David Joyner played the iconic purple dinosaur from 1991 to 2001 & sweat the whole time.
Most kids grew up watching Barney the Dinosaur on TV, never knowing who brought the vibrant character to life. After living inside the giant purple costume for 10 years, fans of all ages are finally meeting David Joyner, who played Barney both on TV and in live performances. Joyner spoke about his time as the bubbly dinosaur in an interview with Business Insider.
The children’s show, which starred now-pop stars Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, first premiered in April 1992 with Joyner in the suit. Before becoming the children’s show icon, he worked for Texas Instruments as a software analyst, commenting that he was “a live mannequin” in malls and would “move mechanically.”
Of the purple suit, Joyner says, “Barney is about 70 pounds, and it can get over 120 degrees inside. It's a T-Rex, so you're basically just up to your elbows in being able to move." He adds that to cool down during breaks, he would "put a fan in the mouth and sit down on an Apple box."