Barbara Jo Allen

1906 - 1974

Comedienne/writer Barbara Jo Allen induced laughs nationwide after originating and literally becoming synonymous with the talky, shrill-voiced, man-hungry spinster "Vera Vague," a WWII creation in the late 1930s. She kept the name throughout much of her career and was often billed as such. The character, however, was to be both her fortune and her curse.Barbara was born on Fifth Avenue in New York City on September 2, 1906. She developed a deep passion for entertaining in high school and appeared in many of her school plays. After graduating, she went to study at the Sorbonne in Paris. Following the death of her parents she moved to Los Angeles to live with an uncle. She broke into radio in 1937 playing the part of Beth Holly on "One Man's Family," then moved into a succession of popular programs such as "Death Valley Days" and "I Love a Mystery."Inspiration for her highly prim-looking and utterly absurd clubwoman caricature came after the comedienne attended a PTA meeting in which a w

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