Barbara Stanwyck

"Attention embarrasses me. I don`t like to be on display." ~ Barbara

 Barbara Stanwyck was born Ruby Catherine Stevens on July 16, 1907, in Brooklyn, New York. She was the youngest of five children. When she was four her mother was killed and shortly after her father abandoned them. Barbara would spend her childhood in a series of foster homes. At age fourteen she dropped out of school and began working odd jobs. She danced in The Ziegfeld Follies and even worked as a nude model. In 1928 she married actor Frank Fay who helped her land a movie contract. Barbara became a star playing strong women in movies like Night Nurse and Baby Face. She and Frank adopted a son, Dion, but their marriage ended. He was an alcoholic and became jealous of her success. Although she won custody of Dion they eventually became estranged. Barbara was nominated for an Academy Award in 1937 for Stella Dallas.

She would get three more Oscar nominations but never won.While making the drama This Is My Affair she met Robert Taylor. They were married in 1939. Barbara's success continued with the hit films Double Indemnity, Ball Of Fire, and The Lady Eve. By 1944 she was Hollywood's highest paid actress. Her marriage to Robert ended after twelve years but she would always say he was the great love of her life. There were also rumors that Barbara had lesbian lovers. During the 1960s she starred in the TV series The Big Valley and won an Emmy for The Barbara Stanwyck Show. She was a lifelong Republican and devoted much of her time to charity work. Unfortunately in 1981 she was badly beaten by an intruder and a few years later her home burned down in a fire. Barbara died on January 20, 1990 from heart failure. She was cremated and her ashes were scattered in California.