In Season 1, Episode 12, titled “Happy Birthday, Barney!,” the children plan a special party for Barney, the supposedly 200-million-year-old purple dinosaur, after finding out that it’s his birthday.
During the celebration, the characters “Min,” played by Hamilton, and “Tina,” played by Jessica Zucha, explain how birthdays are celebrated in their respective home countries: the Philippines and Mexico.
Hamilton, who was born in the U.S. and is of Filipino descent, started dancing at the age of 3 before performing in her first professional industrial show at 6. She began acting at the age of 8 and soon landed her role on “Barney & Friends,” where she starred for the first three seasons.
In an interview with NextShark, Hamilton, now 40, shared joy for the viral clip and recalled her experience on the children’s television series.
“I didn’t know that it was going viral! But it brings me so much joy to know that others found happiness in the Filipino representation I was able to bring to the show,” Hamilton said.
I just remember feeling very proud that I was able to sing something from my heritage on the show. I also remember that the music director consulted with my mom to ensure its authenticity. I was so fortunate that “Barney’s” cast was diverse, and more specifically that the “Barney” team wrote my Filipino heritage into my storyline for the show. It definitely made me feel “seen.”
Hamilton, who believes “Barney” was “before its time” in terms of representation, is hopeful that more Asian Americans find roles across TV and film.
Following her time on “Barney & Friends,” Hamilton went on to perform in the Broadway production of “The Lion King.”
She recently completed an eight-year run in “The Lion King” but has momentarily rejoined the production to help fill in for a few months.
In 2022, Hamilton also appeared in the documentary “I Love You, You Hate Me” to recount her time on “Barney & Friends.”
Today, Hamilton owns the “Intrigue Dance & Performing Arts Center,” in Chicago, and she lives in New York with her husband and two dogs. Hamilton told NextShark that she is hoping to start acting for TV or film again sometime soon.
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