Notable for his recurring role as Edward Bishop on the British soap opera EastEnders, he is perhaps even more well known for his work as a stage actor. His numerous professional theatrical credits include a York Theatre Royal production of Henry IV, Part 2; Bristol Old Vic stagings of Richard II and Oedipus Rex; and a one-man show titled Macready.
Before launching his stage acting career in the late 1950s, he studied at the University of Hull.
In one of his first television appearances, he played the recurring role of William Cook on the series Emergency-Ward 10.
The son of Annie and Arthur Smith and the husband of Maryann Lloyd, Barrie spent his youth in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England.
He portrayed 20th-century English playwright Noel Coward in the 2008 London production of Lunch with Marlene.