Hollywood Actors

Collection of Classic Hollywood Actors

Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy was one of the most beloved of American actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood.



Mariette Hartley
Mariette Hartley

Hartley began her career as a 13-year-old in the White Barn Theatre in Norwalk, Connecticut. In her teens as a stage actress, she was coached and mentored by Eva Le Gallienne. She graduated from Westport’s Staples High School in 1957, where she was an active member of the school’s theater group, Staples Players. Hartley also worked at the American Shakespeare Festival.

Her film career began with an uncredited cameo appearance in From Hell to Texas (1958), a western with Dennis Hopper. In the early 1960s, she moved to Los Angeles and joined the UCLA Theater Group.

Hartley’s first credited film appearance was alongside Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea in the 1962 Sam Peckinpah western Ride the High Country; the role earned her a BAFTAnomination. She continued to appear in film during the 1960s, including the lead role in the adventure Drums of Africa (1963), and prominent supporting roles in Alfred Hitchcock‘s psychological thriller Marnie (1964) — alongside Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery — and the John Sturges drama Marooned (1969).

Hartley also guest starred in numerous TV series during the decade, with appearances in GunsmokeThe Twilight Zone (the episode “The Long Morrow“), The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (starring a young Kurt Russell), the syndicated Death Valley Days (then hosted by Ronald Reagan),Judd, for the DefenseBonanza and Star Trek  among others. In 1965, she had a significant role as Dr. Claire Morton in 32 episodes of Peyton Place.With Dennis Weaver in Gunsmoke(1962)

Hartley continued to feature in numerous film and TV roles during the 1970s, including appearances in two Westerns alongside Lee Van CleefBarquero (1970) and The Magnificent Seven Ride (1972), as well as landing guest roles in episodes of series including Emergency, McCloudLittle House on the PrairiePolice Woman and Columbo — starring in two editions of the latter alongside Peter FalkPublish or Perish co-starring Jack Cassidy (1974) and Try and Catch Me with Ruth Gordon (1977). Hartley portrays similar characters as a publisher’s assistant in both episodes.

In 1977, Hartley appeared in the TV movie The Last Hurrah, a political drama film based on the Edwin O’Connor novel of the same name; the role earned Hartley her first Emmy Award nomination.

Her role as psychologist Dr. Carolyn Fields in “Married”, a 1978 episode of the TV series The Incredible Hulk — in which she marries Bill Bixby‘s character, the alter ego of the Hulk — won Hartley the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She would be nominated for the same award for her performance in an episode of The Rockford Files the following year.

In 1983, Hartley reunited with Bixby in the sitcom Goodnight, Beantown, which ran for two seasons; the role earned her yet another Emmy Award nomination. (She would later work alongside Bixby again in the 1992 TV movie A Diagnosis of Murder, the first of three TV movies that would launch the series Diagnosis: Murder).

In the 1990s, Hartley toured with Elliott Gould and Doug Wert in the revival of the mystery play Deathtrap. Numerous roles in TV movies and guest appearances in TV series during the 1990s and 2000s would follow, including Murder, She Wrote (1992), Courthouse (1995), Nash Bridges (2000) and NCIS (2005). She had recurring roles as Sister Mary Daniel in the soap opera One Life to Live (1999–2001; 10 episodes), and as Lorna Scarry in 6 episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2003–2011).

From 1995 to 2015, she hosted the long-running television documentary series Wild About Animals, an educational program.

In 2006, Hartley starred in her own one-woman show, If You Get to Bethlehem, You’ve Gone Too Far, which ran in Los Angeles. She returned to the stage in 2014 as Eleanor of Aquitaine with Ian Buchanan‘s Henry in the Colony Theater Company production of James Goldman‘s The Lion in Winter.

From Wikipedia.

Pauline Flanagan
Pauline Flanagan

Pauline Flanagan (Wikipedia)

Pauline Flanagan was a County Sligo-born Irish actress who had a long career on stageAmerican television audiences best knew her as Maeve Ryan’s sister, Annie Colleary, on the soap opera Ryan’s Hope in 1979 and again in 1981. She later returned to the show as Sister Mary Joel.

She appeared in many Broadway plays, starting in 1957 with Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood. he starred in the 1976 Broadway revival of The Innocents. She appeared on Broadway in Philadelphia, Here I Come! in 1994.

She appeared Off-Broadway, several times with the Irish Repertory Theatre, including Juno and the Paycock (1995). She appeared in the Harold Prince play Grandchild of Kings at the Irish Repertory Theatre in February 1992, receiving the 1992 Outer Critics Circle Awardnomination for Best Actress. Other Off-Broadway work included Yeats: A Celebration.

She appeared in the play Summer, by Hugh Leonard at the Hudson Guild Theater, directed by Brian Murray. (Summer premiered at the Olney Theatre, Maryland, in August 1974.)

A resident of Glen Rock, New Jersey, she died at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey one day before her 78th birthday of heart failure following a battle with lung cancer. She was survived by her husband, George Vogel (whom she married in 1958), a sister, Maura McNally, and her daughters Melissa Brown and Jane Holtzen.

In 1997 she won the Barclays Theatre Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Jennifer Johnston‘s Desert Lullaby, at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. (The Barclays Theatre Awards are for outstanding regional theatre (including opera and dance) in the UK.)

She was nominated for the 1982 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Medea in which she performed on Broadway in 1982. In 2001 she won an Olivier Award, Best Supporting Actress, for her performance in Frank McGuinness‘ Dolly West’s Kitchen at the Old Vic.

Dictionary of Irish biography:

Flanagan, Pauline (1925–2003), actress, was born 29 June 1925 in Sligo town, youngest child of Patrick J. Flanagan and his wife Elizabeth (née McLynn). Her paternal family, originally from Co. Fermanagh, were driven out by anti‐catholic pogroms and resettled in Sligo, where her parents managed a retail business. The family’s politics were strongly nationalist and republican; her father fought in the war of independence, spending much time on the run or in jail. Both her parents served as mayors of Sligo, her father as an independent republican in 1939, her mother (the first woman to hold the office) in 1945; Pauline’s uncle Thomas Flanagan served two consecutive terms as mayor (1904–5).

Educated in Sligo at the Ursuline convent school, Flanagan was drawn to acting while a schoolgirl, but faced some family objection to pursuing the interest as a career. After performing in amateur dramatics, she landed her first professional roles with the Garryowen Players during the 1949 summer season in Bundoran, Co. Donegal. In the early 1950s she spent three years in the renowned fit-up company of Anew McMaster (qv), in later life recalling fondly the constant travelling, cheap digs, hard work, invaluable experience, and wonderful fun. She played a great range of roles – support and lead, comic and tragic – in Shakespeare, ancient Greek drama, contemporary potboilers, and melodrama. Colleagues in the company included T. P. McKenna (qv), Patrick Magee (qv), Milo O’Shea (qv), and Harold Pinter.

