Fred 'Rerun' Berry's Life before His Tragic Death at 52

Frederick Berry, the chubby actor who played Rerun in 70's comedy series "What's Happening!!" revealed details of his eventful life before passing away about 17 years ago at the age of 52.

Berry always donned his red beret and colorful suspenders, whether on or off the shoot of the popular sitcom that ran from 1976-1979.

Fred Berry playing himself on "My Drama Queen" Episode 22 | Photo: Getty Images

Fred Berry playing himself on "My Drama Queen" Episode 22 | Photo: Getty Images

The actor is fondly remembered as the jolly simpleton among the three main casts ( Dwayne, Raj, and Rerun) of "What's Happening!!," which follows the hilarious adventures of the three friends on the streets of Los Angeles. 

The show saw a reprisal called "What's Happening Now!" in 1985 where Fred Berry played his role of Rerun, but not for long. 

He left after the first year of the updated show which still ran up until 1988 when it ended. 

Fred Berry, Ernest Lee Thomas, Haywood Nelson, and Shirley Hemphill in "What's Happening" in 1977 | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Fred Berry, Ernest Lee Thomas, Haywood Nelson, and Shirley Hemphill in "What's Happening" in 1977 | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Although the actor played the role of a brain-dead, pop-locking, and naively optimistic fellow, his life off-screen was not so innocently dumb. 

Shortly after, he took the role of a minister in a small church in his hometown, Huntsville, Ala, from where he and his family had originally moved to Los Angeles.

During an interview before his untimely demise in 2003, Fred "Rerun" Berry spoke openly about his decade long addiction to marijuana and cocaine.

Haywood Nelson, Fred 'Rerun' Berry and Ernest Thomas from the TV show 'What's Happening Now!!' pose for a portrait circa 1985 | Photo: Getty Images

Haywood Nelson, Fred 'Rerun' Berry and Ernest Thomas from the TV show 'What's Happening Now!!' pose for a portrait circa 1985 | Photo: Getty Images

Berry admitted to experimenting with drugs from his teenage years and how it became easy to dive deeper into a destructive lifestyle as he had the means to sponsor it. In an interview, the star said, 

"I was a millionaire by the time I was 29, but then the stress of success got to me. The fat jokes got to me. And I got heavily into drugs and alcohol."

Late actor, Fred Berry, 1980 | Photo: Getty Images

Late actor, Fred Berry, 1980 | Photo: Getty Images

By the time the show ended, Berry had blown about a million dollars on drugs, cars, and houses. Rerun also got himself an airplane. 

In another interview, he talked about his suicidal attempts and how God saved him from himself. Fred Berry later "rededicated his life to the Lord in 1984" and he got delivered from the drugs and alcohol.

Fred Berry on "What's Happening!! - "The Last Page" ("Happy Days" Parody) on March 31, 1979

Fred Berry on "What's Happening!! - "The Last Page" ("Happy Days" Parody) on March 31, 1979

Shortly after, he took the role of a minister in a small church in his hometown, Huntsville, Ala, from where he and his family had originally moved to Los Angeles.

Fred Berry got married five times to four different women, the first of which he got knotted with on two occasions.

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