Barbara Pepper
Date of Birth
May 31, 1915
Birth Place:
New York, NY


A specialist in hard-boiled dame roles, Barbara Pepper made her first film appearances as a Goldwyn Girl; she was prominent among the nubile slaves who were garbed only in floor-length blonde wigs in Goldwyn's Roman Scandals (1933). Pepper's one shot at stardom came in King Vidor's Our Daily Bread, in which she played the sluttish vamp who led hero Tom Keene astray; unfortunately, the film was not successful enough, nor her performance convincing enough, to lead to larger parts. She spent the next 30 years in supporting roles and bits, most often playing brassy goodtime girls. A radical weight gain in the 1950s compelled Pepper to alter her screen image; she quickly became adept at portraying obnoxious middle-aged tourists, snoopy next-door neighbors, belligerent landladies, and the like. Pepper's best friend in Hollywood was Lucille Ball, another alumna of the Goldwyn Girl ranks. At one point in 1951,Pepper was a candidate for the role of Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy. In her last decade, Barbara Pepper gained a whole new crop of fans thanks to her recurring appearances as Doris Ziffel on the TV sitcom Green Acres. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Provided by Rovi