born on 24/11/1905 in New York City, NY, United States
died on 13/12/1962 in Burbank, CA, United States
Harry Barris (November 24, 1905 December 13, 1962) was an American popular singer and songwriter.
Born in New York City, he was a member of the Rhythm Boys, a late 1920s singing trio that included Al Rinker and Bing Crosby, and was Crosby's entry into show business. The group sang several songs in the Paul Whiteman Orchestra film King of Jazz (1930) and recorded both with Whiteman and on their own with Barris on piano.
Barris appeared in 57 films between 1931 and 1950, usually as a band member, pianist and/or singer. In The Lost Weekend (1945), he is the nightclub pianist who humiliates Ray Milland by singing "Somebody Stole My Purse". An unusual change of pace for Barris was his comedy role in The Fleet's In (1942), as a runty sailor named Pee Wee who perpetrates malapropisms in a surprisingly deep voice.
Offscreen, Barris successfully composed songs including "Mississippi Mud", "I Surrender, Dear", "It Must Be True" and "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams". Rinker and Crosby also carved out careers on their own as well.
Barris was the uncle of game show host and producer Chuck Barris. Chuck Barris was a co-creator and host of the The Gong Show.
Due to a lifelong drinking problem, he died in Burbank, California, aged 57.
- Birth of the Blues (1941)
- Donald Shepherd and Robert F. Slatzer, Bing Crosby: The Hollow Man (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1981), ISBN 978-0-523-42164-3
- Harry Barris at the Internet Movie Database