Ronald William George "Ronnie" Barker, OBE was an English actor, comedian and writer. He was known for roles in British comedy television series such as Porridge, The Two Ronnies and Open All Hours.
He began acting in repertory theatre and decided he was best suited to comic roles. He had his first success at the Oxford Playhouse and in roles in the West End including Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound. During this period, he was in the cast of BBC radio and television comedies such as The Navy Lark. He got his television break with the satirical sketch series The Frost Report in 1966, where he met future collaborator, Ronnie Corbett. He joined David Frost's production company and starred in ITV shows including a short film.
After rejoining the BBC, Barker found fame with the sketch show The Two Ronnies, with Ronnie Corbett. He starred in the sitcoms Porridge, its sequel Going Straight and Open All Hours. He wrote comedy under his own name and the pseudonym Gerald Wiley, which Barker adopted to avoid pre-judgements of his talent. He won a BAFTA for best light entertainment performance four times, among other awards, and received an OBE in 1978.