Barbara Stanwyck

1907 - 1990

Today Barbara Stanwyck is remembered primarily as the matriarch of the family known as the Barkleys on the TV western The Big Valley (1965), wherein she played Victoria, and from the hit drama The Colbys (1985). But she was known to millions of other fans for her movie career, which spanned the period from 1927 until 1964, after which she appeared on television until 1986. It was a career that lasted for 59 years.Barbara Stanwyck was born Ruby Catherine Stevens on July 16, 1907, in Brooklyn, New York, to working class parents Catherine Ann (McPhee) and Byron E. Stevens. Her father, from Massachusetts, had English ancestry, and her Canadian mother, from Nova Scotia, was of Scottish and Irish descent. Stanwyck went to work at the local telephone company for fourteen dollars a week, but she had the urge (a dream--that was all it was) somehow to enter show business. When not working, she pounded the pavement in search of dancing jobs. The persistence paid off. Barbara was hired as a chorus

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