Joyner David.jpg

David Eugene Joyner (born on July 4th, 1963 in Decatur, Illinois) is an American actor.  Joyner portrayed as the costume of Barney, first starting in 1991 in Barney & the Backyard Gang. He then continued on  in 1992 and perfomed on the show until 2001. After his time on the series he would later continue to do occasional appearances as Barney until 2005.[1]

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.


Barney & Friends

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.

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.




Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.