Berry had been recovering from a stroke. He was 52 years old. Fred Allen Berry was a actor and street dancer best known for the role of Fred “Rerun” Stubbs on the popular 1970s television show ‘What’s Happening!!’
Before starring on What’s Happening!!, he was a member of the Los Angeles based dance troupe The Lockers, with which he appeared on the third episode of the first season of Saturday Night Live. He also appeared on the dance music program Soul Train, and was featured in the program’s signature line dance segment doing the memorable early ’70s dance step “the slo-mo.”
What’s Happening!! lasted from 1976 to 1979. He was a millionaire by age 29. After the show ended, Berry, who weighed over 300 pounds, had trouble finding work because he was typecast with the Rerun character.
Eventually however, he came to embrace his being typecast, and made his peace with it as the best means to maintain his celebrity. In public, he was often seen wearing the red beret and red suspenders that are part of the Rerun character, and even went so far as to have his middle name legally changed to “Rerun”.
During the 1980s, Berry battled drug addiction and alcoholism. He revived the character of Rerun in the series What’s Happening Now!!, but he was only on that show for a year. Berry asked for more money than the rest of the cast (believing he was the reason people tuned in).
Read more about Berry’s life at: Daily Black History Facts