biography

Born in Long Beach, California, on September 26, 1919 (some sources suggest December 1920 as her date of birth), actress Barbara Britton was raised in Long Beach and started college there. By chance she was discovered for films when a talent scout spotted her photo in a newspaper, and soon afterward she signed a contract with Paramount. Her first film for the studio was the Hopalong Cassidy western Secrets of the Wasteland (1941; with William Boyd and Andy Clyde). The studio brought Britton along in several minor roles but soon gave her bigger ones in Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1942; with Fay Bainter and Hugh Herbert), So Proudly We Hail! (1943; with Claudette Colbert and Veronica Lake), and Till We Meet Again (1944; with Ray Milland). Britton left Paramount in 1945 and freelanced for the remainder of her film career, often in westerns.

Barbara BrittonBarbara Britton

Photos of Barbara Britton from the 1940s

In 1945, Britton married a psychiatrist, with whom she would raise a family of four. Nonetheless, unlike many actress of the period, she continued to work and acted in numerous films in the late 1940s and early 1950s, including the westerns The Virginian (1946; with Joel McCrea and Brian Donlevy), Albuquerque (1948; with Randolph Scott and Lon Chaney Jr.), and Ride the Man Down (1952; with Rod Cameron and Brian Donlevy). She also acted in the early 3-D adventure Bwana Devil (1952; with Robert Stack). Her film career was put on hold when she was cast in the NBC comedy/mystery TV series Mr. & Mrs. North (1952-1954; with Richard Denning), but she returned to films when NBC canceled the series in 1954.

the films of barbara britton

Till We Meet Again (1944)

Ray Milland and Barbara Britton

With co-star Ray Milland in Paramount's war drama Till We Meet Again

Captain Kidd (1945)

Gilbert Roland, Barbara Britton, and Randolph Scott

From the colorful adventure Captain Kidd with Gilbert Roland and Randolph Scott

The Great John L (1945)

Barbara Britton

As Kathy Harkness in the drama The Great John L

The Fabulous Suzanne (1946)

Bill Henry, Barbara Britton, and Veda Ann BorgBill Henry, Barbara Britton, and Irene Agay

From Republic's comedy The Fabulous Suzanne, in which Britton had the title role. LEFT: With love interest Bill Henry and Veda Ann Borg. RIGHT: With Bill Henry and Irene Agay

The Return of Monte Cristo (1946)

Barbara Britton

From the Columbia adventure The Return of Monte Cristo

Gunfighters (1947)

Barbara Britton and Bruce CabotBarbara Britton and Bruce Cabot

From the Columbia western Gunfighters with Bruce Cabot

The Raiders (1952)

William Bishop, Richard Martin, Barbara Britton, and Morris Ankrum

From the Universal-International western The Raiders with William Bishop, Richard Martin, and Morris Ankrum

Mr. & Mrs. North (1952-1954 CBS/NBC TV Series)

Barbara BrittonBarbara Britton and Richard Denning

From Britton's comedy/mystery series Mr. & Mrs. North. Richard Denning portrayed Britton's husband

Ain't Misbehavin' (1955)

Barbara Britton and Rory Calhoun

From the Universal-International musical Ain't Misbehavin' with Rory Calhoun

Night Freight (1955)

Barbara Britton and Forrest Tucker

With Forrest Tucker in the Allied Artists drama Night Freight

The Spoilers (1955)

Barbara Britton and Ray Danton

With Ray Danton in the Universal-International western The Spoilers

later years

Barbara Britton's final film was the Universal-International western The Spoilers (1955; with Jeff Chandler and Rory Calhoun). In 1955, she relocated with her husband and children to New York. Britton quickly found work in television as a game show assistant on the CBS show The $64,000 Question (1955-1958; with Hal March), and she landed a lucrative deal with Revlon as a spokesperson. Keeping a hand in acting, Britton also appeared on Broadway in several productions from the mid 1950s through the late 1960s. She worked little in the 1970s until she was cast in the ABC daytime drama One Life to Live in 1979. Sadly, around this time Britton was diagnosed with cancer and passed away on January 17, 1980, at the age of 60. Britton was survived by her husband, daughter, and son.

