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Blessed with a magnetic voice, the talented Barrett developed an early interest in performing when he use to frequent his aunt's local movie house. Born in Quinter, Kansas in 1957, he won the lead in his high school's production of "Calamity Jane" and was sold after that. He studied at Carnegie-Mellon and then eventually made his move to the New York scene.
He made his Broadway bow in 1980 when he was selected by Jerome Robbins to play Tony in the revival of "West Side Story." He ventured on in both hits ("March of the Falsettos") and misses ("Dance a Little Closer") until 1983 when he earned the role of the handsome but dangerously off-centered Tony Barclay in daytime's New York-based soap "All My Children" (1970). As the third party in a romantic triangle, his character managed to drive a wedge between one of daytime's best loved couples at the time -- Jenny (Kim Delaney) and Greg (Laurence Lau). Brent himself received much flak from soap viewers after his character accidentally killed their favorite sweetheart while he was trying to kill off the boyfriend. Other lesser soap roles followed and he turned in a small but eye-catching cameo in the popular gay art-house film classic Longtime Companion (1990) as a soap actor who performs a hot and heavy kissing scene on the tube.
Brent's focus throughout his career, however, has been singing and a live theater audience. A sturdy performer who admittedly is a step behind when it comes to dancing, he has maintained his longstanding leading man status on sheer vocal power alone. He has a penchant for playing colorfully artificial characters and plays them with a grand theatricality reminiscent of the former matinée idols Howard Keel and Alfred Drake. Aided by his rich tenor and classic vibrato, his slick con men, shallow lovers, vainglorious thespians and eager jet-setters have boosted such 90s musicals as "Grand Hotel," "Chicago" and "Kiss Me Kate." He also continues to present himself in concert form and with CD efforts.