While visiting a sister in New York in the mid 1950s, Flanagan took a job as understudy in a production of ‘The living room’ by Graham Greene. Thus began her long and distinguished career on the New York stage and elsewhere in America, including numerous appearances on and off Broadway. Her Broadway debut came in the first Main Stem production of Dylan Thomas’s play for voices ‘Under Milk Wood’ (1957); the cast included Tom Clancy (qv). Other early New York credits included ‘Ulysses in Nighttown’ (1958), an adaptation from the text of James Joyce (qv), directed by Burgess Meredith; Flanagan played both Molly Bloom and Mrs Dedalus among other characters, opposite Zero Mostel as Leopold Bloom. She appeared in two other stage adaptations with Irish settings: ‘God and Kate Murphy’ (1959), directed by Meredith and starring Larry Hagman; and ‘Drums under the window’ (1960), from the autobiographical work by Sean O’Casey(qv).

In the early 1970s Flanagan performed several major Broadway roles with the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center: the Female Chorus Leader in ‘Antigone’ (1971); Ann Putnam in a revival of Arthur Miller’s ‘The crucible’ (1972); and Bessie Burgess in O’Casey’s ‘The plough and the stars’ (1973), in a cast that included Jack MacGowran (qv) as Fluther Good, and Christopher Walken as Jack Clitheroe. She played Myra White in ‘Summer’ (1974) by Hugh Leonard (1926–2009), both in the original production at the Olney Theater in Maryland, and at the Olympia in the Dublin theatre festival. Pinter directed her on Broadway as Mrs Grose in ‘The innocents’ (1976), an adaptation of Henry James’s ‘The turn of the screw’, starring Claire Bloom and a young Sarah Jessica Parker.

Flanagan received a Drama Desk nomination for outstanding featured actress in a play for her Broadway performance as the First Woman of Corinth in an acclaimed production of ‘Medea’ (1982), supporting the Tony‐winning Zoe Caldwell in the title role. She appeared in the original Broadway production of ‘Steaming’ (1983), and with Keith Baxter and Milo O’Shea in the long‐running ‘Corpse!’ (1986). In her last Broadway role, she played Madge in a revival of ‘Philadelphia, here I come!’ (1994) by Brian Friel. Her many roles with the off‐Broadway Irish Repertory Theatre included Sean O’Casey’s mother in ‘Grandchild of kings’ (1992), adapted and directed by the noted impresario Hal Prince from O’Casey’s early autobiographies, for which she was nominated for best actress by the Outer Critics Circle. Other credits with the troupe included O’Casey’s ‘Juno and the paycock’ (1995) (as Mrs Boyle), and Leonard’s ‘A life’ (2001).

From the early 1990s Flanagan returned to the Irish stage with outstanding performances in some of the most important Irish plays and productions of the period. She was Mrs Grigson in Shivaun O’Casey’s production of her father Sean’s ‘The shadow of a gunman’, in both Dublin and off‐Broadway in New York (1991). In ‘The desert lullaby’ by Jennifer Johnston at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre (1996), Flanagan played Nellie, the housekeeper, friend, and confidante of the mistress of an old Wicklow country house (played by Stella McCusker); the performance, ‘all mothering minder and loving tender, yet never without due reserve’ (David Nowlan, Ir. Times, 1 Nov. 1996), won her the TMA Barclays Award for best supporting actress in UK regional theatre. She appeared as Mother in ‘Tarry Flynn’, adapted and directed by Conall Morrison from the novel by Patrick Kavanagh (qv), both in the Abbey Theatre premiere (1997), and in the warmly received London run at the Royal National Theatre (1998).

Flanagan appeared in two first productions by the Abbey company of plays by Marina Carr. In ‘Portia Coughlan’ (1996) she played Blaize Scully, the vicious‐tongued paraplegic grandmother of the eponymous character (played by Derbhle Crotty), directed by Garry Hynes. In another pungent work of earthy midlands gothic, she was (in Nowlan’s words (Ir. Times, 8 Oct. 1998)) ‘strikingly and effectively unpleasant’ as the ‘venomously selfish’ Mrs Kilbride in Carr’s ‘By the Bog of Cats’ (1998), opposite Olwen Fouéré; directed by Patrick Mason, she was nominated for best supporting actress in the Irish Times/ESB Irish Theatre Awards. She appeared as Nell in ‘Endgame’ (1999) by Samuel Beckett (qv), with Alan Stanford, Barry McGovern, and Bill Golding, which played Dublin’s Gate Theatre, the Melbourne Festival, and the Barbican Centre in London. Directed by Mason at the Abbey, Flanagan was superb as Rima West, the hard drinking, raunchy mouthed, but compassionate widowed matriarch in ‘Dolly West’s kitchen’ (1999) by Frank McGuinness, set along the Donegal–Derry border during the second world war. Receiving a Beckett Award as best actress in the 1999 Dublin theatre festival, she remarked: ‘At my age I should be saying my prayers and getting ready for the grave, but here I am winning awards’ (Ir. Times, 20 Oct. 1999). For the production’s run at the Old Vic (2000), she won an Olivier Award as best supporting actress on the London stage, which she described as the pinnacle of her acting career.

Primarily a stage actress, Flanagan did relatively little work in television or film. Early in her American career she performed in two worthy productions of television theatre: in ‘Juno and the paycock’ (1960) in a cast that included Walter Matthau and Liam Clancy; and in ‘Little moon of Alban’ (1964) by James Costigan, supporting Julie Harris and Christopher Plummer. She made several appearances on US television in the 1980s, and impressively supported John Hurt and Brenda Blethyn in the feature film Night train (1998), set in contemporary suburban Dublin, directed by John Lynch.

