Joanna Barnes
Date of Birth
Jan 01, 1934
Birth Place:
Boston, MA


American actress Joanna Barnes went from Southern-belle complacency to a contract with Warner Bros. studios. Joanna was generally cast as steely-eyed, truculent blondes in such films as Home Before Dark (1958) and (freelancing for director Stanley Kubrick) Spartacus (1960). She also held the dubious distinction of being the latest in a long line of "Janes" in the 1959 cheapie Tarzan of the Apes. Barnes worked a great deal on television in the 1950s and 1960s: she was detective Dennis Morgan's girl Friday on 1959's 21 Beacon Street; the ex-wife of pennyante attorney Peter Falk in the 1965 weekly drama The Trials of O'Brien; and the hostess of the 5-minute ABC gossipfest Dateline Hollywood. In 1973, Joanna gave up acting to pursue a career as a novelist, and to that end took a room in a Los Angeles office building leased exclusively to professional writers. While Joanna Barnes might not be remembered for her writings, she made an indelible impression as Vassar-educated socialite Gloria Upson, who spoke as though she had novacaine in her upper lip (the playwrights' description of the character) in the 1958 film comedy Auntie Mame. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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