Barry Newman, ‘Vanishing Level’ speedster and ‘Petrocelli’ star, dies at 92


Barry Newman was a rogue speedster with a knack of drifting via winding hills and working cops off the highway within the 1971 movie “Vanishing Level.” Off-screen, Newman was nothing like his thrill-seeking ex-police officer Kowalski.

“It amuses me now to assume that he was well-known for these insane driving motion pictures,” his niece Judith Newman mentioned on Fb. “In actual life he was a really cautious driver.”

Barry Newman, who additionally starred because the titular lawyer within the TV sequence “Petrocelli,” died Could 11, his niece introduced Sunday. He was 92. In accordance with a number of experiences, the actor died of pure causes at a New York Metropolis hospital.

“He actually lived just like the modest good Jewish boy from Boston that he was. RIP Uncle Barry,” Newman concluded her Fb tribute.

Born on Nov. 7, 1930, Newman graduated with an anthropology diploma in 1952 from Brandeis College, the place he met theater director and appearing instructor Lee Strasberg. After a stint within the U.S. Military as a member of the Third Military Band in Atlanta, Newman moved to New York, the place he studied with Strasberg and commenced his appearing profession.

Newman’s appearing debut was as a jazz musician within the Herman Wouk play “Nature’s Manner” in 1957. Subsequently, he appeared in a number of different Broadway exhibits together with Mel Tolkin‘s “Perhaps Tuesday,” the musical “What Makes Sammy Run” and a New York manufacturing of Agatha Christie‘s “The Mouse Entice.”

Within the ’60s, Newman broke into motion pictures and TV with minor roles in “Fairly Boy Floyd,” “Bare Metropolis” and cleaning soap opera “The Fringe of Evening,” in response to IMDb.

Newman led the 1970 movie “The Lawyer” as Tony Petrocelli, a younger legal professional defending a doctor accused of murdering his spouse. 4 years after the movie’s debut, Newman reprised the position for the NBC TV sequence “Petrocelli,” which ran till 1976. He acquired Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his “Petrocelli” efficiency.

Richard C. Sarafian‘s “Vanishing Level,” nonetheless, solidified Newman’s place as a number one man as his Kowalski drove a Dodge Challenger to max velocity to get from Denver to San Francisco in lower than a day. The motion movie didn’t initially make an enormous splash in the USA, however throughout the pond, “Folks lined up across the block to see it,” Newman advised Paul Rowlands in an interview printed in 2019.

“In England I used to be a hero, and in America I used to be only a man choosing up his luggage on the aircraft terminal! It opened once more in America after enjoying Europe and folks then began getting on to the movie,” he mentioned. “It turned a cult movie with out me even realizing it. To this present day, I’m at all times being requested to speak about it someplace.”

Cleavon Little and Dean Jagger additionally starred in “Vanishing Level.”

The ’70s have been fruitful for Newman. He additionally starred in movies “Concern Is the Key,” “Metropolis on Hearth” and “The Salzburg Connection” and tv motion pictures “Intercourse and the Married Lady” and “King Crab.”

Newman turned his focus to quite a lot of tv tasks the next decade, with roles in “Nightingales,” “The Fall Man” and “Quincy, M.E.” Within the ’90s, he appeared in a number of episode of “Homicide, She Wrote” and starred in movies “Daylight,” “Goodbye Lover” and Steven Soderbergh‘s “The Limey,” amongst others.

In 2009, Newman was identified with vocal wire most cancers, which restricted his skill to work. His more moderen film credit embody “Jack the Canine,” “40 Days and 40 Nights,” “Grilled” and “Increase Your Children on Seltzer.” In accordance with IMDb, Newman accomplished the indie movie “Discovering Hannah” earlier than his demise.

Trying again on his time as Kowalski in “Vanishing Level,” Newman advised Movie Unbiased in 2013 about getting again into the motive force’s seat.

“They’d the brand new Dodge Challenger a pair years in the past they usually known as me as a result of they wished me to drive it. … There was a giant article in one of many automobile magazines and I believed the automobile folks can be very beneficiant and provides me a type of Challengers,” he recalled. “Not in your life.”

He reportedly is survived by his spouse, Angela, niece, Judith, and a number of other nephews.


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