Priscilla Barnes

Last updated
Priscilla Barnes
Barnes in 2006
Priscilla Anne Barnes

(1954-12-07) December 7, 1954 (age 66)
Years active1977–present
Ted Monte
(m. 2003)
Website Official website

Priscilla Anne Barnes (born December 7, 1954) is an American actress. [1] She is best known for her role as Terri Alden in the ABC sitcom Three's Company , between 1981 and 1984. Barnes also has appeared in films, including A Vacation in Hell (1979), Licence to Kill (1989), Stepfather III (1992), The Crossing Guard (1995), Mallrats (1995), The Devil's Rejects (2005), and The Visitation (2006). From 2014 to 2019, Barnes played Magda Andel in the CW comedy-drama series, Jane the Virgin .


Early life

Barnes was born December 7, 1954 (some sources list 1952 or 1955), in Fort Dix, New Jersey, [2] [3] the third of four children of a father who was a major in the United States Air Force and her mother a homemaker. Her childhood was marked by a series of moves across various military bases in the United States before her family settled in Lancaster, California. After graduating from Antelope Valley High School at age 17, she relocated to San Diego, working as a waitress and a dancer. [3]


Early career

Barnes's first break came when Bob Hope saw her in a local fashion show and invited her to join his troupe for a 1973 performance at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She subsequently moved to Los Angeles to attempt a career in show business in earnest. [3] She appeared as an Amazon in The New Original Wonder Woman alongside Lynda Carter as the title character. Her second break came at 19 when she met Peter Falk at Pips. Six months later he gave her a one-line part in an episode of Columbo , which led to a series of bit parts in films like The Seniors (1978) and Delta Fox (1979).

While working as a hostess at a Hollywood nightclub, Barnes posed nude for the "Pet of the Month" photo layout in the March 1976 issue of Penthouse magazine under the pseudonym Joann Witty. Penthouse later wanted to republish the photos under Barnes's real name in 1982 after she had become famous in Three's Company. The dispute ended up in court, as Penthouse wanted a judge to rule on the legality of publishing the pictures using her real name. At issue was a handwritten addendum to the standard model release contract that all models sign. When Penthouse lost the initial case, they appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal court mostly sided with Barnes and ruled that the handwritten addendum was legally binding and that Penthouse could not republish the photos using her real name. [4]

In 1976, she began studying acting with coach Sal Dano, whose students included Tom Selleck, Robert Hays and Catherine Bach. In 1978, she played a leading role in the CBS action series, The American Girls , which was canceled after seven weeks. Subsequent parts include the horror film Tintorera , and such television series as Starsky & Hutch , Vega$ , Kojak , The Rockford Files , The Love Boat , the 1978 TV version of The Time Machine and the 1979 television film A Vacation in Hell . In 1980, Barnes landed a supporting role in the romantic comedy film Sunday Lovers . [3]

Barnes with Joyce DeWitt in 2010 10.10.10DewittBarnesByLuigiNovi.jpg
Barnes with Joyce DeWitt in 2010

Three's Company

In 1981, Barnes was cast as Terri Alden on the ABC sitcom Three's Company after Jenilee Harrison served as interim replacement to Suzanne Somers, who had left the series as a result of contractual dispute with producers. The part, which is Barnes's most notable role, brought her instant public recognition. [3] [5] Barnes initially auditioned for the role of Chrissy Snow in 1976, but lost the part to Somers. [6] She stayed in the show to the series finale in 1984, appearing in a total of 70 episodes.

In the 1998 TV program E! True Hollywood Story , Barnes called Three's Company the "three worst years" of her life. Barnes revealed that after shooting a couple of episodes of the show, she felt "uncomfortable" on the set and asked, unsuccessfully, to be released from her contract. [7] She remained friends with co-stars Joyce DeWitt and Richard Kline, with whom she made public appearances. [8] Barnes was portrayed by actress Anne Ross in the 2003 television movie Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three's Company . [3]

Later career

In 1982, Barnes starred in Aaron Spelling made-for-television film The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch . After Three's Company was cancelled by ABC in 1984, Barnes began appearing in guest-starring roles on television shows, including Hotel , Murder, She Wrote and Highway to Heaven . In 1987, she starred in the pilot for the sitcom She's the Sheriff , playing the title role. Barnes later left the project and was replaced by Suzanne Somers. [9] The following year, Barnes returned to film with the starring role in the action comedy Traxx opposite Shadoe Stevens.

