Barbara Read

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Barbara Read
Barbara Read.jpg
Read at age 18
Barbara French Read

(1917-12-29)December 29, 1917
DiedDecember 12, 1963(1963-12-12) (aged 45)

Barbara French Read, also known as Barbara Reed, (December 29, 1917 December 12, 1963) was a Canadian-American film actress of the 1930s and 1940s, who appeared in 21 films during her career.


Early life

Born Barbara French Read on December 29, 1917, the daughter of contractor John Howard Read and Nancy Elizabeth Collier, [1] in Port Arthur, Ontario, Read moved to California in the mid-1930s. She got her first movie contract while living in Laguna Beach, California: [2] she was watching a film production in Laguna when she was spotted and offered a screen test, [3] after which she entered a six-month contract with the production company. [3] When she failed to receive any roles because of her lack of experience, she joined the Laguna Beach Players theater, where she acted in a new play each month for two years. [2]

Film career

Her first film appearance was one of the three principal girls in the 1936 comedy film Three Smart Girls , which also starred Deanna Durbin and Nan Grey. From 1937 through 1939, Read appeared in nine films, most notably starring in The Spellbinder, opposite Lee Tracy. From 1940 through 1948, she appeared in 11 films. Her most remembered role was portraying Margo Lane in three films from The Shadow series, starring opposite Kane Richmond. Richmond and she teamed together in The Shadow Returns , Behind the Mask, and The Missing Lady , all in 1946. Her last role was alongside Randolph Scott and Marguerite Chapman in the 1948 Western Coroner Creek .

Personal life

In September 1936, Read eloped to Mexico with a young artist named William Paul III, but they divorced two months later. [4] Read married talent agent Bill Josephy in Santa Barbara on December 27, 1947. They had two boys, Damon Josephy and Quentin Josephy. [5] She married actor William Talman in 1953. They had two children: Barbie and William Whitney Talman III. They divorced on August 23, 1960.[ citation needed ]

Read died in an apparent suicide on December 12, 1963, in Laguna Beach, California. She was 45 years old.[ citation needed ]

Selected filmography

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  1. Wagner, Laura (April 2022). "Barbara Read: Doing Her Own Thing". Classic Images. pp. 6–15, 58–61.
  2. 1 2 "From Comedy to War Drama, New Role for Barbara Read". The West Australian. Perth, Australia. October 19, 1937. p. 5. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  3. 1 2 Hoadley, Roy (June 14, 1937). "Barbara Read Near Stardom Thinks Writer". The Calgary Daily Herald. p. 15. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  4. Kendall, Read (March 15, 1937). "Around and About in Hollywood". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  5. "Film Actress to Wed". The Deseret News. Hollywood. December 23, 1947. Retrieved 8 October 2013.