Best photos ( Barbara Stanwyck )

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Birth information

16 July 1907 Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Death information

20 January 1990 Santa Monica, California, USA

Given Name

Ruby Catherine Stevens

Nickname

Missy
The Queen
Babs

How tall is Barbara Stanwyck?

1.65 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Robert Taylor
Frank Fay

Life Story of Barbara Stanwyck

Today Barbara Stanwyck is remembered primarily as the matriarch of the family known as the Barkleys on the TV western The Big Valley (1965), wherein she played Victoria, and from the hit drama The Colbys (1985). But she was known to millions of other fans for her movie career, which spanned the period from 1927 until 1964, after which she appeared on television until 1986. It was a career that lasted for 59 years.

Barbara Stanwyck was born Ruby Catherine Stevens on July 16, 1907, in Brooklyn, New York, to working class parents Catherine Ann (McPhee) and Byron E. Stevens. Her father, from Massachusetts, had English ancestry, and her Canadian mother, from Nova Scotia, was of Scottish and Irish descent. Stanwyck went to work at the local telephone company for fourteen dollars a week, but she had the urge (a dream--that was all it was) somehow to enter show business. When not working, she pounded the pavement in search of dancing jobs. The persistence paid off. Barbara was hired as a chorus girl for the princely sum of $40 a week, much better than the wages she was getting from the phone company. She was seventeen, and was going to make the most of the opportunity that...

Significant features of Barbara Stanwyck

Husky voice
Frequently was cast as a woman who must deal with their low class standing
Her shapely legs
Brooklyn accent

How much money has Barbara Stanwyck earned?

Forbidden (1932) $50,000
Ever in My Heart (1933) $50,000
The Mad Miss Manton (1938) $60,000
Titanic (1953) $75,000

Publications and Magazines about Barbara Stanwyck

Homer Dickens The Films of Barbara Stanwyck. 1987
Al Diorio Barbara Stanwyck: A Biography. 1984
Ella Smith Starring Miss Barbara Stanwyck. 1985
Jerry Vermilye Barbara Stanwyck (A Pyramid Illustrated History of the Movies). 1975
Jane Ellen Wayne Stanwyck. 1986
Axel Madsen Stanwyck. 1994
Dan Callahan Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman. 2012
Victoria Wilson A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940. 2013
Dan Callahan Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman. 2012

Biographical movies about Barbara Stanwyck

Complicated Women 2003
Barbara Stanwyck: Fire and Desire 1991
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Barbara Stanwyck 1987
Biography: "Barbara Stanwyck: Straight Down the Line" 1997

What movies did Barbara Stanwyck play or participate?

Actors Filmography
The Colbys (1986) Constance Colby, Dynasty (1985) Constance Colby, The Thorn Birds (1983) Mary Carson, Charlie's Angels (1980) Toni Blake, The Letters (1973) Geraldine Parkington, A Taste of Evil (1971) Miriam Jennings, The House That Would Not Die (1970) Ruth Bennett, The Big Valley (1969) Victoria Barkley / Nellie Handley, Calhoun: County Agent (1964) Abby Rayner, The Night Walker (1964) Irene Trent, Roustabout (1964) Maggie Morgan, Wagon Train (1964) Kate Crawley / Caroline Casteel / Maud Frazer, The Untouchables (1963) Lt. Agatha Stewart, The Dick Powell...

Birth information

16 July 1907 Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Death information

20 January 1990 Santa Monica, California, USA

Given Name

Ruby Catherine Stevens

Nickname

Missy
The Queen
Babs

How tall is Barbara Stanwyck?

1.65 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Robert Taylor
Frank Fay

Life Story of Barbara Stanwyck

Today Barbara Stanwyck is remembered primarily as the matriarch of the family known as the Barkleys on the TV western The Big Valley (1965), wherein she played Victoria, and from the hit drama The Colbys (1985). But she was known to millions of other fans for her movie career, which spanned the period from 1927 until 1964, after which she appeared on television until 1986. It was a career that lasted for 59 years.

Barbara Stanwyck was born Ruby Catherine Stevens on July 16, 1907, in Brooklyn, New York, to working class parents Catherine Ann (McPhee) and Byron E. Stevens. Her father, from Massachusetts, had English ancestry, and her Canadian mother, from Nova Scotia, was of Scottish and Irish descent. Stanwyck went to work at the local telephone company for fourteen dollars a week, but she had the urge (a dream--that was all it was) somehow to enter show business. When not working, she pounded the pavement in search of dancing jobs. The persistence paid off. Barbara was hired as a chorus girl for the princely sum of $40 a week, much better than the wages she was getting from the phone company. She was seventeen, and was going to make the most of the opportunity that...