In 1989, Barnes appeared in the James Bond film Licence to Kill as Della Churchill, and the underwater sci-fi/action thriller Lords of the Deep . In 1992, she starred in the NBC television movie Perry Mason and the Case of the Reckless Romeo , with Raymond Burr, and in the horror film Stepfather III . In 1995, she appeared in the cult comedy film Mallrats , and Sean Penn-directed drama The Crossing Guard opposite Jack Nicholson. She made cameo appearance in the 1999 comedy-drama film Mumford , and appeared in many other smaller independent and made-for-television movies during 1990s and 2000s. Her most notable role was in the 2005 horror film The Devil's Rejects directed by Rob Zombie. [10] Her other credits include Thr3e (2006), The Visitation (2006), and American Cowslip (2009). In 2012, she co-starred as "Vicey Hatfield" in Hatfields and McCoys: Bad Blood. In 2013, she appeared in Disaster Wars: Earthquake vs Tsunami. [11] In 2007 Barnes appeared at the annual New York International Fringe Festival as Hillary Clinton in Nick Salamone's play Hillary Agonistes. [12]

In 2014, Barnes was cast in an recurring role as Magda Andel, Petra's (played by Yael Grobglas) mother, in the CW comedy-drama series Jane the Virgin . [13] The series ended in 2019 after five seasons. Barnes appeared in a total of 41 episodes. In 2019 Barnes appeared in the Bloomington Playwrights Project's production of Christy Hall's To Quiet the Quiet. [14]

Personal life

Barnes is married to actor Ted Monte. [15] [16] In 2012 they purchased a home in Glendale, California. [15]



1977 Tintorera Girl From Bar
1977 Beyond Reason Leslie Valentine
1978Texas DetourClaudia Hunter
1978 The Seniors Sylvia
1979Delta FoxKaren
1980 The Last Married Couple in America Helena Dryden
1980 Sunday Lovers DonnaSegment: "Skippy"
1988 Traxx Mayor Alexandra Cray
1989 Lords of the Deep Dr. Claire McDowell
1989 Licence to Kill Della Churchill Leiter
1992Body TroubleVera Vin Rouge
1992 Stepfather III Christine Davis
1992 Talons of the Eagle Cassandra
1994 Erotique ClaireSegment: "Taboo Parlor"
1994May JaneSister Fong
1995 The Crossing Guard Verna
1995 Mallrats Ivannah
1995Witch AcademyEdith
1997Catherine's GroveSally Willows
1998The Killing GroundsDella Desordo
1998Ava's Magical AdventureSarah
1998Divorce: A Contemporary WesternChris
1999Hash Brown'sLil Brown
1999 Mumford Landlady
2001Final PaybackSharon Moreno
2001Alone with a StrangerClaire Andrews
2002 The Backlot Murders StephanieVideo
2003Shrink RapSheila
2004Unseen Evil 2SheilaVideo
2005 The Devil's Rejects Gloria Sullivan
2005 Heart of the Beholder Miss Olivia
2005 Sex Sells: The Making of Touché Roxy Free
2006 The Visitation Dee Henchle
2006 Thr3e Balinda Parson
2007 Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield Vera 'Momma' MasonVideo
2008 Trailer Park of Terror Jean
2008An American in ChinaSilvia Braddock
2009 American Cowslip Samantha
2010Kid RacerBuddyVideo
2010First DogJune Angell
2011The A PlateCandice Stevens
2012Hatfields and McCoys: Bad BloodVicey Hatfield
201388 Miles to MoscowMomShort film
2013Disaster Wars: Earthquake vs. TsunamiVice President Taylor
2013Fat PlanetJill Strong
2014Helen AloneMrs. Straub
2015TurkeySueShort film
2017Jonny's Sweet Revenge'Stonewall' Rosie Callahan


