Barbara Stanwyck Poster

Trivia (77)

Godmother of Bobbie Poledouris.

Sister-in-law of actress Caryl Lincoln.

Her stage name was inspired by a theatrical poster that read "Jane Stanwyck in 'Barbara Frietchie.'".

Her nickname among co-workers was "Missy" or "The Queen."

In 1944, when she earned $400,000, the government listed her as the nation's highest-paid woman.

Often called "The Best Actress Who Never Won an Oscar."

According to biographical film Barbara Stanwyck: Fire and Desire (1991), Stanwyck became a model for women actors. Such stars as Sally Field and Virginia Madsen have publicly pointed to Stanwyck as their model.

American Film Institute Life Achievement Award.

Sister of actor Bert Stevens.

She had English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry.

Her mother died when she was accidentally knocked off a trolley by a drunk. Barbara was four at the time.

Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1973.

Her son, Dion Anthony "Tony" Fay, was born in February 1932. He was adopted on December 5, 1932.

Worked briefly as a fashion model in the late 1920s.

Was listed #11 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years of The Greatest Screen Legends."

Her wicked turn as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity (1944) was ranked #8 on the American Film Institute's "100 Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains" list.

She was voted the 40th "Greatest Movie Star of All Time" by Entertainment Weekly.

Her stormy marriage to Frank Fay finally ended after a drunken brawl, during which he tossed their adopted son, Dion, into the swimming pool. Despite rumours of affairs with Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford, Stanwyck wed Robert Taylor, who had gay rumours of his own to dispel. Their marriage started off on a sour note when his possessive mother demanded he spend his wedding night with her rather than with Barbara.

Picked up the starring role in Ball of Fire (1941) after Ginger Rogers dropped out.

She became estranged from her son in February 1951.

She lost a kidney in 1971.

In 1981 she was beaten and robbed in her bedroom by an intruder who woke her up at 1:00 in the morning.

In 1985, her house was destroyed in a fire. She was upset to lose all of Robert Taylor's love letters.

She did not have a funeral and has no grave. Her ashes are scattered in Lone Pine, California.

Her siblings were named Maude, Mable, Mildred ("Millie"), and Malcolm Byron ("Bert") Stevens. Her parents were Byron and Catherine McGee Stevens.

Ailing, she was replaced by Susan Hayward in Heat of Anger (1972), which was to have been a pilot for a prospective TV series to be called "Fitzgerald and Pride."

Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 1751 Vine St.

Attended Erasmus Hall High School, Brooklyn, New York before dropping out at age 14.

Her papers are in the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, PO Box 3924, Laramie, WY 82071.

Turned down the role of Angela Channing on Falcon Crest (1981).

Her performance as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity (1944) is ranked #98 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time list (2006).

Her performance as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity (1944) is ranked #58 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time list.

Was best friends for many years with Frank Sinatra's first wife, Nancy.

A Star Is Born (1937) starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March is said to be modeled after Stanwyck's rise to stardom and first husband Frank Fay's descent into obscurity.

William Holden was considered to be too lightweight for the lead role in Golden Boy (1939), but Stanwyck urged producers to keep him in the picture and it was through her efforts he was kept in the picture, and the role made him a star. In 1978, at the The 50th Annual Academy Awards (1978), before starting the presentation of the sound award, Holden publicly thanked her for what she did. She nearly broke down in tears and kissed Holden, and the exchange received thunderous audience applause.

In Italy, almost all of her films were dubbed by Lidia Simoneschi. She was occasionally dubbed by Tina Lattanzi and Marcella Rovena. As Leona Stevenson in Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), she was dubbed by Andreina Pagnani. This was the only time the Italian actress lent her voice to Stanwyck.

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 796-798. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.

Planned to play the lead in Mildred Pierce (1945), but Joan Crawford was faster and got the role.

She with Linda Evans in two series: The Big Valley (1965) and Dynasty (1981).

Profiled in "Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames" bu Ray Hagen and Laura Wagner (McFarland, 2004).

Profiled in "Back in the Saddle: Essays on Western Film and Television Actors", Gary Yoggy, ed. (McFarland, 1998).

Throughout her career she was known for her kindness and patience with younger performers. Marilyn Monroe, who worked with Stanwyck in the 1952 film Clash by Night (1952) said that Stanwyck was the only member of Hollywood's older generation who was kind to her.

When she was awarded an Honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement, the statuette was presented to her by John Travolta who later confessed that the experience was his supreme Oscar moment. Stanwyck had been a Travolta family favorite for years.

In 1957 Tony, her adopted son, was arrested for trying to sell lewd pictures while waiting to cash his unemployment check. When questioned by the press about his famous mother, he replied, "We don't speak." She saw him only a few times after his childhood.

