• 27 September 1903
  •  West Virginia, USA

Leonard Barr


Leonard Barr was a comic and eccentric dancer who was famous for being Dean Martin's uncle. He really was Dean Martin's uncle, as he was the brother of Dino's mother, Angela Crocetti (née Barra). They were Italians of mixed Neapolitan and Sicilian ancestry. Born Leonard Barra on September 27, 1903 in West Virginia, he became a stand-up comic who delivered one-liners dead-pan, in the style of Henny Youngman. He first appeared on TV in 1950 as a comic dancer thanks to his nephew Dino, when Martin was hosting the The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950) with his then-partner Jerry Lewis. He didn't appear again on the boob tube until 1964, when he again appeared as a comic dancer, this time on The Hollywood Palace (1964). He continued to appear on TV sporadically during the 1960s until his career as a TV comic and an actor took off starting in 1970. He appeared in the hit films Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Sean Connery's return to the role of Bond, and the Oscar-winning The Sting (1973), both times as a comic. He continued to work steadily in TV and in movies until his death on November 22, 1980, when he was 77 years old.