Significant features of Barbara Stanwyck

Husky voice
Frequently was cast as a woman who must deal with their low class standing
Her shapely legs
Brooklyn accent

How much money has Barbara Stanwyck earned?

Forbidden (1932) $50,000
Ever in My Heart (1933) $50,000
The Mad Miss Manton (1938) $60,000
Titanic (1953) $75,000

Publications and Magazines about Barbara Stanwyck

Homer Dickens The Films of Barbara Stanwyck. 1987
Al Diorio Barbara Stanwyck: A Biography. 1984
Ella Smith Starring Miss Barbara Stanwyck. 1985
Jerry Vermilye Barbara Stanwyck (A Pyramid Illustrated History of the Movies). 1975
Jane Ellen Wayne Stanwyck. 1986
Axel Madsen Stanwyck. 1994
Dan Callahan Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman. 2012
Victoria Wilson A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940. 2013
Dan Callahan Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman. 2012

Biographical movies about Barbara Stanwyck

Complicated Women 2003
Barbara Stanwyck: Fire and Desire 1991
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Barbara Stanwyck 1987
Biography: "Barbara Stanwyck: Straight Down the Line" 1997

What movies did Barbara Stanwyck play or participate?

Actors Filmography
The Colbys (1986) Constance Colby, Dynasty (1985) Constance Colby, The Thorn Birds (1983) Mary Carson, Charlie's Angels (1980) Toni Blake, The Letters (1973) Geraldine Parkington, A Taste of Evil (1971) Miriam Jennings, The House That Would Not Die (1970) Ruth Bennett, The Big Valley (1969) Victoria Barkley / Nellie Handley, Calhoun: County Agent (1964) Abby Rayner, The Night Walker (1964) Irene Trent, Roustabout (1964) Maggie Morgan, Wagon Train (1964) Kate Crawley / Caroline Casteel / Maud Frazer, The Untouchables (1963) Lt. Agatha Stewart, The Dick Powell...

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Barbara Stanwyck, Ralph Graves, and Lowell Sherman in Ladies of Leisure (1930)

Her stage name was inspired by a theatrical poster that read "Jane Stanwyck in 'Barbara Frietchie.'".

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Ralph Bellamy and Barbara Stanwyck in Sehnsucht ohne Ende (1932)

Her nickname among co-workers was "Missy" or "The Queen."

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Barbara Stanwyck and Adolphe Menjou in Sehnsucht ohne Ende (1932)

In 1944, when she earned $400,000, the government listed her as the nation's highest-paid woman.

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Barbara Stanwyck in The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Often called "The Best Actress Who Never Won an Oscar."

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Barbara Stanwyck and Stanley Ridges in The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

According to biographical film Barbara Stanwyck: Fire and Desire (1991), Stanwyck became a model for women actors. Such stars as Sally Field and Virginia Madsen have publicly pointed to Stanwyck as their model.

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Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. [1987]

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Barbara Stanwyck and Sam Levene in The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Sister of actor Bert Stevens and sister-in-law of actress Caryl Lincoln. Godmother of Bobbie Poledouris.

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Barbara Stanwyck in The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1973.

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Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Worked briefly as a fashion model in the late 1920s.

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Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Was listed #11 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years of The Greatest Screen Legends."

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Barbara Stanwyck in The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Her wicked turn as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity (1944) was ranked #8 on the American Film Institute's "100 Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains" list. The performance also was ranked #98 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time list (2006) and #58 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time list.

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Barbara Stanwyck, Ralph Graves, and Lowell Sherman in Ladies of Leisure (1930)

She was voted the 40th "Greatest Movie Star of All Time" by Entertainment Weekly.

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Barbara Stanwyck and Anne Shirley in Stella Dallas (1937)

Picked up the starring role in Ball of Fire (1941) after Ginger Rogers dropped out.

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23 th
Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, and Anne Shirley in Stella Dallas (1937)

On October 27, 1981, Stanwyck was awakened by a burglar at 1:00 in the morning. She was hit on the head with an unknown object then forced into a closet while the intruder ransacked the house and got away with $5,000 worth of jewels. She was treated for minor head wounds at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and released the next day. Four years later, in 1985, the house was destroyed in a fire. She expressed upset at losing personal keepsakes, including love letters from Robert Taylor.

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22 th
Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea in Die Spielerin (1934)

Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 1751 Vine St.

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Barbara Stanwyck in The Secret Bride (1934)

Her papers are in the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, PO Box 3924, Laramie, WY 82071.

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Barbara Stanwyck and Warren William in The Secret Bride (1934)

Turned down the role of Angela Channing on Falcon Crest (1981).

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Barbara Stanwyck and Warren William in The Secret Bride (1934)

Was best friends for many years with Frank Sinatra's first wife, Nancy.