Flanagan’s last performances were among the greatest of her career. In a revival of Tom Murphy’s ‘Bailegangaire’ she played the physically and mentally demanding role of Mommo, a confused, bedridden old woman (on stage throughout the entire play), who night after night tells the same disjointed story without ever arriving at the conclusion: how a laughing competition resulted in the renaming of the eponymous ‘town without laughter’. Flanagan compared the role to a nightly ascent of Everest, the script being so tight that the performance must not only be word‐perfect and letter‐perfect, but every punctuation point must be perfectly placed. Directed by the playwright as part of the Abbey’s five‐play Murphy retrospective in the 2001 Dublin theatre festival, supported by Jane Brennan and Derbhle Crotty as Mommo’s two granddaughters, Flanagan was hailed for liberating the play from the legend of Siobhán McKenna (qv), who had originated the role in the Druid production of 1986. Fintan O’Toole praised Flanagan’s ‘exquisitely detailed’ performance, ‘not the baroque opera of McKenna, but a haunting chamber piece’ (Ir. Times, 5 Oct. 2001). As the role had been the swansong of McKenna’s career, so it was of Flanagan’s; the production’s reprisal at the Peacock in 2002 was her last appearance on an Irish stage. Though ill with lung cancer, she repeated the role with the Irish Repertory Theatre in New York, where Bruce Weber described her ‘captivating performance’ as ‘by turns comic, pathetic, and chilling in depicting the madness of old age’ (NY Times, 15 Oct. 2002).

Among the best Irish actors of her generation, Flanagan was strikingly featured rather than beautiful; Leonard remembered her ‘Nefertiti profile’ (Sunday Independent, 6 July 2003). Some thirty years old when she first hit the New York stage, she never played ingénue roles, and few leading ones, but excelled as strong supporting characters, with distinctive, often difficult or disturbed personalities, going from strength to strength in such parts as she aged. Michael Colgan of the Gate Theatre compared her legacy to the Irish theatre to that of Donal McCann (qv) and Ray McAnally (qv), remarking: ‘It takes such a long time in theatre to nurture that level of timing and talent’ (Ir. Times, 1 July 2003). Lauded by Murphy as ‘a superb woman, a lion-hearted woman’ (ibid.), she was eulogised for her kindness, generosity, and tolerance. She married (1958) George Vogel, an actor whom she met when he was writing a thesis on O’Casey; they had two daughters, and resided in New Jersey. She died of heart failure 29 June 2003 in New York

Matthew Modine
Matthew Modine

Matthew Modine (Wikipedia)

Matthew Modine was born March 22, 1959) & is an American actor, activist and filmmaker, who rose to prominence through his role as United States Marine Corps Private Joker in Stanley Kubrick‘s Full Metal Jacket. His other film roles include the title character in Alan Parker‘s Birdy, the high school wrestler Louden Swain in Vision Quest, Drake Goodman in Pacific Heights and Dr. Ralph Wyman in Short Cuts. On television, Modine portrayed Dr. Martin Brenner in Stranger Things, the oversexed Sullivan Groff on WeedsDr. Don Francis in And the Band Played On and Ivan Turing in Proof.

Modine has been nominated twice for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for his work in And the Band Played Onand What the Deaf Man Heard and won a Special Golden Globe for him and the rest of the ensemble in Short Cuts.[2] He was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for And the Band Played On.

Modine, the youngest of seven children, was born in Loma Linda, California, the son of Dolores (née Warner), a bookkeeper, and Mark Alexander Modine, who managed drive-in theaters. He is a nephew of a stage actress Nola Modine Fairbanks, and the great-grandson of the prospector and pioneer Ralph Jacobus Fairbanks. Modine lived in Utah for several years, moving every year or two. The drive-in theaters his father managed were being torn down because the land beneath them exceeded the value of the theaters. The Modine family returned to Imperial Beach, California where Matthew attended and graduated from Mar Vista High School in 1977.

Modine’s first film role was in John Sayles‘ film Baby It’s You. His performance caught the eye of director Harold Becker, who cast him in Vision Quest, based on Terry Davis’ novel. Modine appeared in the sex comedy Private School, co-starring Phoebe Catesand Betsy Russell.

The director Robert Altman propelled Modine to international stardom with his film adaptation of David Rabe‘s play Streamers. Modine played Mel Gibson‘s brother in Mrs. Soffel and starred with Nicolas Cage in Alan Parker‘s Birdy; the film was awarded Gran Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. The actor also famously turned down the role of LT Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun (the role that Tom Cruise made famous), because he felt the film’s pro-military stance went against his politics.

Modine may be best known for his role as Private Joker, the central character of Stanley Kubrick‘s Vietnam War movie Full Metal Jacket (1987). Subsequently, Modine played the dangerous young criminal Treat in Alan Pakula‘s film adaptation of Lyle Kessler‘s stageplay Orphans. Modine played the goofy, earnest FBI agent Mike Downey in Jonathan Demme‘s screwball comedy Married to the Mobopposite Michelle Pfeiffer. In 1990, he led the cast of Memphis Belle, a fictionalized account of the famous B-17 Flying Fortress.

Modine and his fellow castmates won an unprecedented Best Actor prize from the Venice Film Festival for the tragic story of young American soldiers about to be shipped to Vietnam in Streamers. Modine has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award: first, for his performance in And the Band Played On (an HBO Emmy award-winning film about the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic), and then for the dark comedy What the Deaf Man Heard. In 2017, he and his Stranger Things castmates won the prestigious Screen Actors Guild Best Ensemble Award.

In 1995, he appeared opposite Geena Davis in the romantic action-adventure film Cutthroat Island. Modine made his feature directorial debut with If… Dog… Rabbit…, which came after the success of three short films debuting at the Sundance Film FestivalWhen I Was a Boy (co-directed with Todd Field), Smoking written by David Sedaris, and Ecce Pirate written by Modine.

His dark comedy, I Think I Thought, debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film tells the story of a Thinker (Modine) who ends up in Thinkers Anonymous.

Other short films include To Kill an AmericanCowboy, and The Love Film. In 2011, he completed Jesus Was a Commie, an avant garde-dialectical conversation about the world and the prominent issues of modern society. Modine co-directed the short film with Terence Ziegler, the editor of I Think I Thought. Modine’s short films have played internationally.

In 2003, he guest starred in The West Wing episode “The Long Goodbye”. He portrayed the character Marco, who went to high school with C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney) and who helped her deal with her father’s steady mental decline due to Alzheimer’s disease. Modine agreed to take the role because he is a longtime friend of Janney’s. (The two appeared together in a theatrical production of the play Breaking Up directed by Stuart Ross). That same year, he played Fritz Gerlich in the CBS miniseries Hitler: The Rise of Evil.

In 2004, Modine appeared in Funky Monkey as ex-football star turned spy Alec McCall, who teams up with super-chimp Clemens and his friend Michael Dean (Seth Adkins) to take down the villainous Flick (Taylor Negron). The film was critically panned, yet has gained a cult status.

