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David Joyner might not be a household name, but he’s responsible for bringing to light one of the most beloved children’s characters of the 90’s. For a decade, Joyner played the role of Barney the Dinosaur on the hit series, Barney & Friends, and revealed how the role changed his life for the better.

In a five-minute chat with Business Insider, Joyner, 53, talked about how he came to play the beloved purple kids icon. Joyner, who has a degree in electronic engineering technology, he caught the acting bug working as a mannequin inside a shopping mall. So gifted at the act of playing the mannequin and the mechanical movements it entailed, Joyner said parents left their children on the floor as they shopped. This lead to Joyner auditioning for the role of Barney, landing the role after he had a bit of a premonition.

Joyner expressed loads of joy in playing the friendliest Tyrannosaurus Rex that’s ever lived and said that the costume weighed a good 70 pounds and got as hot as 120 degrees inside. Adding to the challenge of the suit, Joyner said he couldn’t see much in front of him and practiced walking blind in his apartment for the role. Further, he didn’t provide the voice so he had to wear a device they called the “DinoSync” to match the voice actor’s voice with Joyner’s actions.

After leaving the show in 2001, Joyner landed bit roles in 24, Shameless, That 70’s Show, ER, and other shows. Today, Joyner stars on the show, Hip Hop Harry, a breakdancing, Hip-Hop loving bear that educates kids through song and dance.

And not for nothing, the Barney gig paid well as Joyner said he was able to pay off his home off residual checks alone. That’s a win.

Check out the heartwarming video of David Joyner, AKA Barney, in the clip below.

Photo: Daddy Papi/CC by 2.0

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