Thursday, May 8, 2014

Remembering Lex Barker

Lex Barker was born Alexander Crichlow Barker Jr. on May 8, 1919 in Rye New York. Lex was generally known as a an extremely gentle, noble and open hearted man to the people close to him. Apart from his stunning good looks, he was also highly intelligent (he spoke French, Spanish, Italian and a little German). People admired him, looked up to him and even worshipped him. A man who had it all, you might think. Well, not exactly. Lex Barkers life was a constant rollercoaster ride. Success followed by failure followed by success followed by failure.... But no matter how deep the valley of sorrow, somehow his determination, his will to succeed always got him out of the abyss. But the strength it took to build bridges across those gaps in the end took their toll on him.
A member of an extremely prominent family in New York society, Barker was effectively disowned by his family upon his decision to become an actor. But he ventured on. He became the tenth Tarzan and somewhat of a star. But it wasn't enough for Lex. He wanted more. He became a superstar in Germany playing "Old Shatterhand" and "Kara Ben Nemsi" and other adventurers in Westerns. Lex loved playing these roles. In fact he did most of the fencing, fighting and riding himself and had a blast. But after the fashion of making these films passed, so did the job offers and the popularity.
Barker starred in fifteen Euro-westerns starting with his portrayal of Old Shatterhand in 1962’s “The Treasure of Silver Lake”. He would play the Old Shatterhand character six more times during his career in the German Karl May films. Lex also appeared in such Euro-westerns as “Treasure of the Aztecs” and “Pyramid of the Sun Gods” (both 1964), “A Place Called Glory” (1965) and “Who Killed Johnny R.?” 1966.
Lex loved people. He once said, that "being alone was like being dead". Call it a sick twist of fate that Barker died, alone on a crowded street in New York City the "Big Apple" on May 11, 1973 without any of the people who loved him or he loved.
Today we remember one of the stars of the Euro-western genre Lex Barker on what would have been his 95th birthday.

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