Barney Wiki

David Eugene Joyner (born on July 4th, 1963 in Decatur, Illinois) is an American actor.  Joyner is best known to have portrayed as the costume of Barney, first starting in 1991 in Barney & The Backyard Gang. He then continued on in 1992 and performed as the original body performer of Barney on, Barney & Friends, until 2001. After his time on the series he would later continue to do occasional appearances as Barney until 2005.[1] He'd later go on to portray as the titular character Hip Hop Harry during the television series and after the show ended.

Early Life

Joyner was born to the proud parents, Roscoe and Mary Joyner. He is the 5th out 6 children. His nickname growing up was "Preacher". He graduated in 1981, with Honors, from MacArthur High School in Decatur at the age of 17.



In 1982 he became known as "The Mannequin Man". David was hired to stand in store windows in malls as a mechanically moving mannequin. Hundreds of people would stand outside the window and watch with amazement. In 1984 he was hired by (TI) Texas Instruments and moved to Dallas, Texas, where he worked for six years as a Software Analyst.

On September 28, 1990 he resigned to pursue his entertainment career on a full-time basis. While working for TI, he performed during evenings and weekends at various clubs, malls, Churches, Civic Organization, and on local TV Talk Shows. He was known as "Mr. Entertainment-David E. Joyner-The Mannequin Man". He became a Professional Motivational Speaker in 1988, and is in great demand all over the country.

In 1990 he became an Acting Coach at "The Dallas TV & Film Workshop, now known as "The Dallas Young Actors Studio & Performance Center, under the direction of Linda Seto.

Barney the Dinosaur

While working at Texas Instruments, David began teaching in an acting school for children in Dallas. Shirley Abrams, a local casting director, had asked David to be in "World's Most Wanted," playing a drug dealer. The criminal the character was based on was caught and, despite being picked for the role, the episode was never filmed.

On September 21, 1990, a fax comes in from Shirley Abrams asking for a performer to play Barney. David Voss, Barney's original costume actor, had left to join the military and the company was looking to film two more Barney & the Backyard Gang videos. Joyner was unsure about being in a costume, having no prior experience in the field. In a phone call, Shirley said he was perfect, as he worked well with kids and was energetic. In an interview, he says that she sent him the first six videos of the Barney series and he would fall asleep no matter how hard he tried.

Barney1 Big.jpg

The night before the audition, Joyner had a dream that Barney passed out and that he (Joyner) gave the purple dino mouth-to-mouth CPR. While driving to the audition, he noticed a bilboard that said "Breathe Life Into Your Vacation," which made him think about breathing life into Barney and he decided to be as energetic and animated as possible.[2]

After five auditions, he was passed over for a woman. She ended up not being able to handle the kids, so Abrams called Joyner and asked if he would still be interested in playing Barney. Joyner, excited inside, calmly accepted the role.

In April 2001 he left the television show, which is taped in Dallas, Texas, and moved to Los Angeles to continue pursuing his acting career outside the costume. After moving to LA, the Barney Special Events Dept came calling offering him the opportunity to continue traveling around the US making Barney appearances, and training new Barney's in other countries. All the while, allowing him to continue an acting career in LA as himself.

Hip Hop Harry

In 2002 while guest-starring on the TV series, That's So Raven, word got around the set that he was Barney. Later that day he was approached by a young lady asking him to meet with a producer named Claude Brooks, who was developing a new children's character named Hip Hop Harry, a rapping teddy bear. Thinking he was only meeting him to give him some great advice as to how to get Hip Hip Harry going, he was then offered the role as Hip Hop Harry to shot 2 pilots for a direct to DVD series.[3] The two pilots were shot in August 2002, with the show lasting from 2006-2008. Joyner still continues to performer as Harry's in-suit performer after a resurgence in popularity within the 2020 decade.

Personal Life

Joyner has been a tantra message specialist since 2005, after his divorce in 2004.[4] Joyner currently resides in Los Angeles, California.


As Barney the Dinosaur

  1. First inauguration of Bill Clinton (January 20, 1993)
  2. The Today Show (February 1993)
  3. Barney & Friends Family Marathon (March 1993)
  4. 20th Daytime Emmy Awards (May 26, 1993)
  5. National Press Club on C-SPAN (November 17, 1993)
  6. Entertainment Tonight (1994)
  7. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (1994, 2001)
  8. Kids for Character (1996)
  9. The Oprah Winfrey Show (November 19, 1998)
  10. We Are Family (Music Video) (2002)
  11. Live! with Regis and Kelly (2003)
  12. Imagination Library press availability at Dollywood (2004)



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Barney & The Backyard Gang Barney (in-suit performer)
1992–2001 Barney & Friends 121 episodes
2001 General Hospital Garland 2 episodes
2002 The Wayne Brady Show Barney (in-suit performer) 1 episode
2002–2003 Today 2 episodes
2003 What Should You Do? Steven Johnson Episode: "New York Bar Hostage Situation"
2004 That's So Raven The Teddy Bear Episode: "Four's a Crowd"
Crossing Jordan CSU Tech Uncredited
Episode: "Is That Plutonium in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?"
2004–2006 ER Dialysis Tech 3 episodes


Cardiac Surgeon #2 Episode: "Control"
That '70s Show Jazz Musician Episode: "Long Away"
The Inside Good Samaritan Episode: "Aidan"
2006 24 Agent Jones Episode: "Day 5: 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m."
2006–2008 Hip Hop Harry Hip Hop Harry (In-suit performer), Chef Rob 26 episodes
Also producer
2007 Identity Himself 1 episode
American's Next Producer Shelby Episode: "Late Night with Carson Daly"
2008 The Young and the Restless Keith Joyner 6 episodes
2009 The Closer Uni #1 Episode: "Strike Three"
2010 Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster Sinister Clown Television film
2012 My Choice God Episode: "Pilot"
2013 Southland Detective Flynn Episode: "Off Duty"
Wendell and Vinnie Ernesto Episode: "Fathers of Fathers & Sons"
Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 Business Man #2 Episode: "Monday June..."
Switched at Birth Gavin Episode: "Mother and Child Divided"
2014 Hart of Dixie Supervisor Greene Episode: "Back in the Saddle Again"

According to Him + Her

Reenactment 13 episodes
2015 Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn Police Officer Episode: "Family Matters"
Cry Wolfe Carl Episode: "Hot for Teacher"
Murder in the First Reporter #2 Episode: "Oh, Mexico"
2016 Shameless Tod Episode: "The F Word"
Hip Hop Harry: Mini Episodes Hip Hop Harry (in-suit performer)
Angel from Hell Security Clerk Episode: "Funsgiving"
Veep Congress Clerk Episode: "Kissing Your Sister
2018 Just Add Magic Victor Episode: "Just Add Fluffy"
Animal Kingdom Nelson 'Pilot' Episode: "Incoming"
2019 S.W.A.T. Leon Episode: "Track"
Unknown Encounter Joshua Television film