Barry Bostwick
Bostwick at GalaxyCon Raleigh in 2023
Barry Knapp Bostwick

(1945-02-24) February 24, 1945 (age 79)
San Mateo, California, U.S.
Years active1967–present
  • (m. 1987; div. 1991)
  • Sherri Jensen
    (m. 1993)

Barry Knapp Bostwick (born February 24, 1945) is an American actor. He is best known for portraying Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Mayor Randall Winston in the sitcom Spin City (1996–2002). Bostwick has also had considerable success in musical theatre, winning a Tony Award for his role in The Robber Bridegroom.

Early life

Bostwick was born February 24, 1945, in San Mateo, California.[1] He is the son of Elizabeth "Betty" (née Defendorf), a housewife, and Henry "Bud" Bostwick, a city planner and actor.[2] His only sibling, older brother Henry "Pete" Bostwick, died at the age of 32 in a car accident on July 20, 1973.[3] 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. He also attended NYU's Graduate Acting Program, graduating in 1968.[4]


Bostwick was a member of First National Nothing, who released one album, 1970's "If You Sit Real Still and Hold My Hand, You Will Hear Absolutely Nothing." They are described on the album as "A rock-theater commune made up of musicians, actors, dancers, singers, designers, writers, composers, and friends that started a long, long time ago as a lost tribe in California and has ended up as a theatrical performing company in New York City."

In 1970, Bostwick was a member of a pop band called The Klowns, assembled and promoted by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, whose members performed wearing stylized clown makeup and costumes.[5][6] Their sole album, released in 1970, was produced by Jeff Barry, and generated a minor Billboard hit single, "Lady Love."[7][8]

Bostwick replaced C.C. Courtney in the musical Salvation. His next stage appearance was in the 1971 rock opera Soon, which closed after three performances. 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. This was followed by a voice role as Terr in the English-dubbed version of Fantastic Planet in 1973. He later starred with Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), portraying Brad Majors. He also won a Tony Award for his performance in the 1977 musical The Robber Bridegroom. In 1981, Bostwick starred in the TV series adaptation of the 1978 film Foul Play, with his role modeled after Chevy Chase's and co-star Deborah Raffin in Goldie Hawn's part. The following year, he starred in Megaforce. Bostwick starred, along with Carl Weintraub, as Rick Armstrong in the short-lived ABC sitcom Dads during the 1986–87 season. From 1996 to 2002, Bostwick portrayed Randall Winston, the mayor of New York City in the sitcom Spin City opposite Michael J. Fox and his successor, Charlie Sheen. In 2006, Bostwick replaced Peter Scolari as Mr. Tyler, the father of Amanda Bynes's and Jennie Garth's lead characters, on What I Like About You.[9]

Bostwick had a recurring role between 2004 and 2007 on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He has also had leading roles in various mini-series, including George Washington, its sequel George Washington II: 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 Mall in Washington, D.C. 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.

In 2003, Bostwick appeared on Scrubs as a patient diagnosed with prostate cancer, a disease Bostwick had in real life. In 2008, he appeared in an episode of TV series Ugly Betty as an attorney to the Meade family. In 2007, Bostwick gained a recurring role, as Grandpa Clyde Flynn on the animated television series, Phineas and Ferb. Bostwick is also the spokesperson for Optimum Voice.[10] 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.

Other television credits include guest appearances in Charlie's Angels, Hawaii Five-O, The Golden Palace, Grace Under Fire, and Las Vegas.

Bostwick was supposed to appear on the third season of Private Practice as "the Captain," a father of the Addison Montgomery character, but had to resign due to a scheduling conflict.[11] In 2011, Bostwick portrayed a small-town sheriff in the John Landis-produced thriller Some Guy Who Kills People[12]

Bostwick at the premiere for Earth in April 2009

In October 2010, Bostwick briefly appeared in the Rocky Horror-themed Glee episode.[13]

From 2010 to 2014, Bostwick had a recurring role as Roger Frank on the sitcom Cougar Town which starred Courteney Cox. In season three of the show, we learn that Bostwick's character has become mayor of the town the comedy is set in, Gulf Haven. In 2015, he portrayed Collin Winthrop, father of the Gig Harbor Killer, in the season-ending CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode "The End Game."[14] He has also had a return to cult musical horror films in the form of Terrance Zdunich's Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival, which is a sequel to the 2012 short film The Devil's Carnival, of which he was not previously a cast member, being a newcomer to the franchise. He starred in Darren Lynn Bousman's segment of the anthology film Tales of Halloween, which was his second time acting under Bousman after Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival,[15] and appeared in the comedy horror film Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves.[16]

