Remembering Barry Newman: A tribute to the beloved actor of Petrocelli

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Barry Newman, the Iconic Detective Petrocelli, passes away at 84 years old.

Barry Newman, the well-remembered American actor who played the lawyer Petrocelli in the series of the same name and the intense Kowalski in the cult film Race Against Fate, died at 84 years.

Newman played Anthony J. Petrocelli in the mid-1970s series. Born on November 7, 1938, in Boston, Newman’s father ran a nightclub that served as a source of inspiration for his musical studies. He played the sax and clarinet, which he later became a member of his country’s army orchestra. Furthermore, Newman trained under actor teacher Lee Strasberg before becoming the charismatic lawyer Anthony J. Petrocelli, and built his career in the theater, where he made his debut in 1957.

In the early ’60s, Newman worked on Broadway and gained enough experience to appear on TV, where many fictions on the small screen were recorded in New York and made up their casts with well-known actors in the theater. Although his first experience on television was not very successful, Newman was able to combine his successful theater work with appearances in series such as Los defensores, La ciudad desnuda, and El super agente 86.

Before Petrocelli, Newman starred in Race Against Fate, the 1971 film directed by Richard C. Sarafian. From a script written by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, the film is now considered one of the most outstanding films in the growing road action subgenre and a favorite of Steven Spielberg.

Newman recounted that when he was given the role of Kowalski in Race Against Fate, he was happy because he had just played a Harvard-trained lawyer in the movie. The Kowalski role was an anti-hero; he was a rebel who Newman enjoyed playing a lot.

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Despite being a box office flop in the United States, Race Against Fate became a cult film in North America and Europe. Newman moved on to work on several other films in recent decades.

Newman’s wife, Angela, broke the news of the actor’s death to the media this weekend, although he died on May 11 at a New York state hospital. Newman had been diagnosed with vocal cord cancer in 2009, but his last on-screen appearance was in the 2022 independent film Finding Hannah.

Barry Newman will be remembered as the iconic attorney and detective Petrocelli, and for his outstanding contribution to cinema and theater.

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