Actress. She is remembered for her portray of sultry, statuesque man-killers in over 100 20th Century Fox films from the early 1930s through the 1940s. During World War II, she was a favorite American soldier’s pin-up girl with names like “The Woo Woo Girl” and “The Girl with the Million Dollar Figure.” Her film and television career spanned 35 years. Born Margaret Schuyler Fisher in Roanoke, Virginia, her father died when she was seven years old. Her mother moved the family to Lynchburg, Virginia, where she met and married a Religious Science minister who then relocated the family to Boston, Massachusetts where he was assigned a position with his church. Her classmates made fun of her Southern accent and she sought to eliminate it by taking elocution lessons and becoming involved with amateur theatrics. In 1926 the family moved to Los Angeles, California where her stepfather became the head of the Institute of Religious Science. She attended drama school and adopted her stage name of ‘Lynn Barrie’ a composite of theatre actress Lynn Fontanne and author J. M. Barrie. After reading a story about the Italian city of Bari she changed the spelling of her last name. She made her first film appearance in “Meet the Baron” (1933). In most of her early films, she had uncredited parts usually playing receptionists or chorus girls. Her rare leading roles include “China Girl” (1942), “Hello, Frisco, Hello” (1943), “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” (1944), and “The Spiritualist” (1948). In B movies, she was usually cast as a villainess, notably “Shock” (1946) and “nocturne” (1946). From July to September 1952 she starred in her own situation television comedy “Boss Lady,” a summer replacement for NBC’s “Fireside Theater,” which she portrayed ‘Gwen F. Allen’, the beautiful top executive of a construction firm. Other notable films include “Sunny Side of the Street” (1951) and “Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Cops” (1955). In 1955 she appeared in the final episode “The Beautiful Miss X” of Rod Cameron’s syndicated television crime drama “City Detective.” In 1960 she played female bandit ‘Belle Starr’ in the episode “Perilous Passage” of the NBC western television series “Overland Trail.” Her later television work included appearances in episodes of “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.” and “The F.B.I.” Her last film appearance was in “The Young Runaways” (1968). She was married three times, the first to Walter Kane (1939 to 1943), then to Sidney Luft (1943 to 1950), and finally to Nathan Rickles (1955 to 1972). Plagued by arthritis in her later years, she died of an apparent heart attack in Santa Monica, California at the age of 75.
- December, 18, 1913
- November, 20, 1989