'What's Happening!' actor
This obituary was updated on October 26, 2003.
Fred Berry, who played red-beret-wearing Rerun on the 1970s sitcom “What’s Happening!” died Tuesday Oct. 21 of natural causes. Friends say he recently had suffered a stroke. He was 52.
He had a cameo appearance in David Spade’s most recent picture, “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star” and appeared on “Star Dates” and MTV’s “Doggy Fizzle Televizzle” with Snoop Dogg. He played himself on an episode of NBC’s “Scrubs” in April, wearing Rerun’s signature beret and suspenders.
Until recently, Berry was working for Hollywoodiscalling.com, a service that pays actors to call fans.
“What’s Happening!,” which ran from 1976-1979, focused on three teenage friends — Rerun, Raj and Dwayne — who learn about life, women and trouble while growing up in Los Angeles.
The name Rerun, according to Berry, referred to the character’s brainlessness: In the summer, he had to rerun all the classes he failed during the school year.
He reprised the Rerun role in the 1985 updated “What’s Happening Now!” series.
Before joining the sitcom at age 25, Berry was a member of pioneering breakdance troupe the Lockers.
He eventually lost 100 pounds from his Rerun weight, but struggled with drugs and alcohol for many years. He became sober and was working as a Baptist minister in Madison, Ala., by the mid-1980s.
Berry married a dancer while in his 20s, and the two divorced, remarried and divorced again. Berry also married and divorced his second wife twice, most recently in 1991. He also married and divorced two other women.