Lynn Bari

New York Times obituary in 1989.

Lynn Bari, an actress who appeared in nearly 50 movies, most of them in the 1930’s and 40’s, died of a heart attack on Nov. 20 in a Santa Barbara, Calif., hospital. She was 75 years old and lived in the Santa Barbara suburb of Goleta.

Miss Bari, a humorous person with a direct manner, often was the second lead, usually the ”other woman,” in A pictures and was the lead in B movies. As a contract player at 20th Century-Fox for 14 years, she was often assigned to play straight woman to Charlie Chan, Mr. Moto and the Cisco Kid, but she received good roles in a few better 1940’s films, including ”Sun Valley Serenade,” ”Orchestra Wives,” ”The Bridge of San Luis Rey” and ”Margie.”

”I made as many as three pictures at a time,” she remarked in 1982. ”I’d go from one set to another shooting people and stealing husbands. The pace was so fast I never knew what the plots were.”

Her greatest disappointment was ”The Bridge of San Luis Rey,” a 1944 film adaptation of the mystical novel by Thornton Wilder about five 18th-century Peruvians hurled to their deaths when an ancient rope bridge collapses. The movie gave Miss Bari, playing a poor dancer who rises to power as a viceroy’s consort, her greatest chance by leading a cast of celebrated performers, including Alla Nazimova, Louis Calhern, Blanche Yurka and Akim Tamiroff, but the film was marred by a pompous script and a hurried production schedule.

Frustrated by pedestrian movie roles, she was one of the early Hollywood performers to test the waters of television in the early 1950’s. She starred in two short-run comedy series, ”Detective’s Wife,” which was shot live, and ”Boss Lady,” as well as many leading roles in plays. In later years she occasionally performed in tours of ”Barefoot in the Park,” ”Follies” and ”The Gingerbread Lady.”

The actress was born Marjorie Schuyler Fisher on Dec. 18, 1913, in Roanoke, Va., grew up there and in Boston and Los Angeles, studied acting and won her first contract after appearing in the chorus of a 1933 musical, ”Dancing Lady.” She was married and divorced from Walter Kane, an aide to Howard Hughes; Sid Luft, a film producer and agent, and Dr. Nathan K. Rickles, a psychiatrist.

Survivng is a son, John Luft, who shared her home, and a brother, John Fisher, of Newport Beach, Calif

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