As one of England's finest entertainment figures of the 20th Century, Ronnie Barker was most recognized for his contributions to the medium of television. The English actor was best known for his roles in several memorable British television series such as "Porridge" (BBC1, 1974-77), "The Two Ronnies" (BBC1, 1971-77), and "Open All Hours" (BBC2, 1973-1985). The middle child sandwiched between two sisters, he was born Ronald William George Barker on September 25, 1929, the son of Leonard and Edith Barker. As a young boy, he developed a fascination with theater and humor. He took up amateer dramatics, despite his father's objections. Barker attempted to join the Young Vic theater in London, but he instead found his acting footing at the Manchester Repertory Company. Barker's entry to the entertainment industry was slow at first, but he eventually made his debut as a professional actor in 1948 in a performance of J.M. Barrie's "Quality Street." His first lead role was in "The Guinea Pig" as a working class boy at a public school. Barker soon realized that he preferred comedy over drama. In 1951, he joined the Oxford Playhouse where he appeared in such plays as "He Who Gets Slapped." By 1955, Barker had quite a prolific theater career with over 350 plays and he was soon ready to take on other media.