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filmography

FILM
The Spoilers (1955) with Anne Baxter, Jeff Chandler, Rory Calhoun, Ray Danton, and Willis Bouchey
Night Freight (1955) with Forrest Tucker and Keith Larsen
Ain't Misbehavin' (1955) with Rory Calhoun, Piper Laurie, Jack Carson, Mamie Van Doren, and Peter Mamakos
Dragonfly Squadron (1954) with John Hodiak, Bruce Bennett, Gerald Mohr, Chuck Connors, John Lupton, and Fess Parker
Bwana Devil (1952) with Robert Stack and Nigel Bruce
The Raiders (1952) with Richard Conte, Viveca Lindfors, Hugh O'Brian, Gregg Palmer, William Reynolds, Morris Ankrum, Dennis Weaver, and Margaret Field
Ride the Man Down (1952) with Brian Donlevy, Rod Cameron, Ella Raines, Forrest Tucker, Chill Wills, J. Carrol Naish, and Jim Davis
The Bandit Queen (1950) with Willard Parker and Philip Reed
Champagne for Caesar (1950) with Ronald Colman, Celeste Holm, Vincent Price, Art Linkletter, and Byron Foulger
I Shot Jesse James (1949) with Preston Foster, John Ireland, Reed Hadley, Tom Tyler, Tommy Noonan, and Byron Foulger
Cover-Up (1949) with Dennis O'Keefe, William Bendix, and Virginia Christine
Loaded Pistols (1948) with Gene Autry and Chill Wills
The Untamed Breed (1948) with Sonny Tufts, George "Gabby" Hayes, and Edgar Buchanan
Mr. Reckless (1948) with Minna Gombell, Lloyd Corrigan, and Nestor Paiva
Albuquerque (1948) with Randolph Scott, George "Gabby" Hayes, and Lon Chaney Jr.
Gunfighters (1947) with Randolph Scott, Bruce Cabot, Steven Geray, Forrest Tucker, and Grant Withers
The Return of Monte Cristo (1946) with Louis Hayward, George Macready, Steven Geray, and Ray Collins
The Fabulous Suzanne (1946) with Rudy Vallee, Otto Kruger, Richard Denning, and Veda Ann Borg
The Virginian (1946) with Joel McCrea, Brian Donlevy, Sonny Tufts, Fay Bainter, Tom Tully, and William Frawley
They Made Me a Killer (1946) with Robert Lowery and Lola Lane
Captain Kidd (1945) with Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott, John Carradine, Gilbert Roland, and Sheldon Leonard
The Great John L. (1945) with Greg McClure, Linda Darnell, Otto Kruger, Wallace Ford, and Rory Calhoun
Till We Meet Again (1944) with Ray Milland, Walter Slezak, and Mona Freeman
The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944) with Gary Cooper, Laraine Day, Signe Hasso, Dennis O'Keefe, and Paul Kelly
So Proudly We Hail! (1943) with Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard, Veronica Lake, George Reeves, and Sonny Tufts
Young and Willing (1943) with William Holden, Eddie Bracken, Susan Hayward, and Martha O'Driscoll
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1942) with Fay Bainter, Hugh Herbert, and Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer
Wake Island (1942) with Brian Donlevy, Robert Preston, Macdonald Carey, Albert Dekker, William Bendix, and Phillip Terry
Reap the Wild Wind (1942) with Ray Milland, John Wayne, Paulette Goddard, Raymond Massey, Robert Preston, Susan Hayward, Charles Bickford, Louise Beavers, Martha O'Driscoll, and Hedda Hopper
The Fleet's In (1942) with Dorothy Lamour, William Holden, Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, Cass Daley, and Leif Erickson
Secrets of the Wasteland (1941) with William Boyd and Andy Clyde

TELEVISION SERIES
One Life to Live, 1968-present ABC daytime TV series. Britton portrayed Fran Craig Gordon from 1979-1980
The $64,000 Question, 1955-1958 CBS TV series. Britton was an assistant on this popular game show
Mr. & Mrs. North, 1952-1954 CBS (and later NBC) TV series. Britton portrayed Pamela North. Also in the cast was Richard Denning

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Watch Barbara Britton's 1946 film noir thriller They Made Me a Killer
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This page premiered March 10, 2005.
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