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Barry Knapp Bostwick (born February 24, 1945) is an Americanmarker actor and singer. He is arguably best known for playing Brad Majors in the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, replacing Peter Scolari as Mr. Tyler in the sitcom What I Like About You, as well as Mayor Randall Winston in the sitcom Spin City. He has also had considerable fame in musical theater.

Early life

Bostwick was born in San Mateo, California, the son of Betty (née Defendorf), a homemaker, and Henry "Bud" Bostwick, Jr., a city planner and actor. His only sibling, Henry "Pete" Bostwick, was killed in a car accident on June 20, 1973. 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.


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. He also won a Tony Award for his performance in the 1977 musical The Robber Bridegroom. From 1996 to 2002, Bostwick portrayed Randall Winston, the Mayor of New York Citymarker in the sitcom Spin City opposite Michael J. Fox and his successor, Charlie Sheen. In 2006 Bostwick landed a role replacing Peter Scolari as Mr. Tyler in the relatively unknown star vehicle sitcom for then sixteen year old Amanda Bynes What I Like About You.

Since 2004, Bostwick has had a recurring role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Other television credits include guest appearances in Charlie's Angels, Hawaii Five-O, The Golden Palace, Grace Under Fire, Cold Case, Scrubs, and Las Vegas, among others. He has also had leading roles in various mini-series, 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 Mallmarker in Washington, D.C.marker 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.

Recently, Bostwick gained a recurring role, as Grandpa Clyde Flynn on Phineas and Ferb. Bostwick is also the spokesperson for Optimum Voice.

In 2003, Bostwick appeared on Scrubs as a patient diagnosed with prostate cancer and in 2008, appeared in an episode of TV series Ugly Betty as an attorney to the Meade family.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.

Barry Bostwick was supposed to appear on season 3 of Private Practice as "the Captain", a father of Addison Montgomery character, but had to resign due to a scheduling conflict.

Personal life

Bostwick married Stacey Nelkin, but they were divorced in 1991. Bostwick is married to his second wife Sherri Ellen Jenkins 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 Institutemarker.


Feature films


Year Title Role Other notes
1982 Working Steelworker American Playhouse production
1984 George Washington Gen. George Washington
1986 George Washington: Forging of a Nation Gen. George Washington
Betrayed By Innocence Nick DeLeon
1987 I'll Take Manhattan Zachary Amberville
1990 Challenger Comm. Francis R. (Dick) Scobee
1994 Once In A Lifetime Dr. Matthew Dane
1998 One Hot Summer Night Art Brooks
2008 Depth Charge President Taylor

Stage productions

Further reading

  • Evans, David and Scott Michaels. Rocky Horror: Concept to Cult. London: Sanctuary, 2002.
  • Lipton, Michael A. and Nancy Matsumoto. “Serial Dad: Michael J. Fox Looks Up to 6’4” Actor”. People March 10, 1997: 99.
  • Uhry, Alfred. "The Trail of the Robber B". The Robber Bridegroom CD Liner Notes 1998: 2.
  • Hunt, Paula. "Bostwick Tells Story of Survival". Express-News, March 6, 2006.


  1. According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. At
  4. Production On 'Hannah Montana: The Movie' Is Underway - Entertainment Tonight News Story - WJXT Jacksonville

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