Appreciating all that makes America special

Actress: Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck was a true pro, and the best directors loved her, including Frank Capra, William Wellman, Cecil B. DeMille, John Ford, King Vidor, Preston Sturges, and Howard Hawks. Uploaded by

Barbara Stanwyck had a long career in films, then followed that with success in television. She made an amazing 85 movies in 38 years, then turned to TV and earned three Emmy Awards for three different programs.

“Barbara Stanwyck” was certainly a more stageworthy name than Ruby Stevens, her real name. To appreciate the span of her career, she actually began in silent films back in 1928. The girl from Brooklyn achieved such success that by 1944 she was the highest-paid woman in America.

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Stanwyck worked with some of Hollywood’s best directors, including William Wellman, Frank Capra, John Ford, King Vidor, Cecil B. DeMille, Preston Sturges, Howard Hawks, and Billy Wilder. And with some of its leading men: Clark Gable, Joel McCrae, Henry Fonda, Gary Cooper, and Fred MacMurray.

Among her more noteworthy films:

  • Ladies of Leisure (1930)
  • Forbidden (1932)
  • Stella Dallas (1937 – Nomination)
  • The Lady Eve (1941)
  • Meet John Doe (1941)
  • Double Indemnity (1944 – Nomination)
  • Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
  • Sorry, Wrong Number (1948 – Nomination)

In television, her own The Barbara Stanwyck Show only lasted for a season, but earned her an Emmy Award. Then from 1965-69 she played the matriarch in The Big Valley, for which she earned three Emmy nominations, winning one. Finally, she earned another Emmy for her role as Mary Carson in The Thorn Birds miniseries.


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