Fred "Rerun" Berry Passes At Age 52

Fred "Rerun"

Berry, star of the hit 70's situation comedy "What's Happening!" has

passed away at age 52, apparently by natural causes.

Friends said that

Berry had been in ill health and the legendary actor/dancer had recently suffered

a stroke.

"What's Happening!"

ran from 1976-1979 and was based on Eric Monte's 1975 smash movie, "Coolie

High." "Coolie High" was based on Monte's life in Chicago.

Monte went on to

help create "The Jeffersons" and "Good Times," before creating

"What's Happening!" which took place in South Central, Los Angeles.

Berry's character,

whose real name on the show was Freddie Stubbs, was a fun loving teenager who

ate well at "Rob's Place" and was kept back so many times in high

school, he was nicknamed "Rerun."

Berry was a real

life member of The Campbelllock Dancers, named after Don Campbell, who is recognized

as the creator of the dance Rerun helped popularize, Locking.

The style of dance

was incorporated into 80's dance and locking and "pop locking" became

immensely popular.

In the 1980's,

Berry admitted to blowing millions and battled a severe alcohol and drug problem

and had been sober ever since.

"The stress

of success got to me. The fat jokes got to me. And I got heavily into drugs

and alcohol. I was empty inside," Berry told people in 1996.

When he was diagnosed

with diabetes in 1990, Berry lost 108 pounds and shaved a full 18 inches off

his waist in order to save his life.

Berry was also

a minister in Virginia Beach, Virginia. "I'm not the ordinary orthodox

pat-you-on-the-head type," Berry told CNN in 2002. "I'm the type of

minister that will get in your face. I'm real because it's a real world out


In addition to

"What's Happening!," Berry also starred in "What's Happening

Now!," hosted "Fred 'Rerun' Berry's Comedy Jam and appeared in Snoop

Dogg's "Doggy Dogg World" video and numerous game shows.