An Interview with Barry Cutler, June
(Parrot Man, 1995-1996)
LEFT: Barry Cutler as he appeared on "Days" in 1995.
RIGHT: Cutler as he appears today.
Watch Barry in several scenes with Tanya Boyd (Celeste) and Renee Jones (Lexie)
Barry Cutler, who played Parrot Man, one
of the most unique characters ever on "Days", recently did an interview for this
website. Cutler's character was a man with a parrot on his shoulder who always
spoke in rhymes, in the mysterious town of Aremid, which also had the Lady in
White as one of its citizens. Cutler appeared on "Days" from August 1995-May
Mr. Cutler was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in the San Fernando Valley. Cutler's parents enrolled him in acting classes at the age of 7 and, from then on, he was always involved in all of the plays that his schools put on. Right after graduating from high school, Cutler appeared in his first paid gig, in a small role in the play "The Impossible Years" in Hollywood.
When asked what his favorite role of all-time is, Cutler states "Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. I've played him many times at various theaters around the country." In fact, it was during one of his tours as Ebenezer Scrooge that he was hired to portray Abraham Lincoln, a role that he's been playing at schools across the country for the past 18 years.
Before appearing on "Days", Cutler guest starred on many well-remembered series of the 1980s and 1990s. On "Knight Rider", he portrayed a security guard and shared his scene with the famous talking car, KITT. On "Cheers", he played a tourist in a scene with Ted Danson, whom Cutler had known previously from doing some workshops with him. In "Moonlighting", Cutler played a coroner and shared scenes with the series' two stars, Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepard. On "Roseanne", he played a rude customer at the food counter and shared scenes with Roseanne herself. He worked with Michael Richards (Kramer) when he played a cop on "Seinfeld" and he also played a patient who had sat on broken glass in "ER."
Cutler did not even have to audition for his "Days" role. He states that he "knew nothing about Parrot Man when I was cast. Having left Los Angeles, I was living in New York City at the time. Fran Bascom, the casting director for "Days" at that time, contacted my agent. Fran is one of the most wonderful casting directors in our business. She would go out of her way to see theater and, having seen me in any number of plays, she remembered me. She felt it would be very worthwhile for me to return to Los Angeles to do this role. While she couldn't guarantee that it would last beyond the two episodes for which it was originally slated, she thought it could very well continue to recur. So, I returned, and, as Fran usually is, she was right. [When I was cast], I didn't know Parrot Man spoke in rhyme or seemingly communicated with spirits and parrots. It was a funhouse path of discovery!"
His role on "Days" ended up being his longest-term role on television. He states: "I very much enjoyed working on Days. Most of the people, cast and crew, were very hard-working and supportive. A number of us involved in the storyline of the small town in which my character lived [Aremid] were very disappointed when the storyline was brought to an early conclusion. There had been talk of spinning off [the Aremid characters] into another soap opera. "Days" had jumped up in the ratings, in large part due to our storyline, and the network had thoughts of a spinoff. Unfortunately [that did not happen]." Cutler reflected that "It's a tough business and it's a blessing when we can get on-going job opportunities such as "Days" provided."
Cutler moved away from Los Angeles in 2003. Since then, his only television appearance was a small role on "Scrubs." In December 2008, he appeared as the ghost of Jacob Marley in the Kodak Theatre production of "A Christmas Carol" in Hollywood. Also appearing in the play were many long-time vets, including John Goodman (from "Roseanne"), Jane Leeves (from "Frasier") and Christopher Lloyd (from "Taxi" and the "Back to the Future" films). He continues to perform as Abe Lincoln in educational shows, helping teach students about the nation's 16th President and also appears in another educational show as a scientist in "The Magic of Science."