David Joyner, the man behind the beloved purple dinosaur, was Black.

Crystal Tate
Jun, 08, 2017

We all remember Barney from our childhood (or from our own children), but like many other popular children’s characters, we wouldn’t recognize the face behind the costume.

On Wednesday, journalist Chris Snyder tweeted about his interview with David Joyner, the Black man behind the iconic purple Barney costume. Joyner played Barney for 10 years from 1991 to 2001.

In a video interview for Business Insider, Joyner said, “Being Barney was never an accident. I was supposed to do this character.” Prior to donning the costume, Joyner actually worked as a software analyst for Texas Instruments and even as a live mannequin. As a kid, Joyner revealed that he wanted to be on TV.

“I would stand in front of the television and basically lip sync.”

Twitter went wild when they learned that 53-year-old Joyner was the man behind Barney.

After Barney & Friends, Joyner made guest appearances on several shows including ShamelessThe Young and the Restless and That ‘70s Show, and now he’s working on Hip Hop Harry, a children’s live action show on YouTube