In 2020, Bostwick executive produced and starred in the short film Molly Robber as Ron Baker,[17] which won an Audience Award at the 2020 Austin Film Festival[18] and was an official selection at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.[19]

Personal life

Bostwick married Stacey Nelkin in 1987, and they were divorced in 1991. He married his second wife Sherri Ellen Jensen in 1993; they have two children, a son Brian Bostwick and a daughter Chelsea Bostwick.[20]

In 1997, Bostwick was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and had his prostate removed in July of that year.[21] In 2004, he won the Gilda Radner Courage Award from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.[22]

Select filmography


Year Title Role Notes
1971 Jennifer on My Mind Minstrel #1
1973 Fantastic Planet Narrator Voice
1974 Road Movie Hank
1975 The Wrong Damn Film Alex Rounder [23]
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Brad Majors
1978 Movie Movie Johnny Danko / Dick Cummings
1982 Megaforce Commander Ace Hunter
1990 The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible Joseph Voice, episode: "Joseph and His Brothers"[24]
1993 Eight Hundred Leagues Down the Amazon Garral
Weekend at Bernie's II Arthur Hummel
1994 In the Heat of Passion II: Unfaithful Phillip
1995 Project: Metalbeast Miller Direct-to-video
1996 The Secret Agent Club Vincent Scarletti
Spy Hard Norm Coleman
2003 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure Thunderbolt Voice, direct-to-video[24]
Swing Freddie
2004 The Skulls III Nathan Lloyd
Chestnut: Hero of Central Park Thomas Trundle
2007 Nancy Drew Dashiel Zachary Biedermeyer
Evening Mr. Wittenborn
2009 Hannah Montana: The Movie Mr. Bradley [25]
2010 Miss Nobody Father Grisham
Bedrooms Roger
Moby Dick Captain Ahab
It's a Dog Gone Tale: Destiny's Stand Arlen Hanley
2011 The Selling Father Jimmy
2012 Some Guy Who Kills People Sheriff Walt Fuller
FDR: American Badass! Franklin D. Roosevelt
2013 Finding Joy Alan
2015 Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival The Watchword
The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power Sorrell Raskov
Home Run Showdown Big Al
2016 The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave Grandpa Longneck Voice, direct-to-video[26][24]
Range 15 President
Three Days in August John
2017 A Mermaid's Tale Art Direct-to-video
2018 Incredibles 2 Mayor of New Urbem Voice[27][24]
Santa Girl Santa Claus
2019 Grand-Daddy Day Care Dynamite Dan North
3 from Hell Narrator
Undercover Brother 2 The Man
2020 American Pie Presents: Girls' Rules PeePaw
Molly Robber Ron Baker Short film
2021 Single All the Way Harold [28]
2022 In Search of Tomorrow Himself Documentary film
2023 Outlaw Johnny Black Tom Sheally


