Mar 15, 2013

Barry Van Dyke

Speaking of show biz dynasties, Barry Van Dyke (shown here with Dick Van Patten on The Love Boat) is the son of comedy legend Dick Van Dyke and the nephew of sitcom standby Jerry Van Dyke.  His siblings, Carrie, Stacy, and Christian, are also performers (mostly in Dad's vehicles), and his kids, Shane, Carey, Wes, and Taryn have all made small-screen appearances (Philip Van Dyke is no relation).

The younger Van Dyke got his start at the age of nine, in guest spots on The Dick Van Dyke Show and The New Dick Van Dyke Show (naturally), but he soon struck out on his own, with a brief scene as a hunky volleyball player in Stalk the Wild Child (1976)   Soon he was playing square-jawed, muscular hunks, on The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, Tabitha, The A-Team, The Dukes of Hazzard, and so on (he was on the Love Boat four times).

He also had time for buddy-bonding roles, such as Lt. Dillon in Galactica 1980, who time-travels with buddy Captain Troy (Kent McCord of Adam 12). 

Or St. John Hawke on Airwolf (1987), MIA brother of Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent).

And he often had time to take off his shirt, revealing enormous biceps and a tight, smooth chest.

Barry is most famous for Diagnosis Murder (1993-2002). He played Steve Sloan, a Manhattan detective whose physician dad (Dick Van Dyke, naturally) keeps stumbling upon murders.  They investigate, along with a team of doctors, detectives, and pathologists, usually of the young hunk variety: Charlie Schlatter, Scott Baio, Shane Van Dyke, and so on.

This was a gay-free Manhattan, so there weren't any gay characters, except for an episode which parodied Scientology and had a closeted gay actor as a suspect.  But the beefcake and buddy-bonding were enough.

More recently Barry starred (with his father again) in a series of Murder 101 movies.

See also: Looking for Muscles on The Dick Van Dyke Show