1976 Cannon Linda"Bloodlines"
1977 The Rockford Files Lauren Ingeborg"The Mayor's Committee from Deer Lick Falls"
1978 The American Girls Rebecca TomkinsMain role (6 episodes)
1978 Starsky & Hutch Lisa Kendrick"Foxy Lady"
1978 Kojak Sally Addison / Vicki Addison"60 Miles to Hell"
1978 The Love Boat Jeanette Arnold1 episode
1978 The Time Machine WeenaTV film
1979 A Vacation in Hell DeniseTV film
1980 Taxi Tawny"Fantasy Borough: Part 2"
1980 Vega$ Pam / Satin"Love Affair"
1981 Scruples MelanieTV miniseries
1981–1984 Three's Company Terri Alden Regular role (72 episodes)
1982 The Love Boat Britta Sorenson"Getting to Know You: Parts 1 & 2"
1982 The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch Maggie McCullochTV film
1984 Hotel Elayne Grayson"Final Chapters"
1985 The Love Boat Helga Bjorsson"Mr. Smith Goes to Stockholm: Parts 1 & 2"
1985 Murder, She Wrote Vicky Gallegos"Dead Heat"
1986 Blacke's Magic Maryanne Thompson"The Revenge of the Esperanza"
1987 Hotel Donna Shepherd"Mixed Emotions"
1988Perfect PeopleAmyTV film
1989 Highway to Heaven Mary Anders / Tawny Turner"Summer Camp"
1991The Letters from MoabLilaTV short
1992 Perry Mason: The Case of the Reckless Romeo Brenda KingsleyTV film
1992 Stepfather III Christine DavisTV film
1994 Time Trax Veronica Barclay"Happy Valley"
1994Attack of the 5 Ft. 2 WomenCrystalTV film
1995 Burke's Law Christy Winters"Who Killed the Toy Maker?"
1995Asian Connection: Old FlamesFrankieTV film
1997Total SecurityDiane Richards"One Wedding and a Funeral"
1997 Viper Sheila Dunn"Cold Warriors"
1998The Cowboy and the Movie StarMarlene BrightonTV film
2000 The Invisible Man Liz Morgan"Liberty and Larceny"
2002 For the People Patricia Franklin"Pilot"
2002 She Spies Warden Stoop"Perilyzed"
2010Elevator GirlElaine SchusterTV film
2012Low LifesMaryTV film
2014–2019 Jane the Virgin Magda AndelRecurring role (41 episodes)
2015Break a HipSabrina Klinefelter"The Class"
2015 NCIS Mrs. Skalbe"Lockdown"
2017The Minutes CollectionMs. Marshall"Cory Comes to Christmas"

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  2. "Barnes, Priscilla 1952(?)– (Joann Witty)". Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Gritten, David (December 14, 1981). "The New Blonde". People. Vol. 16, No. 24.
  4. Circuit, Ninth (1986). "Penthouse International, Ltd, a New York Corporation,plaintiff/appellant, v. Priscilla Barnes, Defendant/appellee, 792 F. 2d 943". F2d (792). United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit: 943. Retrieved February 23, 2010.Missing |author1= (help); Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. "'Three's Company' Cast Had Lots of Behind-the-Scenes Drama (Exclusive)". March 23, 2019.
  6. "Terri:The E! True Hollywood Story [Archive] - Sitcoms Online Message Boards - Forums".
  7. "Three's Company Facts That Came Out Years Later". TeddyFeed. June 10, 2018.
  8. E! True Hollywood Story: Three's Company. E!. 1998
  9. "She's The Sheriff | Nostalgia Central".
  10. Kaltenbach, Chris. "Reject the grisly 'Devil's Rejects'".
  11. "Disaster Wars Tempts Fate and Goes Into Production Just in Time" Archived 2014-02-01 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  12. Gans, Andrew (August 10, 2007). "Hillary Agonistes, with 'Three's Company' Star Barnes, Begins Performances Aug. 10". Playbill . Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  13. Ratledge, Ingela. "'Jane the Virgin' Boss Says the Series Finale Honors the 'Structure of Real Telenovelas'". TV Insider.
  14. Dorfman, Peter (April 30, 2019). "Priscilla Barnes: Star of TV and Film Performing in B-town". Bloom Magazine . Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  15. 1 2 Beale, Lauren (April 5, 2012). "Actress Priscilla Barnes buys Glendale home in gated compound for $689,000". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  16. "World Premiere for 'Shrink Rap'". MSN. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2014.