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Barry White

Barry White (1944-2003) was an American record producer and singer responsible for the creation of numerous hit soul and disco songs. He conducted the Love Unlimited Orchestra, which consisted of live musicians, including string and percussion players. His musical voice was often used by couples wishing to create a romantic ambience. He was often affectionately referred to as the Walrus of Love.

Though he was born in Galveston, Texas, he grew up in the high-crime areas of South Central Los Angeles, California, where he joined a gang at the age of 10, and subsequently, at 17, was jailed for four months for theft of $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires.

His hits included I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby (1973), Never, Never Gonna Give You Up (1973), Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe (1974), You're the First, the Last, My Everything (1974), What Am I Gonna Do With You (1975), Let the Music Play (1976), Your Sweetness is My Weakness (1978), Change (1982), Sho' You Right (1987), and Practice What You Preach (1994), among others.

He had been ill with chronically high blood pressure for some time, which resulted in renal failure in the autumn of 2002. He suffered a stroke in May 2003, after which he was forced to retire from public life. He died in Cedars Sinai Hospital in the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles at the age of only 58. His death was reported as being from renal failure.

Late in his life, White wished to be remembered as a good person who happened to be able to sing.

White's autobiography, Barry White: Love Unlimited, was written with Marc Eliot and published by Broadway Books in 1999.

Barry White's music was frequently showcased on the late-1990s television show Ally McBeal; the show often used esoteric references to what was going on inside character's heads. In this case, John Cage (played by Peter MacNicol) would hear Barry White sing whenever he was sexually aroused. The use of his music on the show served to revitalize his career, and White eventually made a guest appearance in the show.

Barry White was also the model for the character of Chef in the cartoon series South Park.

He was affectionately parodied by the British comedian Lenny Henry's character Theophilus P. Wildebeest (pronounced wilder beast), a crooner who lurved the ladies but tended to suffer from embarrassing flat batteries. Another British parody was the character Fat Harry White whose innuendo-laden anecdotes used to be a regular feature of Mark Radcliffe's radio show on BBC Radio 1.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Barry White Facts

Birth NameBarry Eugene Carter
BirthdaySeptember 12, 1944
BirthplaceGalveston, Texas, USA
Date of deathJuly 4, 2003 (age 58)
Height6' 3½" (1m92)  How tall is Barry White compared to you?

Selected Filmography

The Barry White Story: Let the Music Play
Barry White: Larger Than Life
Brothers O'Toole
Snow White: Deadly Summer
The Crooked Man
The Dark Horse
Continue » Find more details on the Barry White Movies page