Ken Berry, star of sitcom ‘F Troop,’ dies at age 85

Ken Berry, second from right, starred in "F Troop" from 1965-67, with Forrest Tucker, from left, Larry Storch and Melody Patterson.
(ABC Photo Archives / Getty Images)

Ken Berry, an actor and dancer who played the affable and clumsy Capt. Wilton Parmenter in the 1960s sitcom “F Troop,” has died. He was 85.

Berry died Saturday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, hospital spokeswoman Patricia Aidem confirmed. The cause of death was not provided by Berry’s family.

“F Troop” was on only from 1965-67 but the show lived on in syndication and the accident-prone Capt. Parmenter became one of Berry’s most well-known roles. After “F Troop,” Berry went on to star in “Mayberry R.F.D.,” a spinoff of “The Andy Griffith Show,” on which Berry appeared during the show’s final year.


Berry’s co-star in “F Troop,” Larry Storch, said in a Facebook post that his friend’s passing was “devastating.”

“We are at a true loss for words,” the post read. “Ken, we hope you know how much you were loved. Goodnight Captain. We miss you already.”

Berry married actress Jackie Joseph-Lawrence in 1960 and the couple adopted two children. They divorced in 1976 but remained good friends.

“I’m feeling so much love and gratitude for the affection and kindness expressed by Ken’s friends and admirers,” Joseph-Lawrence said on her Facebook page. She also expressed gratitude for Susie Walsh, “Ken’s dear partner for the last 26 years, for bringing him laughter and devotion and care.”

Berry’s last television series was “Mama’s Family,” which aired for six seasons beginning in 1983. But “F Troop” was the show that remained closest to Berry’s heart.

“I have never been that happy in my life,” Berry once said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.


Berry is survived by his daughter, Jennifer Kate. His son, John Kenneth, died in 2016.

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