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Charlie's Angels Ted Machlin Episode: "Jade Trap"
1979 Murder by Natural Causes Gil Weston Television film
1979 You Can't Take It With You Anthony Kirby, Jr. Television film
1979 Hawaii Five-O Lucas Sandover Episode: "Year of the Horse"
1980 Scruples Spider Elliot Television miniseries
1981 Red Flag: The Ultimate Game Maj. Jay Rivers Television film
1982 Working Steelworker American Playhouse production
1983 Summer Girl Gavin Shelburne Television film
1983 An Uncommon Love Mr. Kinser Television film
1984 Saturday Night Live Host May 5, 1984
1984 George Washington George Washington Television miniseries
1985 A Woman of Substance Major Paul McGill Television miniseries
1985 Deceptions Grant Roberts Television film
1986 George Washington II: The Forging of a Nation George Washington Television film
1986 Betrayed By Innocence Nick DeLeon Television film
1987 I'll Take Manhattan Zachary Amberville Television miniseries
1988 War and Remembrance Lieutenant Carter "Lady" Aster Television miniseries
1988 Body of Evidence Mark Dwyer Television film
1988 Addicted to His Love Larry Hogan Television film
1989 Till We Meet Again Terrence 'Mac' McGuire Television miniseries
1989 Parent Trap III Jeffrey Wyatt Television film
1989 Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon Jeffrey Wyatt Television film
1990 Aladdin Genie of the Lamp / Genie of the Ring Television film[29]
1990 Challenger Comm. Francis R. Scobee Television film
1990 The Great Air Race Roscoe Turner Television miniseries
1992 The Golden Palace Nick DiCarlo Episode: "Just a Gigolo"
1993 The Last U-Boat Captain Hawkins Television film
1993 Between Love and Hate Justin Conrad Television film
1993 Praying Mantis Don McAndrews Television film
1994 Once in a Lifetime Dr. Matthew Dane Television film
1995 The Secretary Eric Bradford Television film
1995 The Return of Hunter Matt Sherry Television film
1995 Grace Under Fire Professor Jack Drayson Episode: "Mother & Son & Father Reunion"
1995 High Society Mark Finnegan Episode: "Finnigan's Rainbow"
1995 919 Fifth Avenue Mr. Lawrence Van Degen Television film
1996–2002 Spin City Mayor Randall Winston Main role, 144 episodes
1996 A Different Kind of Christmas Frank Mallory Television film
1997 Lexx Thodin Episod: "I Worship His Shadow"
1998 One Hot Summer Night Art Brooks Television film
1998 The New Batman Adventures Irv Kleinman Voice, episode: "Mean Seasons"[24]
2003 Scrubs Mr. Randolph Episode: "My Dirty Secret"
2004–2007 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Oliver Gates Recurring role, 5 episodes
2005 Las Vegas Martin Episode: "Down and Dirty"
2005 Cold Case Roy Brigham Anthony Episode: "Creatures of the Night"
2005–2006 What I Like About You Jack Tyler 2 episodes
2007–2012 Phineas and Ferb Grandpa Clyde Flynn Voice, 8 episodes[24]
2007 Ugly Betty Roger Adams 2 episodes
2007 Love is a Four Letter Word Mr. Harper Television film[30]
2008 Depth Charge President Taylor Television film
2008 Holiday Baggage Pete Murphy Television film
2009 Nip/Tuck Roger Payne Episode: "Don Hoberman"
2009 Supernatural The Amazing Jay Episode: "Criss Angel is a Douchebag"
2009 Ghost Whisperer Don Sullivan Episode: "Till Death Do Us Start"
2009–2010 'Til Death George Von Stuessen 2 episodes
2010–2014 Cougar Town Roger Frank Recurring role (seasons 1–3), 8 episodes
2010 Glee Tim Stanwick Episode: "The Rocky Horror Glee Show" (cameo)
2010 Secrets of the Mountain Henry Beecham Television film
2012 Hot in Cleveland Hugh Episode: "What's Behind the Door"
2012 The New Normal Marty Sawyer Episode: "Pardon Me"
2013 Blast Vegas Sal Television film
2013 Teen Beach Movie Big Poppa Television film
2013 Masters of Sex Morris Episode: "Brave New World"
2013 Scandal Fitzgerald "Jerry" Grant II 2 episodes
2013 The Haunting Of Himself Episode: "The Haunting of Barry Bostwick"
2013 Psych Roland Armitage Episode: "Psych: The Musical"
2014 Enlisted Russell Episode: "Vets"
2014 Franklin & Bash Jacob "Falcon" Riley Episode: "Falcon's Nest"
2014 New Girl Robert Episode: "LAXmas"
2015 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Collin Winthrop Episode: "The End Game"
2015 The Haunted Hathaways Council Member #1 Episode: "Haunted Family"
2015 Gigi Does It Episode: "Love Thyself"
2016 American Dad! VanDouzen Voice, episode: "The Life Aquatic with Steve Smith"
2016 Childrens Hospital Grandpa Richie Episode: "Grandparents Day"
2016–2017 Still the King Coy Phisher Recurring role, 9 episodes
2016–2018 Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce George McCarthy Recurring role, 6 episodes
2017 The Great Indoors Mather Episode: "The Explorers' Club"
2017–2018 Milo Murphy's Law Clyde Rickenbacker Voice, 2 episodes
2017 American Housewife Thomas Otto Episode: "Family Secrets"[31]
2017 Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Home Again Bill Haywith Television film
2017 Tangled: The Series Doctor St. Croix Voice, episode: "Great Expotations"[24]
2017 Christmas in Mississippi Mr. Kriss Television film (Lifetime)
2018 Will & Grace Professor Jerry Wise Episode: "Three Wise Men"
2018 Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar Bill Haywith Television film
2019 Christmas in Louisiana Timothy Winter Television film (Lifetime)
2019 The Goldbergs Professor Majors Episode: "A 100% True Ghost Story"
2021 Doogie Kameāloha, M.D. Will Episode: "Aloha - The Hello One"

Stage productions

Year Title Role Notes
1969 Cock-A-Doodle-Dandy Porter, The Cock Broadway debut
1969 Hamlet Ghost, Osric, Player
1970 House of Leather Donny Brook Closed after one night
1971 Soon Kelly
1972 Grease Danny Zuko Nominated – Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical
1976 They Knew What They Wanted Joe Nominated – Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play
1977 The Robber Bridegroom Jamie Lockhart Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical
1981 The Pirates of Penzance The Pirate King
1991 Nick & Nora Nick Charles opposite Joanna Gleason
2014 Camelot Merlin