In 2005, Abel Ferrara‘s Mary won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. In the film, Modine portrays a director recounting the story of Mary Magdalene (Juliette Binoche). The following year, he guest-starred in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode “Rage” as a serial killer of young girls.

In 2010, Modine appeared in The Trial, which was awarded the Parents Television Council‘s Seal of Approval™. The PTC said: “‘The Trial’ combines the best features of courtroom drama, murder mystery and character story. ‘The Trial’ is a powerful drama which shows the power of healing and hope.”

Modine played a corrupt Majestic City developer named “Sullivan Groff” throughout Season 3 on Weeds. Groff has affairs with Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) and Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins).

In 2010, Modine appeared in HBO’s Too Big to Fail, a film about the Wall Street financial crisis. In it, Modine stars as John Thain, former Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch, who famously spent millions decorating his office.

In 2011, Modine completed two independent films, Family Weekend and Girl in Progress, opposite Eva Mendes.

In 2012, he appeared in Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises as Deputy Commissioner Peter Foley, a Gotham City police officer and peer to Gary Oldman‘s Commissioner James Gordon.

In February 2013, Modine was cast in Ralph Bakshi‘s animated film Last Days of Coney Island after coming across the film’s Kickstartercampaign online.

In 2014, he co-starred with Olivia WilliamsRichard Dillane, and Steve Oram in the horror mystery film Altar.

In 2016, Modine played Dr. Martin Brenner in the Netflix original series Stranger Things.

In 2017, Matthew Modine was featured in the music video for “1-800-273-8255“, a song by American hip hop artist Logic.

Modine was part of Speed Kills released in November 2018 as well as several upcoming films such as Foster BoyMiss Virginia, and The Martini Shot.

Modine appeared in Arthur Miller‘s Finishing the Picture at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, in Miller’s Resurrection Blues at London’s Old Vic, and in a stage adaptation of Harper Lee‘s To Kill a Mockingbird (as Atticus Finch) at Connecticut’s Hartford Stage. This production of To Kill a Mockingbird became the most successful play in the theatre’s 45-year history.  In 2010, he starred with Abigail Breslin in the 50th Anniversary Broadway revival of The Miracle Worker. at the Circle in the Square theatre.

In fall 2013, Modine starred in a self-parodying comedy, Matthew Modine Saves the Alpacas, at Los Angeles’ Geffen Theatre.

Cycling has been Modine’s main mode of transportation since moving to New York City from Utah in 1980. He heads a pro-bike organization called “Bicycle for a Day” and was honored for his work on June 2, 2009, by the environmental arts and education center on the East RiverSolar 1.

Scott Hylands
Scott Hylands

Scott Hylands (Wikipedia)

Scott Hylands was born 1944 and is a Canadian actor who has appeared in movies, on television, and on the stage. Because of his longevity and versatility, critics have called him “one of Canada’s greatest actors.”

Hylands was born in 1943 in Lethbridge, Alberta, but his family left there when he was still an infant. His mother Ruth was a science teacher, and his father Walter died during World War II.  Hylands was raised and educated in VancouverBritish Columbia, where he attended Shawnigan Lake Boys School;  he then attended the University of British Columbia and graduated in 1964. at first studied zoology, but when the university began a theater arts major, he transferred into that program.  Upon graduation, he left Canada to pursue an acting career in New York City, where his first role was as the lead in an off-Broadway production of the comedy Billy Liar. 

After that 1965 debut role, he spent several years in San Francisco, acting with the American Conservatory Theater. Then, in 1968, he was asked by Hollywood director Mark Robson to audition for a movie role. His first movie appearance was in the 1969 suspense film Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting. He got good reviews, but his movie debut was overshadowed by another film that came out at the same time: Midnight Cowboy.

In August 1975 Hylands appeared onstage as Mercutio in the Los Angeles Free Shakespeare Society production of Romeo and Juliet at the Pilgrimage Theatre in the Cahuenga Pass.

He won some critical praise, both for his acting skill and for his good looks. He was even compared to Paul Newman. And while he did not become famous, he worked regularly, appearing in a number of movies, as well as in some American television shows. Among the TV shows in which he acted were “Cannon,” “The Waltons,” “Baretta,” and “Ironsides.”  On American TV, he became well known for playing tough guy characters and villains: as he noted in an interview, if an actor is not the leading man, he generally plays a “heavy.”

In the early 1980s, Hylands returned to Canada, settling in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.  He also got an opportunity to play a good guy, the role of Detective Kevin “O.B.” O’Brien on the television series Night Heat, Night Heat was a police drama, produced in Toronto; it aired on both Canadian (CTV) and American (CBS) TV, from 1985 to 1989. This was his first starring role on any TV program.

After Night Heat was canceled, Hylands continued to live in Canada, with his wife Veronica, a nurse, and their two children.;  but he worked in both American and Canadian productions. He appeared as Father Travis in the ABC-TV series V. He was seen on numerous other programs, including the 1992 TV movie To Catch a Killer, a 1995 episode of the hit cop drama NYPD Blue, and on four episodes of the remade version of the Outer Limits from 1996-2001. He also returned to the Canadian stage, playing leading roles in such productions as Waiting for Godot (2015), and The Tempest (1994), among others. He produced and directed a 2008 version of Waiting for Godot, and performed in a solo version of A Christmas Carol. In addition, he directed, as well as performed in, a 2006 production of Under Milk Wood that was staged in Victoria BC. In his early 70s, he has expressed no interest in retiring, and continues to be involved with theater.

Lee Meriwether
Lee Meriwether

Lee Meriwether (Wikipedia)

Lee Meriwether was born on May 27, 1935 and is an American actress, former model, and the winner of the 1955 Miss America pageant. She is known for her role as Betty Jones, Buddy Ebsen’s secretary and daughter-in-law in the 1970s crime drama Barnaby Jones. The role earned her two Golden Globe Award nominations in 1975 and 1976, and an Emmy Award nomination in 1977. She is also known for her role as Herman Munster‘s long-haired wife, Lily Munster, on the 1980s sitcom The Munsters Today, as well as for her portrayal of Catwoman, replacing Julie Newmar in the film version of Batman (1966), and for a co-starring role on the science fiction series The Time Tunnel. Meriwether had a recurring role as Ruth Martin on the daytime soap opera All My Children until the end of the series in September 2011.

Meriwether was born in Los AngelesCalifornia to Claudius Gregg Meriwether (October 13, 1904 – July 15, 1954) and Ethel Eve Mulligan (March 25, 1903 – May 21, 1996, Los Angeles). She has one brother, Don Brett Meriwether (born May 14, 1938). She grew up in San Francisco after the family moved there from Phoenix, Arizona. She attended George Washington High School, where one of her classmates was Johnny Mathis. She later attended City College of San Francisco, where one of her classmates was fellow actor Bill Bixby.

