Barry Newman, the Emmy-nominated actor who starred in the 1971 cult action thriller “Vanishing Point” and as the eponymous lawyer in the NBC series “Petrocelli,” died on May 11. He was 92. No further details are currently available on his death.
In “Vanishing Point,” Newman played former race car driver Kowalski, a speedster that darts around in a Dodge Challenger after becoming entangled in a criminal conspiracy. The film is regarded as one of the defining American action films of the ’70s by genre enthusiasts.
Two decades and change later, Newman would play a heavy in Steven Soderbergh’s fractured crime yarn “The Limey,” which featured a second act car chase involving the actor getting back behind the wheel.
Newman was born in Boston on Nov. 7, 1938, where he would attend Boston Latin School and go on to attend Brandeis University. During his education, Newman met Lee Strasberg and became inspired to pursue acting.
Before starting his acting career, Newman was drafted into the army. During his service, Newman played both the clarinet and saxophone in the army band.
After serving, he would move to New York to study acting with Strasberg. He starred in several Broadway shows including Mel Tolkin’s “Maybe Tuesday” and Agatha Christie’s “The Mouse Trap.”
Newman then went on to take part in feature films, with his breakthrough starring role coming in 1970’s “The Lawyer.” A few years later, he was offered the leading role in the acclaimed television series “Petrocelli,” which was developed around his performance in the “The Lawyer.” Newman would earn Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his turn.
After starring in “Petrocelli,” Newman went on to work on other projects including “Fatal Vision,” “King Crab,” “Bowfinger” and “Daylight.”
In 2009, Newman was diagnosed with vocal chord cancer, a development that led him to limit his acting work. Newman appeared in the 2022 independent drama “Finding Hannah.”
Newman is survived by his wife, Angela.
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