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2018 Lego The Incredibles Mayor Voice role[24]
2022 Need for Speed Unbound Holden Parker III Voice role


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Research. Dr. Rust [32]
2015 Murder? Barry Bostwick [33]
2015–2016 Inside the Extras Studio Milt Hamilton 20 episodes
2018 The World According to Billy Potwin Grandpa Davis 1 episode
2020 The Rocky Horror Show: Musical Livestream Brad Majors [34]

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1972 Tony Awards Best Actor in a Musical Grease Nominated
1976 Tony Awards Best Featured Actor in a Play They Knew What They Wanted Nominated
1977 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Actor in a Musical The Robber Bridegroom Nominated
Tony Awards Best Actor in a Musical The Robber Bridegroom Won
1978 New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor Movie Movie Nominated
1979 National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Supporting Actor Movie Movie Nominated
1989 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film War and Remembrance Won
2013 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting Actor Some Guy Who Kills People Nominated


  1. ^ Zompolis, Gregory N. (2004). Images of America, San Mateo. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 60–65. ISBN 0738529567.
  2. ^ "Barry Bostwick Biography". Yahoo! Movies. 2008. Archived from the original on September 27, 2006. Retrieved June 7, 2008.
  3. ^ "Development Leader's Son Dies in Crash". San Mateo County Times. July 20, 1973. Retrieved May 24, 2020 – via
  4. ^ "NYU Graduate Acting Alumni". 2011. Archived from the original on July 5, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  5. ^ "TV Hot Line". Dayton Daily News. April 29, 1984.
  6. ^ "Barry Bostwick brightens 'Grease'". Daily Press. August 13, 1972.
  7. ^ "Barry Bostwick on Rocky Horror, Spin City, and playing rich assholes". The A.V. Club. June 6, 2015.
  8. ^ "The Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. December 12, 1970. "Lady Love" at #95 chart position.
  9. ^ What I Like About You at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  10. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Optimum Voice Commercial with Barry Bostwick". YouTube. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  11. ^ "'Private Practice' Scoop: Addison's Dad Is Sent from 'Heaven'". October 12, 2009. Archived from the original on December 13, 2009. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  12. ^ "Some Guy Who Kills People". IMDb.
  13. ^ Dos Santos, Kristin (September 10, 2010). "Exclusive: Rocky Horror Original Castmembers to Appear in Glee's Tribute Episode". E! News. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  14. ^ "The End Game". IMDb. February 15, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  15. ^ "Tales of Halloween Interview Spotlight: Barry Bostwick - Dread Central". February 4, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  16. ^ "Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves Sees a Teaser Trailer". March 24, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  17. ^ Molly Robber (Short 2020) - IMDb, retrieved August 12, 2021
  18. ^ "AFF 2020 Winners Announced". Austin Film Festival. November 2, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  19. ^ "Molly Robber | 2021 Tribeca Festival". Tribeca. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  20. ^ Lipton, Michael L. (March 10, 1997). "Serial Dad". People.
  21. ^ Moran, Reed W. (March 9, 2002). "Barry Bostwick advises on prostate cancer". USA Today.
  22. ^ "Bostwick Receives Cancer Institute Award". Plainview Daily Herald. March 2, 2003.
  23. ^ Canby, Vincent (March 11, 1975). "Screen: Sight-Gag Satire:'Wrong Damn Film,' at Screening Room". The New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h "Barry Bostwick (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved December 6, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  25. ^ "Production On 'Hannah Montana: The Movie' Is Underway". WJXT. May 23, 2008. Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  26. ^ Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (December 17, 2015). "From Universal Pictures Home Entertainment: The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave". PR Newswire. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  27. ^ "Film Review: 'Incredibles 2'". Variety. June 11, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  28. ^ Bubp, Ashley (October 6, 2021). "'Single All the Way': Michael Urie's Netflix Holiday Rom-Com Gets First Images". Collider. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  29. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Aladdin (1990) | Full Movie | Barry Bostwick | I.M. Hobson | Jane A. Johnston". YouTube.
  30. ^ "Love is a Four Letter Word". Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Archived from the original on January 18, 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  31. ^ "AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE: FAMILY SECRETS (11/15)". Disney ABC Television. October 30, 2017. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  32. ^ "Cast". Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  33. ^ "Barry Bostwick". Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  34. ^ Kiefer, Halle (October 26, 2020). "Tim Curry Joins Rocky Horror Picture Show Livestream to Benefit Wisconsin Democrats". Vulture. Retrieved January 10, 2024.

Further reading