Johnny Barend

Deceased Person

John R. Barend (March 27, 1929 – September 20, 2011), better known as "Handsome" Johnny Barend, was an American professional wrestler. Born in 1929 in Rochester, New York, Barend started wrestling as an amateur at the age of eight. After graduating from Jefferson High School in Rochester in 1944, he served in the United States Navy during World War II and wrestled while in the service. He was trained to wrestle professionally by Ed Don George and made his professional debut on November 1, 1948. Soon after, he started teaming with Gene Dubuque, who was wrestling under the name, Magnificent Maurice. Barend usually played the part of the "heel" or bad guy. He would enter the ring wearing his customary hat and sunglasses an unlit cigar gracing his lips and would goad fans with his soliloquies. Barend's original manager was Ernie Roth, then using the name Mr. Kleen. Roth would later gain fame in the WWWF as the Grand Wizard of Wrestling. Barend and Maurice went on to win many tag-team championships. Barend first appeared in Hawaii in September of 1955. In 1962-1963, Barend was a regular tag team partner with NWA/WWWF world champion Buddy Rogers, and they held the U.S. tag team  ( Wikipedia article )


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