After winning Miss San Francisco, Meriwether won Miss California 1954, then was crowned Miss America in 1955 with her recital of a John Millington Synge monologue. She then appeared that Sunday on What’s My Line, hosted by John Charles Daly (who also emceed the pageant that year). Following her reign as Miss America, she joined the Today show.

Meriwether was a “Today Girl” on NBC’s The Today Show in 1955-1956. Her feature filmdebut came in 1959 as Linda Davis in 4D Man, starring Robert Lansing. She appears in The Phil Silvers Show episode, “Cyrano de Bilko”.

In 1961, Meriwether guest starred once as Gloria in the episode “Buddy and the Amazon” on her first husband’s (Frank Aletter) one-season CBS sitcomBringing Up Buddy. She also appeared in Leave It To Beaver episode “Community Chest” in season four. In 1962, she was cast as Martha Elweiss in the episode “My Child Is Yet a Stranger” on the CBS anthology seriesThe Lloyd Bridges Show. She played Nurse Dickens in a 1962 episode of the ABC sitcom, I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster. From 1963 to 1965, she was cast in different roles in eight episodes of the NBC medical drama, Dr. Kildare. In 1964, she played the character Jeanelle in “This Is Going to Hurt Me More Than It Hurts You” on the CBS adventure series, Route 66. In 1965, she appeared in an episode on The Jack Benny Program as The Secretary. In a 1965 episode of 12 O’Clock High, “Mutiny at Ten Thousand Feet”, she played Lieutenant Amy Patterson, and in “The Idolator” and a 1966 episode, “The Outsider”, she played Captain Phylllis Vincent. She also guest starred in the season 2 episode “Big Brother.”

Lee Meriwether acted as Catwoman in the film (pictured) Batman, replacing Julie Newmar, the usual actress for Catwoman in the television series.

Meriwether appeared as Dr. Egert on the NBC series, Man from U.N.C.L.E. (“The Mad, Mad Tea Party”, 1965) and in an episode of Hazel (“How to Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Minutes”, also 1965) she played Miss Wilson, the owner of an exercise studio. Meriwether portrayed The Catwoman for the Batman movie (1966), and also appeared in two episodes of the Batman TV series in 1967 as Lisa Carson, a love interest to Bruce Wayne in the episodes “King Tut’s Coup” and “Batman’s Waterloo”. She also co-starred as scientist Dr. Ann MacGregor in the 1966–1967 television series The Time Tunnel. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, she had guest starring roles in numerous TV series, including The FugitiveThe Lloyd Bridges ShowMannixStar Trek episode “That Which Survives” (1969), Mission: Impossible episodes 19 and 20 “The Bunker” parts I and II (1969), Perry Mason episode #245 “The Case of the Cheating Chancellor” and the F Troop episode “O’Rourke vs. O’Reilly”.

In films, she joined John Wayne and Rock Hudson for The Undefeated, and Andy Griffith in Angel in My Pocket (both 1969). In the same year as those two films, she played IMF spy Tracey in six Mission: Impossible episodes during season four after Barbara Bain‘s departure.

Publicity photo with Andy Griffithand Lee Meriwether, as wife Lee, for The New Andy Griffith Show (1971). The series was short-lived.

Meriwether began her award-nominated role as secretary and daughter-in-law Betty Jones in the 1973–1980 CBS series Barnaby Jones, opposite Buddy Ebsen. During the series’ eight-year run she enjoyed an on- and off-screen chemistry with the elder Ebsen. During the series’ run, she was reunited with her former classmate and best friend Bill Bixby during one episode. After her stint on Barnaby Jones, Meriwether became best friends with Ebsen, keeping in touch for many years until his death on July 6, 2003. She starred in the 1978 television movies True Grit: A Further Adventure with Warren Oates and Cruise Into Terror, appeared on Circus of the Stars four times, and was a regular panelist on the game show Match Game.

Meriwether portrayed Lily Munster in the 1988-1991 revival of the 1960s television sitcom The Munsters, titled The Munsters Today, in which she starred alongside Jason MarsdenJohn SchuckHoward Morton and Hilary Van Dyke. She also made several guest star appearances on the television series The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.

In the 1990s, she appeared as herself on an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast. She had a memorable exchange with Zorak in which she said, “For my money, Eartha Kitt was the best Catwoman.” Zorak, portraying the evil Batmantis, replied, “Give me your money,” which was followed by a Batman-esque sound effect. In 1993, she guest starred on Murder, She Wrote, episode “Ship of Thieves”. In 1996, Meriwether took over for Mary Fickett in the role of Ruth Martin on the soap opera All My Children, Fickett having played the role since its inception in 1970. After twenty-six years, Fickett wanted to go into semi-retirement as a recurring cast member. Negotiations with the network broke down and Meriwether was cast as Ruth Martin. In 1998, ABC deemed that they were at an impasse with Meriwether’s agents and Mary Fickett was brought back as a recurring cast member. Fickett retired again, this time for good in December 2000. ABC decided to bring back the character of Ruth Martin in 2002, but Fickett remained in retirement. Meriwether was hence brought back and remained a featured recurring performer on the show until it ended.

In 2002, she appeared in the documentary film Miss America. In 2003, Meriwether appeared in the TV-Movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt. She also appeared Off Broadway in the interactive comedy, Grandma Sylvia’s Funeral. She voiced Big Mama in the video game Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for the PlayStation 3. She also appears in one of the game’s opening videos as a talkshow host having an interview with David Hayter, who voices Solid Snake in the game. In 2006, she joined James GarnerAbigail BreslinBill Cobbs and others in The Ultimate Gift. In 2008, Meriwether had a brief cameo as comic book character Battle Diva in the episode “Harper Knows” of the Disney Channel original series Wizards of Waverly Place. In 2010, she was once again reunited on screen with Hollywood veteran Bill Cobbs in No Limit Kids: Much Ado About Middle School; additionally, she voices President Winters in the video game Vanquish by PlatinumGames.

Meriwether continues to work on stage, television, game voice-overs, and feature films. She has made guest appearances on Desperate HousewivesHawaii Five-0The League and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. Most recently, she revisited her role as Miss Hastings in the sequel/prequel to The Ultimate GiftThe Ultimate Life (2013), directed by Michael Landon Jr. She is also starring in the short film Kitty.

She also makes appearances at Comic Cons where she speaks about her roles in Batman, Star Trek and Time Tunnel. 

