! Well into middle age, he was still playing the role.

Berry, who portrayed the beret-wearing, suspender-clad teen known as Rerun on the 1976-79 series, and was rarely without his signature accessories in the nearly quarter-century since, was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment Tuesday, E! has learned. He was 52.

Berry's agent, Arlene Thorton, said the actor died in his bed sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning. The Los Angeles coroner is planning to perform an autopsy to determine cause of death. There were no signs of foul play, Thorton said.

Berry recently cameoed in the David Spade comedy, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, and looked for love on E!'s Star Dates. Berry was a veteran groom, walking down the aisle six times with four women.

He played himself in an episode of NBC's Scrubs last April. As was his way, he wore the Rerun red beret, and the Rerun red suspenders.

Until recently, Berry had been one of the on-demand telephone friends for, the new service connecting fans with a roster of largely low-watt stars.

"I bet you that I've made more calls than anyone on this service," Berry told the Washington Post in August.

Never able to shake the role that made him famous, Berry reprised his Rerun self in 1985 for the updated What's Happening!! series, What's Happening Now!.

If not able to rid himself of Rerun's baggage, at least he was able to drop some of the heft. In 2002, he told People he was 100 pounds lighter than during his prime-time heyday.

The appeal of the original What's Happening!! cannot be described clinically--you were either impressionable enough to find it funny, or you weren't. On paper, anyway, the sitcom was about three friends--Raj (Ernest Thomas), Dwayne (Haywood Nelson) and Berry's Frederick "Rerun" Stubbs, the perennial flunk-out with the flashy dance moves.

Berry came by Rerun's steps honestly--prior to joining the sitcom at age 25, he was a member of the pioneering break-dance troupe, the Lockers.

Post-Rerun, Berry struggled--and not just with his career. "The stress of success got to me. The fat jokes got to me. And I got heavily into drugs and alcohol. I was empty inside," he told People in 1996.

By the mid-1980s, Berry sobered up. He became a Baptist minister. And he found there was a lucrative business in being Rerun--businesses would pay him to wear the beret and bust some moves at their functions.

Berry is the third What's Happening!! star to die, after Mabel King and Shirley Hemphill, who died within a month of each other in 1999.
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Old 10-22-2003, 07:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Aw man... 'Rerun' died today...

Originally posted by Glenn
The Los Angeles coroner is planning to perform an autopsy to determine cause of death.

Berry was a veteran groom, walking down the aisle six times with four women.
And they wonder what killed him?
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