Was considered for the role of Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950) after Claudette Colbert was forced to pull out of the project due to back injury. However the part was given to Bette Davis, who went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.

She twice played a character named Jessica Drummond in two completely different movies: My Reputation (1946) and Forty Guns (1957).

Best remembered by the public for her starring role as matriarch Victoria Barkley on The Big Valley (1965).

Her former The Big Valley (1965), co-stars, Peter Breck and Linda Evans, both have made guest appearances on her co-star's, Lee Majors, popular 1980s TV series, The Fall Guy (1981), but on different episodes.

Peter Breck, Lee Majors and Linda Evans were said to be huge fans of hers, as little children. As adults all three co-starred with her in the hit western series The Big Valley (1965).

She was a member of The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a rabidly right-wing political action group during the McCarthy-era "blacklisting" period in the early and mid-1950s. It counted among its members Ginger Rogers, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Irene Dunne.

Godmother of Tori Spelling.

Lived near Joan Crawford during her marriage to Frank Fay. According to Christina Crawford, Barbara scaled a fence on their property and stayed with the Crawfords for several days. Stanwyck and Crawford had first become friends when they were single young actresses.

Her father was a bricklayer.

Stanwyck's father abandoned his children in mad grief after the death of his wife. Stanwyck then grew up in a series of foster homes.

Profiled in book "Funny Ladies" by Stephen Silverman.

In February 1955 she was mentioned to be one of the female stars of Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) but she never made the film.

As of the age of four, after her mother died and her father, upset by his wife's death, abandoned his kids, Barbara was brought up by her elder sister.

She was a staunch Republican and conservative.

Before she was an actress, she was a successful dancer and chorus girl.

She was very good friends with: Julie London, John Forsythe, Jane Wyman, Loretta Young, Jean Arthur, Bette Davis, Frank Capra, Fred MacMurray, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Tony Martin, Richard Basehart, Aaron Spelling, Robert Fuller, James Drury, John McIntire, Denny Miller, Bruce Dern, Rhonda Fleming, Leif Erickson, Gavin MacLeod, Pernell Roberts, Jeanne Cooper, Richard Anderson, L.Q. Jones, Barry Sullivan, William Conrad, Joan Crawford, Bill Quinn, Robert Conrad, James Stewart, Harold Gould, Frances Dee, James Whitmore and Richard Long.

Her sister-in-law, Caryl Lincoln, died in 1983.

Was a heavy smoker.

She was honored as Turner Classic Movie's Star of the Month for December 2012.

Acting mentor and friends of Linda Evans and Lee Majors.

Was considered for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).

Forty of the movies she appeared in in her 35-year-long career were screened through the month of December 2013 in special tribute at New York City's Film Forum.

Stanwyck vehemently opposed the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. She felt that if someone from her disadvantaged background had risen to success, others should be able to do the same without government intervention or assistance.

A massive, 1000-page biography of Stanwyck, published in 2013 by Victoria Wilson, is merely the first volume of an ongoing narrative of the star, one that covers only the first 33 years of Stanwyck's life.

Was considered for the title role in Mildred Pierce (1945).

Born at 8:55 PM.

She was known to be a very private lady.

Although many would say that her greatest movie role was in Double Indemnity (1944), directed by Billy Wilder, she was an outspoken critic of Wilder's Kiss Me, Stupid (1964), calling it obscene (although she admitted to not having seen it). However, there seems to have been no lasting animosity between them - when Stanwyck received her AFI Life Achievement Award, Wilder was amongst the most laudatory of those paying tribute to her.

Upon her death, she was cremated and the ashes scattered from a helicopter over Lone Pine, California, where she had made some of her Western films.

Through his friend Oscar Levant, Frank Fay met and married Barbara Stanwyck, then a young chorus girl who'd just gotten her first Broadway show (Burlesque, 1927) In 1929 they did a dramatic sketch, as "Fay and Stanwyck" at the Palace. Later that year, they were called to Hollywood, so Frank could star in the film "Show of Shows." Fay and Stanwyck's marriage and their experience in Hollywood later became the basis of a Hollywood movie - "A Star is Born".

In Hollywood, as everywhere he went, Frank Fay did not make a lot of friends. A standard joke of the time went "who's got the biggest prick in Hollywood?" Answer: "Barbara Stanwyck." The womanizing, alcoholic Fay's career floundered, while Stanwyck's flourished for decades. In 1935 the two were divorced, and Fay continued his downward spiral, until 1944, when he was chosen to play Elwood P. Dowd in the original New York City Broadway production of "Harvey".

Started smoking when she was nine.

Caught bronchitis while filming The Thorn Birds (1983).