Thursday, March 1, 2007

  THE STARS ARE ALIGNED: Fred Berry Jr. hopes to establish a career as a performer, with numerous talent and modeling awards from IMTA. DOMINIQUE RILEY, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER  
Dancing in his father's footsteps

Father was 'What's Happening,' son is what's happening now.


Fred Berry Jr., 17, plays to the camera. He has since he was 11 months old, says his mom Carol. But then acting runs in the family.Fred Berry Sr. was Rerun on "What's Happening Now,'" a popular TV series in the 1970s and 80s. He died in October 2003 after a stroke, but had appeared in "Scrubs," "Star Dates" and "Classmates" that same year.Berry Jr. has appeared in films produced by TBN, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, since he was a small child. Carol Berry and Ron Barnes, a director, producer and cameraman for TBN, are Berry's management team.Last month Berry won a scholarship and awards from the International Modeling and Talent Association in Los Angeles. IMTA recognized him as the second runner-up for Male Junior Actor of the Year as well as a top 10 spot in dancing."When I was little I was always the star of the show no matter what I was doing," Berry says today. "I'm not afraid of the camera."But it's comedy that makes Berry a charismatic guy. He moved to Laguna Niguel from Lancaster in 2002 and attendedNiguel Hills Middle School. He's a senior now at Dana Hills High School where he was crowned Homecoming King last fall."Moving here was like …. wow!" he says. "It's so different from Lancaster. The schools are better. I walked in and saw basketball courts, a track and a swimming pool, I was very surprised. This school has everything."Berry volunteers his time with special needs kids at Dana Hills High. "I'm an aide there," he says. "I look after 10 kids. I'm responsible for what they do. Right now I'm helping the kids with an air guitar show."Berry's already been interviewed by Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition and Eyewitness News, he said. His favorite actors are Jamie Fox, Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson.  Contact the writer:  levezich@ocregister.com  or 949-454-7323