Barry Prima

Barry Prima (b. 1955) is perhaps the most recognisable male face of Indonesia’s action and trash cinema of the 1980s and 1990s. If it is any indication of his status, he is absent from the official records of film industry personnel. Like many actors, Prima is Eurasian, or ‘Indo’ as eurasians are known locally, being the son of a Dutch father and Indonesian mother. He was born in 1955 as Humbertus “Bertus” Knoch in Bandung, East Java.

His break came in 1978 when he played one of the lost anthropology students in the film Primitives (Primitif), the Indonesian version of the ‘cannibal’ films that were controversial in the mid to late 1970s, most of which were shot in South America.

Prima’s good looks, muscular physique and martial arts skills gave him roles in the action films made during the 1980s and into the 1990s. Some of his better known roles include Herman, husband to Suzanna in Sundel Bolong (1981), and as the lead in Jaka Sembung (1981, The Warrior) as the local folk hero who takes on the Dutch colonizers.

Following the end of the New Order in 1998 and the subsequent revitalization of the Indonesian film industry, Prima returned to the big screen in a number of cameo roles including the films Enam (‘Six’), Janji Joni (2005, Joni’s Promise) and Realita, Cinta dan Rock’n Roll (2006, Reality, Love, and Rock’N Roll).

Biography on IMDB:


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