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Robert Matthew "Bob" West (born June 25, 1956 in Finleyville, Pennsylvania) is an American voice actor and graphic designer, who is best known as the original voice of Barney, first starting in 1988 in Barney & The Backyard Gang. Then he continued on in 1992 as the voice of Barney in Barney & Friends until 2000. A native of Pennsylvania and he grew up in Baytown, Texas, he is also known for voicing Pasqually and Jasper for Chuck E. Cheese, which he both voiced them in 1986 until 1998.



Barney & The Backyard Gang[]


West auditioned for the role of Barney in 1988 for Barney & The Backyard Gang. He didn't get the description of the character until a few minutes before the audition. West had to create the voice on the spot. West got called for the only callback for Barney & The Backyard Gang. The voice West auditioned with was how Barney sounded in Barney & Friends, however the crew had him bring it down for Barney & The Backyard Gang.[2]

Barney & Friends[]

After Barney & the Backyard Gang ended, the video series was spun into a television series titled Barney & Friends. For the show, the crew had West bring his voice up to how he sounded during his audition.[2] During West's run with the series, his Barney voice changed throughout the years. Due to West's voice getting higher as years went on Dennis DeShazer, one of the co-creators of Barney & Friends, would have to tell West to bring the pitch down every couple of years.[3] In 2000, West retired from voicing Barney due to being bored as a performer. In 2005, West reprised his role as Barney at the PBS Kids Sprout Launch event in 2005 as Dean Wendt, the voice of Barney during that time, was unavailable.


In 2019, West began appearing at pop culture conventions discussing his time on Barney and meeting fans. In 2022, West appeared in the documentary I Love You, You Hate Me recounting a bit of his time with Barney & Friends and its predecessor Barney & The Backyard Gang.

West has expressed interest in wanting to return as the voice Barney for the relaunch by Mattel Television and Nelvana.[4] However, West later confirmed on his April 16, 2023 livestream, that he will not be returning as the voice of Barney for the relaunch, but has expressed interest in doing something for the show.

Personal Life[]

Bob West and Barney in Liverpool

Bob West and Barney the Dinosaur in Liverpool.


During West's time with the Barney franchise, his email address got leaked into the directory of K-12 schools. West started getting emails from middle school students who were explicit and violent towards West. Some of those emails were death threats towards West due to him being the voice of Barney the Dinosaur.



Barney the Dinosaur[]

Audio books[]

  1. A Tent Too Full
  2. What Can It Be?
  3. Barney's Wonderful Winter Day
  4. Just Like You
  5. Barney & Baby Bop's Band
  6. The Turtle Who Lost His Shell
  7. Zoomba in Toyland
  8. Barney's Christmas Surprise
  9. Barney's Great Adventure
  10. Barney's ABC Animals!
  11. Barney's Count to 10

Sound books[]

  1. Barney Through the Seasons
  2. Barney, BJ, and Baby Bop sound books (1997)
  3. Backyard ABC
  4. You Can Count!
  5. Hide & Seek
  6. Barney's Great Adventure (Smart Pages book)
  7. Best Manners Show (Press the Page book)
  8. Farm Fun (Press the Page book)
  9. Barney's First Telephone Book
  10. Good Night Barney
  11. Let's Imagine (archival)

  1. I Love You Barney (1992, 1998)
  2. Barney's Talking Phone (1993)
  3. Talking Barney (1993-1998)
  4. Talking Barney figures (Child Dimension, 1993)
  5. ActiMates Barney (September 1997)
  6. Play Along Barney (1998)
  7. Singing ABC Barney (1998)
  8. Barney's Learning Laptop (1999)
  9. Sing 'N Strum Barney (1999)
  10. Twinkle 'n Dream Barney (1999)
  11. Magical Friend Barney (2001, archival recording)
  12. Silly Hats Barney (2001, archival recording)
  13. Hospital Pals Barney
  14. Barney's Musical Truck

  1. The Today Show (February 16, 1993)
  2. Barney & Friends Family Marathon (March 1993)
  3. 20th Daytime Emmy Awards (May 26, 1993)
  4. National Press Club on C-SPAN (November 17, 1993)
  5. Entertainment Tonight (1994)
  6. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (1994-1998)
  7. Kids for Character (1996)
  8. The Oprah Winfrey Show (November 19, 1998)
  9. PBS Kids Sprout Launch (2005)


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Bob West signings autographs.

  • In My Party with Barney, Bob West shared the role with Duncan Brannan. West would sing and Brannan supplied the speaking voice.
  • West's favorite Barney episode, Home Video and song are "Four Seasons Day", Barney Live! at Radio City and "Just Imagine" respectively.
  • The best thing West likes about Barney is that he's very inclusive and he just loves everybody.
  • West was the narrator on the radio show in the episode "Grandparents Are Grand!".
  • After West retired from voicing Barney on Barney & Friends and relocated to California, the crew inquired if West would be interested in flying back and forth to continue doing the role, however, West wanted to move on at the time.[5]
  • At one point, West and the producers of Barney & Friends discussed the potentiality of West directing some episodes of Barney & Friends, especially given that West had directing experience (though, single-camera). Dennis DeShazer, a co-creator of the series, was very supportive for West to be a director, however due to the show being filmed in multi-camera format, and the director called the camera shots/switching in real time, it would've been complicated for West to direct and voice Barney at the same time.


Barney & The Backyard Gang[]

  • West wasn't confident that Barney & The Backyard Gang would gain attention.[6]
  • During production of Barney & The Backyard Gang, West was considered to be both the body and voice of Barney, however he was too tall for the costume the crew already made.