Ronald Reagan Jnr.
Ronald Reagan

Ron Reagan Jnr (Wikipedia)

RonReagan was born in1958 and is an American former radio host and political analyst for KIRO radio and later, Air America Radio, where he hosted his own daily three-hour show. He is a commentator and contributor to programming on the MSNBC cable news and commentary network. His liberal views contrast those of his late father, Republican United States President Ronald Reagan.

Reagan was born and raised in Los AngelesCalifornia, the son of Ronald Reagan and his second wife, Nancy Davis Reagan. The family lived in Sacramento while his father was governor, from 1967 to 1975.  His sister, Patti Davis, is five and a half years older. His elder brother Michael Reagan, adopted as an infant by Ronald Reagan and his first wife Jane Wyman, is 13 years older. He also had two half-sisters born to Reagan and Wyman, Maureen Reagan (1941–2001) and Christine Reagan, who was born prematurely, on June 26, 1947, and died the same day. At an early age, his father, Ronald Reagan, often joked that they were related to every royal family with the name O’Regan in Europe. Burke’s Peerage provided the Reagans with their family tree, which lacked any direct connection to European royalty. 

Reagan dropped out of Yale University in 1976 after one semester to become a balletdancer. He joined the Joffrey Ballet in pursuit of his lifelong dream and participated in the Joffrey II Dancers, a troupe for beginning dancers, where he was mentored by Sally Brayley.  Time wrote in 1980: “It is widely known that Ron’s parents have not managed to see a single ballet performance of their son, who is clearly very good, having been selected to the Joffrey second company, and is their son nonetheless. Ron talks of his parents with much affection. But these absences are strange and go back a ways.” Reagan and Nancy went to see Ron perform at the Lisner Auditorium on Monday, May 18, 1981. The elder Reagan commented in his White House diary on this day that Ron’s performance was reminiscent of Fred Astaire.

Reagan became more politically active after his father left the White House in 1989. In contrast to his father, the younger Reagan’s views were unabashedly liberal. In a 2009 Vanity Fair interview, Ron said that he did not speak out politically during his father’s term because the press “never cared about my opinions as such, only as they related to him“, adding that he did not want to create the impression that he and his father were on bad terms because of political differences. In 1991, Reagan hosted The Ron Reagan Show, a syndicated late-night talk show addressing political issues of the day, which was canceled after a brief run since it was unable to compete with the higher ratings of The Arsenio Hall ShowThe Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and Nightline.

Reagan has worked in recent years as a magazine journalist, and has hosted talk shows on cable TV networks such as the Animal Planetnetwork. In Britain, he is best known for having co-presented Record Breakers (based on The Guinness Book of Records) for the BBC. Reagan presented a report from the United States each week.

He has served on the board of the Creative Coalition, an organization founded in 1989 by a group that included Susan Sarandon and Christopher Reeve, to politically mobilize entertainers and artists, generally for First Amendment rights, and causes such as arts advocacy and public education. From February to December 2005, Reagan co-hosted the talk show Connected: Coast to Coast with Monica Crowley on MSNBC.

Until its demise in 2010, Air America Media aired The Ron Reagan Show. The program made its debut on September 8, 2008.

In 2011, he published My Father at 100: A Memoir. In interviews promoting the book, Reagan described noticing his father was having certain mental lapses which, in hindsight, caused the younger Reagan to speculate subsequently that his father may have already been in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease while still in office. This assertion was attacked by critics, including his brother, Michael Reagan. Ron Reagan subsequently clarified that he did not feel the lapses were evidence of “dementia.”

In July 2004, Reagan spoke at the Democratic National Convention about his support for lifting Bush’s restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, from which he expected a cure or new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, of which his father had recently died. “There are those who would stand in the way of this remarkable future, who would deny the federal funding so crucial to basic research. A few of these folks, needless to say, are just grinding a political axe and they should be ashamed of themselves,” Ron Reagan said of the restrictions. “We can choose between the future and the past, between reason and ignorance, between true compassion and mere ideology.”  Reagan’s mother Nancy also supported this position.

In September 2004, he told the Sunday Herald newspaper that the George W. Bush Administration had “cheated to get into the White House. It’s not something Americans ever want to think about their government. My sense of these people is that they don’t have any respect for the public at large. They have a revolutionary mindset. I think they feel that anything they can do to prevail — lie, cheat, whatever — is justified by their revolutionary aims” and that he feared Bush was “hijacking” his father’s reputation.

Reagan later wrote the essay “The Case Against George W. Bush by Ron Reagan” for Esquire. He voted for Democratic candidate John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. Reagan endorsed then-senator Barack Obama of Illinois for president in the 2008 presidential election. In November 2015, Reagan endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2016 Democratic Party primaries.

Ron Reagan lives in Seattle. He married Doria Palmieri, a clinical psychologist, in 1980. She died in 2014 from neuromuscular disease. They had no children.

Marlo Thomas
Marlo Thomas

Marlo Thomas (Wikipedia)

Marlo Thomas was born in 1937 is an American actress, producer, author, and social activist best known for starring on the sitcom That Girl (1966–1971) and her award-winning children’s franchise Free to Be… You and Me. She has received four Emmys, a Golden Globe, and the George Foster Peabody Award for her work in television, and she has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. She has also received a Grammy award for her children’s album Marlo Thomas and Friends: Thanks & Giving All Year Long. In 2014, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony, the highest honor that a civilian can receive.

Thomas serves as National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which was founded by her father Danny Thomas in 1962. She created the Thanks & Giving campaign in 2004 to support the hospital.

Marlo Thomas was born on November 21, 1937, in DetroitMichigan, the eldest child of comedian Danny Thomas  (1912 – 1991) and his wife, the former Rose Marie Cassaniti (1914 – 2000). She has a sister, Terre, and a brother, Tony Thomas, who is a television and film producer. Her father was a Roman Catholic Lebanese American and her mother was Sicilian American. Her godmother was Loretta Young.

Thomas was raised in Beverly Hills, California. Her parents called her Margo as a child, though she soon became known as Marlo, she told The New York Times, because of her childhood mispronunciation of the nickname. She attended Marymount High Schoolin Los Angeles. Thomas graduated from the University of Southern California with a teaching degree: “I wanted a piece of paper that said I was qualified to do something in the world,” she said. She also was a member of the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta.

