Abe Barker

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Abe Barker (b. Gorbals, Glasgow, 09/03/1891 - d. Springburn, Glasgow, 25/04/1961) was a Scottish actor.


Abraham (Abe/Abie) Barker was born to Joseph Barber, who was then a bookseller’s assistant, and his wife, Rose Heron. As a boy he acted in Arthur Hengler’s circus spectacular The Redskins. For some years he was a member of Graham Moffat’s theatrical company and while Moffat only toured South Africa in 1921, Barker was with him long before that. When the company first staged Bunty Pulls the Strings (1914), which would be one of its greatest hits, Barker was a member of the cast of one of the touring companies and appeared on the stage with Margaret Niven, who was Dirk Bogarde’s mother. Almost immediately afterwards the company left for an extensive tour of Australia and New Zealand, staging The Burglar and the Lady at the Palace Theatre in Sydney and thereafter visiting all the large cities with Bunty Pulls the Strings and A Scrape o’ the Pen. When the tour came to an end, three members of the company – Jean Clyde, her husband David Urquhart and Barker – formed the Bunty Trio, travelling throughout Australia for another 18 months and then setting sail for South Africa.

In July 1918 he appeared in Very Good Eddie at the Empire Theatre in Johannesburg and it was during this time that H. Lisle Lucoque cast him as Alphonse in the silent film version of Allan Quatermain (released in 1919) for African Film Productions. While Clyde and Urquhart moved on to the United States, Barker stayed on and in December 1921 he arrived back in England, subsequently returning to the stage in Scotland. Relatively late in life he started turning up in British films, notably as the engineer in Alexander Mackendrick’s The Maggie (1954), but for about a decade after the end of World War II he was still an active member of the Citizens’ Theatre Company in Glasgow, making appearances in a range of productions. (FO)


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