William Barton Yarborough (October 2, 1900 – December 19, 1951) was an American actor who worked extensively inradio drama.
As a youth, Yarborough ran away from home, attracted by the vaudeville stages, and he first worked in radio during the 1920s. He married radio actress Barbara Jo Allen (later known professionally as Vera Vague); they divorced in 1931.
In 1932, Yarborough began a long run as Clifford Barbour on One Man's Family, continuing in the role throughout his life. Yarborough was probably best known for his roles as Doc Long in the West Coast cast of Carlton E. Morse's I Love a Mystery and Sergeant Ben Romero, Joe Friday's original partner, on Dragnet.
Yarborough's other radio work includes the role of Skip Turner in Adventures by Morse, also by Carlton E. Morse.Yarborough appeared as Doc Long in three feature films for Columbia Pictures, based on the radio series I Love a Mystery:I Love a Mystery in 1945, The Devil's Mask and The Unknown.
He started work on the Dragnet television series in 1951. However, the day after he filmed the second episode, he suffered a heart attack and died four days later at age 51. On Dragnet, the character of Ben Romero was replaced by Sergeant Ed Jacobs (Barney Phillips), and on One Man's Family the character of Cliff Barbour, heard for 19 years, was dropped from the storyline.