Thomas appeared in many television programs including BonanzaMcHale’s NavyBen CaseyArrest and TrialThe Joey Bishop ShowThe Many Loves of Dobie GillisMy Favorite Martian77 Sunset Strip, and The Donna Reed Show, among others. Her big break came in 1965 when she was cast by Mike Nichols in the London production of Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, co-starring Daniel MasseyKurt Kasznar, and Mildred Natwick. In 1986, she was once again cast by Nichols on Broadway in Andrew Bergman’s Social Security, co-starring Ron Silver and Olympia Dukakis.

Thomas and her father, Danny, were cast as Laurie and Ed Dubro in the gripping 1961 episode, “Honor Bright”, on CBS’s Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theatre. In the story line, Dubro, a former convict, opposes his daughter’s plans to marry a neighbor, Vince Harwell (Ed Nelson). When Harwell’s current wife suddenly arrives at the church to stop the wedding, Laurie flees and is crushed to death by a team of horses racing through town. Dubro plots a unique way to punish Harwell, but it costs him his own life in the process.

Thomas starred in an ABC pilot called Two’s Company in 1965. Although it did not sell, it caught the attention of an ABC programming executive. He met with Thomas, and expressed interest in casting her in her own series. With their encouragement, Thomas came up with her own idea for a show about a young woman who leaves home, moves to New York City, and struggles to become an actress. The network was initially hesitant, fearing audiences would find a series centering on a single female uninteresting or unrealistic.

The concept eventually evolved into the sitcom entitled That Girl, in which Thomas played Ann Marie, a beautiful, up-and-coming actress with a writer boyfriend, played by Ted Bessell. The series told the daily struggles of Ann holding different temporary jobs while pursuing her dream of a career on BroadwayThat Girl was one of the first television shows to focus on a working, single woman who did not live with her parents, and it paved the way for many shows to come. Thomas was only the second woman to produce her own series, following Lucille BallThat Girlaired from 1966 to 1971, producing 136 episodes, and was a solid performer in the Nielsen ratings.

In 1971, Thomas chose to end the series after five years. Both ABC and the show’s sponsor, Clairol, wanted the series finale to be a wedding between the two central characters, but Thomas rebuffed them, saying that she felt it was the wrong message to send to her female audience, because it would give the impression that the only happy ending is marriageThat Girl has since become popular in syndication.

After That Girl, eager to expand her horizons, Thomas attended the Actors Studio,[8] where she studied with Lee Strasberg until his death in 1982, and subsequently with Strasberg’s disciple Sandra Seacat. When she won her Best Dramatic Actress Emmy in 1986 for the TV movie Nobody’s Child, she thanked both individuals.

Thomas at the 41st Primetime Emmy Awards, September 17, 1989

In 1972, she released a children’s book, Free to Be… You and Me, which was inspired by her young niece Dionne Gordon. She went on to create multiple recordings and television specials of and related to that title: Free to Be… You and Me (1972, 1974) and Free to Be… A Family (1987), with Christopher Cerf. Also in 1972, she served as a California delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida.

In 1973, Thomas joined Gloria Steinem, Patricia Carbine, and Letty Cottin Pogrebin as the founders of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the first women’s fund in the US. The organization was created to deliver funding and other resources to organizations that were presenting liberal women’s voices in communities nationwide.

In 1976, Thomas made a guest appearance on the NBC situation comedy The Practice as a stubborn patient of her father Danny Thomas’s character Dr. Jules Bedford, and the chemistry of father and daughter acting together made for touching hospital-room scenes.

She has made guest appearances on several television series, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (as Judge Mary Conway Clark, a mentor of ADA Casey Novak), BallersThe New NormalWet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. She also narrated the series Happily Never After on Investigation Discovery. From 1996 to 2002, Thomas played Jennifer Aniston’s mother, Sandra Green, on the TV show Friends.

Thomas appeared in films such as Jenny (1970), Thieves (1977), In The Spirit (1990), The Real Blonde (1997), Starstruck (1998), Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999), Playing Mona Lisa (2000), LOL (2012) with Demi Moore and Miley Cyrus, and Cardboard Boxer (2014). She also starred in television movies including It Happened One Christmas (1977; also produced) (a remake of It’s a Wonderful Life),[9] The Lost Honor of Kathryn Beck (1984; also produced), Consenting Adult (1985), Nobody’s Child (1986; Best Dramatic Actress Emmy), Held Hostage: The Sis and Jerry Levin Story (1991; also produced), Reunion (1994; also produced), Deceit (2004; also produced), and Ultimate Betrayal (1994).

Thomas’s Broadway theatre credits include Thieves (1974), Social Security (1986), and The Shadow Box (1994), and in 2011, she starred as Doreen in Elaine May‘s comedy George Is Dead in Relatively Speaking during a set of three one-act plays (The New York Times called Thomas’ performance “sublime”). The other two plays were written by Woody Allen and Ethan Coen.

Off-Broadway, Thomas has appeared in The GuysThe Exonerated (in which she also appeared in Chicago and Boston, co-starring with Brian Dennehy), The Vagina Monologues and Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Also off-Broadway, she appeared opposite Greg Mullavey in the 2015 New York debut of Joe DiPietro‘s play Clever Little Lies at the Westside Theatre.[11] Regional theatre productions include: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Hartford Stage; Woman In Mind at the Berkshire Theatre Festival; Paper Doll, with F. Murray Abraham at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre; and The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds at the Cleveland Playhouse. In 1993, she toured in the national company of Six Degrees of Separation. In the spring of 2008, she starred in Arthur Laurents’s last play, New Year’s Eve with Keith Carradine, at the George Street Playhouse.

Thomas has published seven best-selling books (three of them #1 best-sellers): Free to Be… You and Me; Free to Be… A Family; The Right Words at the Right TimeThe Right Words at the Right Time, Volume 2: Your TurnMarlo Thomas and Friends: Thanks & Giving All Year Long (the CD version of which won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children); her 2009 memoir, Growing Up Laughing; and  It Ain’t Over…Till It’s Over: Reinventing Your Life and Realizing Yours Dreams Anytime, At Any Age.

Thomas serves as the National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, which was founded by her father, Danny Thomas. She donated all royalties from her 2004 book and CD Marlo Thomas and Friends: Thanks & Giving All Year Long (also produced with Christopher Cerf) and her two Right Words at the Right Time books to the hospital.

In 2010, Thomas created, a website for women aged 35+, associated with AOL and the Huffington Post.

Thomas is the recipient of four Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a Grammy Award, a Jefferson Award, and the Peabody Award.

In 1979, the Supersisters trading card set was produced and distributed; one of the cards featured Thomas’s name and picture.

