FOXY LADY, LYNN BARI: Part Two

Lynn’s career after leaving Twentieth Century Fox  in 1947 actually became more varied. She had been active in radio and later, in television, and she took to the stage also as her film roles diminished.
Lynn: “Radio was very easy and very lucrative. For a period in 1943 I was making more money in radio than in the movies – $1,000 to $1,500 per show. – Fox took half our salary!”

Among her radio appearances, Lynn did Golden Boy with  John Garfield , and Each Dawn I Die with George Raft, Franchot Tone.

With George Raft

On the CBS long running series, SUSPENSE, Lynn had a starring role in 1947’s “Murder By An Expert”, as a woman planning the murder of her husband. I heard it online and it was very good. (https://starsonsuspense.libsyn.com) Episode 214.

Lynn also costarred with Pat O’Brien in a short lived radio series in 1947, with O’Brien as a small town druggist and Lynn as a nurse.

 

 

Lynn starred in two short lived TV series , the first in 1950, called “Detective’s Wife.” She and Donald Curtis played a husband and wife detective duo.
(Donald Curtis had played Lynn’s husband in “The Amazing Mr. X”.)

Donald Curtis

(Curtis is a very smooth villain in “The Amazing Mr. X”)

 

In 1952, Lynn tried series TV again , playing the lead in Boss Lady, costarring Glenn Langan, Lee Patrick. It ran 13 weeks. Lynn played the CEO of a construction company.

( I couldn’t find copies of any episodes of either series on You Tube.)

With Glenn Langan. BOSS LADY

In 1956, Lynn was back on TV in a production of “Old Acquaintance “ with Ruth Hussey.

 

 

Lynn made her stage debut in a national tour of the Moss Hart play, LIGHT  UP THE SKY in 1949.

Other stage appearances included a solo show in Los Angeles, “The World of Robert Burns” , reading Burns verse.

Other rare stage roles included the Kay Kendall role in SIMON AND LAURA , and she appeared in BYE BYE BIRDIE, with Sheree North .

 

In the Stephen Sondheim musical, “FOLLIES”, in 1973, Lynn played the part originated on Broadway by Yvonne De Carlo. Lynn sang the classic song, “I’m Still Here.”

 

 

One of Lynn’s TV roles was in the series “Overland Trail”, with William Bendix and Doug McClure.

Other TV shows Lynn appeared in included Ben Casey, Perry Mason, Bronco. Her last appearance was in a 1968 TV movie, “The Young Runaways.”

 

Lynn’s few big screen roles in the 1950s included ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KEYSTONE KOPS and FRANCIS JOINS THE WACS. She was in her 30s, with plenty of film experience but seemed to be completely overlooked by film makers. Not having a studio contract at  that time  didn’t help.

 

With her second husband, Sid  Luft.

Lynn’s private life could be described as tumultuous . Her father committed suicide in 1927; her first child died in 1945, just after birth; she was married three times; her mother , Marge Fisher gave Lynn many problems.

Lynn’s first marriage in 1939 was to Walter Kane, an agent. They were divorced in 1942.  A year later she married Sid Luft .

As for her studio:

”When it had been announced that I was pregnant – boom! – I was suspended with no pay.”

In 1948, Lynn had a son, John Luft , and by 1951 ,Lynn and Sid Luft were divorced. In the 1950s, Lynn and her ex-husband were quite often in court, over custody of their son John and non payment of child support payments.
Judy Garland, now married to Sid Luft, was even  called into court , as it was claimed Luft “got a huge chunk of Judy’s  earnings in the previous year.” – which would boost payment of child support for young John.

Lynn’s third marriage (1955-1972) was to a Los Angeles psychiatrist,Dr. Nathan Rickles.

As time and ill health took its toll on Lynn- she suffered from rheumatoid arthritis- her son John  came to live with her, and her brother ,also called John, looked after her. (Lynn called them “My two John’s”. )

 

I think Lynn would have approved of Jeff Gordon’s book. As well as his correspondence and conversations with Lynn, Mr. Gordon sent Lynn videos of some of her films which she hadn’t seen for decades – “Hotel For Women” and “Meet The Girls” among them.
With over 150 roles in films and television, there are two stars on Hollywood Boulevard for Lynn.

  • (Born Marjorie Fisher, Lynn said she took her name from the stage actress Lynn Fontanne and the author J.M.Barrie)

Lynn Bari’s life and career is very well documented in Jeff Gordon’s book and it  is a fine history of one actress’s life in Hollywood during the Classic era.
I think Lynn Bari showed clearly she was a fine actress who suffered from typecasting . As Lynn herself said, in the ‘B’s she was the heroine, but in the ‘A’ features, she was the heavy.

She obviously loved acting and she embraced radio ,  live performance and television when the film roles dried up.

As a Lynn Bari fan, I’m glad we have this fine biography and I look forward to catching up on more of Lynn’s films.

 

 

Another of Lynn’s films I have now seen and enjoyed is THE AMAZING MR. X, which I hope to review later.

 

TAMPICO.

 

Atmospheric photo of Lynn with Lloyd Nolan and Mary Beth Hughes in “Sleepers West.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 responses »

  1. She seems from her later photos to have become even more attractive, and even just from what she conveys visually from them I can well imagine her in that “Follies” role – a show I was lucky enough to have seen as a child, with its original cast.

      • Yes – my clearest memories are the strikingly sleek-costumed elegance of Alexis Smith, the dark set with its suggestion of ruins, Dorothy Collins, and poet-lyricist Rod McKuen outside at intermission having a cigarette at the south tip of that peninsula of land on which the Winter Garden sits, at its entrance. I think the show had just opened. – Greg

  2. Just a very small correction. The Young Runaways was not made for television. It was an exploitation picture aimed at the drive in market released by MGM in 1968. I have a copy of Lynns penultimate picture Trauma, a poor suspense film from 1962. She plays a wheelchair bound lady who dies. mysteriously after about ten minutes. What could Lynn have been, with a loving supportive husband behind her.

  3. This is somebody who honestly I did not know that much about, but thanks to this piece, I’ve got to change that!

    It’s funny the things you remember…the cast poster for “Follies”…for some reason Selma Diamond is stuck in my head one of the original bailiffs on the 80s sit-com “Night Court.”

    And as a sports guy, to me William Bendix will always be one of the worst “Babe Ruths” ever …

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