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Barbara Stanwyck, Vince Barnett, and Warren William in The Secret Bride (1934)

A Star Is Born (1937) starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March is said to be modeled after Stanwyck's rise to stardom and first husband Frank Fay's descent into obscurity.

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Barbara Stanwyck and Warren William in The Secret Bride (1934)

William Holden was considered to be too lightweight for the lead role in Golden Boy (1939), but Stanwyck urged producers to keep him in the picture and it was through her efforts he was kept in the picture, and the role made him a star. In 1978, at the The 50th Annual Academy Awards (1978), before starting the presentation of the sound award, Holden publicly thanked her for what she did. She nearly broke down in tears and kissed Holden, and the exchange received thunderous audience applause.

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Barbara Stanwyck and Warren William in The Secret Bride (1934)

In Italy, almost all of her films were dubbed by Lydia Simoneschi. She was occasionally dubbed by Tina Lattanzi and Marcella Rovena. As Leona Stevenson in Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), she was dubbed by Andreina Pagnani. This was the only time the Italian actress lent her voice to Stanwyck.

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15 th
Barbara Stanwyck and Warren William in The Secret Bride (1934)

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 796-798. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.

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Barbara Stanwyck in Ever in My Heart (1933)

Profiled in "Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames" bu Ray Hagen and Laura Wagner (McFarland, 2004).

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Barbara Stanwyck and Otto Kruger in Ever in My Heart (1933)

Profiled in "Back in the Saddle: Essays on Western Film and Television Actors", Gary Yoggy, ed. (McFarland, 1998).

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Barbara Stanwyck and Otto Kruger in Ever in My Heart (1933)

Throughout her career she was known for her kindness and patience with younger performers. Marilyn Monroe, who worked with Stanwyck in the 1952 film Clash by Night (1952) said that Stanwyck was the only member of Hollywood's older generation who was kind to her.

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Barbara Stanwyck and Otto Kruger in Ever in My Heart (1933)

When she was awarded an Honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement, the statuette was presented to her by John Travolta who later confessed that the experience was his supreme Oscar moment. Stanwyck had been a Travolta family favorite for years. [1982]

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Barbara Stanwyck and Otto Kruger in Ever in My Heart (1933)

She twice played a character named Jessica Drummond in two completely different movies: My Reputation (1946) and Forty Guns (1957).

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Barbara Stanwyck and Otto Kruger in Ever in My Heart (1933)

Peter Breck, Lee Majors and Linda Evans were said to be huge fans of hers, as little children. As adults all three co-starred with her in the hit western series The Big Valley (1965).

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Barbara Stanwyck and Otto Kruger in Ever in My Heart (1933)

Stanwyck, a staunch Republican, along with, among others, Ginger Rogers, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Irene Dunne, was a member of The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a right-wing political action group during the McCarthy-era of the early and mid-1950s.

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Barbara Stanwyck in Ever in My Heart (1933)

Lived near Joan Crawford during her marriage to Frank Fay. According to Christina Crawford, between 1932 and 1934, Stanwyck would escape from the alcoholic and volatile Fay when things got too hot by scaling a fence on their property. She would stay with Crawford, who lived across the street, until the heat died down. Stanwyck and Crawford had been friends since the days when they were single young actresses and remained friends until Crawford's death.

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Barbara Stanwyck, Ronnie Cosby, and Otto Kruger in Ever in My Heart (1933)

Profiled in book "Funny Ladies" by Stephen Silverman. [1999]

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Barbara Stanwyck in Ever in My Heart (1933)

In February 1955 she was mentioned to be one of the female stars of Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) but she never made the film.

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Barbara Stanwyck, Rod La Rocque, and Harry Stubbs in The Locked Door (1929)

Was a heavy smoker who later developed bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); the latter claimed her life in 1990, aged 82.

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Barbara Stanwyck and George Brent in Einsame Herzen (1932)

Born at 8:55 PM.

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Barbara Stanwyck in 40 Gewehre (1957)

In Hollywood, as everywhere he went, Frank Fay did not make a lot of friends. A standard joke of the time went "who's got the biggest prick in Hollywood?" Answer: "Barbara Stanwyck." The womanizing, alcoholic Fay's career floundered, while Stanwyck's flourished for decades. In 1935 the two were divorced, and Fay continued his downward spiral, until 1944, when he was chosen to play Elwood P. Dowd in the original New York City Broadway production of "Harvey".

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1 st
Barbara Stanwyck and John Ericson in 40 Gewehre (1957)

In a first season episode of The Big Valley (1965) (called "Tunnel of Gold"), Stanwyck's character, Victoria Barkley, explained that she lost both of her parents as a young child, and was raised in a foster home. Years later, Stanwyck explained it written that way because the exact same thing had happened to her as a child.

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