In 1996, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award in recognition of her excellence and innovation in her creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television.[13]

On November 20, 2014, the Marlo Thomas Center for Global Education and Collaboration was opened as part of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.[14] Hillary Clinton presided over the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

On November 24, 2014, President Barack Obama awarded Thomas the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor an American civilian can receive, at a White House ceremony.

Thomas was in a long relationship with playwright Herb Gardner.

In 1977 Thomas was a guest on Donahue, the television talk show, when she and host Phil Donahue “fell in love at first sight.” They were married on May 21, 1980 and together they raised his five children.

Learn more

Joanna Barnes
Joanna Barnes

Joanna Barnes moved to Los Angeles soon after finishing her education, and took up a contract with Columbia Pictures. She went on to have roles in more than 20 films.

Among her most remembered roles is the snooty Gloria Upson in the film Auntie Mame(1958), which earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination for New Star of the Year.[7]

Barnes became the 13th actress to play Jane when she appeared in Tarzan, the Ape Man (1959), with Denny Miller as Tarzan.

In Disney’s original 1961 version of The Parent Trap starring Hayley Mills, Barnes played gold-digger Vicki Robinson, who temporarily comes between Maureen O’Hara and Brian Keith. In the 1998 remake starring Lindsay Lohan, she played Vicki Blake, the mother of the child-hating gold-digger and fiancee Meredith Blake (Elaine Hendrix).

In the 1960s, she appeared in The War Wagon, a western movie starring John Wayne and Kirk Douglas.

Ms Barnes died in 2022.

New York Times obituary

The actress and author Joanna Barnes in an undated photo. “When I’m beginning to feel confined at writing,” she once said, “I take time out for acting.

The actress and author Joanna Barnes in an undated photo. “When I’m beginning to feel confined at writing,” she once said, “I take time out for acting.”
Richard Sandomir

By Richard Sandomir

May 12, 2022

Joanna Barnes, whose many screen roles included the conniving fiancée of a divorced father in the 1961 film “The Parent Trap” and, 37 years later, the character’s mother in the remake — and who, while still enjoying success as an actress, embarked on a successful second career as a writer — died on April 29 at her home in The Sea Ranch, Calif. She was 87.

The cause was cancer, her friend Sally Jackson said.

Ms. Barnes’s role in the hit Disney movie “The Parent Trap” was part of her busy first five years in Hollywood, which began in television on series including “Playhouse 90” and “Cheyenne” and then advanced to supporting roles in “Auntie Mame” (1958), opposite Rosalind Russell, and “Tarzan, the Ape Man” (1959), which starred Denny Miller in the title role.

Ms. Barnes, as Jane, in the 1959 film “Tarzan, the Ape Man,” with Denny Miller, left, in the title role and Cesare Danova.

Life magazine featured Ms. Barnes in a photo spread that promoted “Tarzan.”

“The silk-clad debutante, above, and the barelegged tree climber at right are the same — Miss Joanna Barnes of Boston and Hollywood,” the article said in part. “She is the latest and, MGM insists, the brainiest of the 20 girls who have played Jane, the genteel Englishwoman in the Tarzan films.”

In “The Parent Trap” (1961), starring Hayley Mills in the dual role of long-separated twin sisters who meet and conspire to reunite their divorced parents, Ms. Barnes played the vixenish fortune hunter dating the girls’ father, played by Brian Keith. When the film was remade 37 years later with Lindsay Lohan as its star, Ms. Barnes played the mother of her former character, who was portrayed by Elaine Hendrix.

“She had no judgment about being in a remake,” Nancy Meyers, the director of the film, said in a phone interview. “And she was one of those people who, after you say, ‘Cut!’ you want to keep talking to her.”

Ms. Barnes never became a major star, and in the 1960s she began to find diversions from acting.

In 1967 she hosted the ABC television series “Dateline: Hollywood,” on which she took viewers behind the scenes on studio tours and interviewed stars. She wrote a syndicated column, Touching Home, and a book, “Starting From Scratch” (1968), about interior decorating.

Her first novel, “The Deceivers” (1970), was a sexy Hollywood exposé that swirled around a former child actress and the powerful people in her orbit.

“Joanna Barnes is Jacqueline Susann with a brain,” the critic John Leonard wrote in The New York Times, referring to the author of the saucy 1966 saga “Valley of the Dolls.” He added, “A few of the characters in ‘The Deceivers’ seem to have been stamped out of stale Saltines; the sex grows like grass between each block of plot; and, as in too many first novels, everything gets resolved at a big party. But Miss Barnes is an excellent guide for tourists in the land of the plastic cactus.”

She also wrote the novels “Who Is Carla Hart?” (1973); “Pastora” (1980), about a 19th-century woman’s rise in San Francisco society, which was a New York Times paperback best seller; and “Silverwood” (1985).

“Acting and writing feed each other,” she told The Associated Press, adding, “When I’m beginning to feel confined at writing, I take time out for acting.”

And socializing. In 1971, she briefly dated Henry Kissinger, who was President Richard M. Nixon’s national security adviser at the time. When Maxine Cheshire of The Washington Post reported that she and Mr. Kissinger had attended a party in Hollywood together, she noted that Ms. Barnes had written “The Deceivers,” “which Kissinger hasn’t read.”

Ms. Barnes was born in Boston on Nov. 15, 1934, and raised in Hingham, Mass. Her father, John, was an insurance executive, and her mother, Alice (Mutch) Barnes, was a homemaker. She studied English at Smith College, where she received a bachelor’s degree in 1956 — the year she earned her first screen credit in the TV series “Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers.”

In 1961, she was booted from the Boston Social Register, which, she told The St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, did not approve of actors. She had just been in the hit movie “Spartacus,” starring Kirk Douglas.

“Played a degenerate Roman lady,” she said. “Delicious part.”

Over the next three decades she was seen on many TV series, including “Bachelor Father,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “Love American Style,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “Trapper John, M.D.” In the 1965-66 season she was a regular on “The Trials of O’Brien,” a short-lived series about a defense lawyer, played by Peter Falk. She played his ex-wife.

She is survived by her stepdaughters, Laura and Louise Warner; her stepson, John Warner; and her sisters, Lally Barnes Freeman and Judith Barnes Wood. Her marriages to Richard Herndon and Lawrence Dobkin ended in divorce; her marriage to Jack Lionel Warner ended with his death in 2012.

For all her success on the screen, her interest in acting had faded — until the remake of “The Parent Trap” came along.

“Her part was small but memorable, and I definitely didn’t need to tell her how to play it,” Ms. Meyers wrote in an email. “She knew exactly what to do and played it to the hilt