Born 15th May 1935 - died 3rd July 1996 (61 years) Born John Barrie Crump in Papatoetoe, South Auckland in his grandparents house, delivered by Dr Lange, whose son later became Prime Minister of New Zealand. It was a tough and hard upbringing.
He wrote his first novel ‘A Good Keen Man’ in 1959, based on his experiences as a government deer hunter. It was a fictional account of a young hunter who had to suffer through a series of hunting partners, mostly unsuitable to the job. This novel, his first, became one of the most popular in New Zealand history. He enabled New Zealanders to feel comfortable reading about themselves.
He travelled through Australia, where he hunted crocodiles. Europe, Turkey & India where he found the Baha'i faith which stayed with him for the rest of his life. He did comic skits on television for the current affairs programme ‘Town & Around’. He appeared in the 1964 movie the ‘Runaway’. Barry hosted a popular radio show on Radio Pacific called the Bush Telegraph for close on two years.
As well as a best selling author, the actor, TV personality, poet, radio host, man of leisure, traveller, gold miner, photographer and more, he was then catapulted into the living rooms of all New Zealanders with a highly successful twelve year relationship with Toyota in a series of advertisements. With his laconic blokey style and side kick, Scotty, they took Toyota four wheel drives where they just shouldn’t go. Crumpy and Scotty went on to sing side by side which was used for the theme song for Team NZ in the America’s cup.
Barry went on to write twenty four books in his lifetime, was married five times and had six children, all sons. In the 1990’s, Barry was awarded an MBE and OBE for services to literature, something he was quietly proud of and reckoned they’d be hardcase pinned to his swanndri.
Based on his book, Wild Pork and Watercress, the film ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ was directed by Taika Waititi in 2016. The film has had growing success all over the world, and proves the continual prosperity of his work. He was listed in the who’s who as having no fixed abode, he regarded himself as a world citizen. He insisted that he always will be, a kiwi bushman.