Biography of Barbara Stanwyck (1907-1990)

American film actress, born in Brooklyn, New York on July 16, 1907 and died in Santa Monica (California) on January 20, 1990. His real name was Ruby Stevens.


Daughter of a modest family, had an easy adolescence, so began to work as a telephone operator to help the very poor family income. He doesn't think it will too when they offered to become a cabaret dancer, so soon will be hired as a chorus girl in the magazine of the famous Florenz Ziegfeld. Some clever theatrical agent serves as a chance to go to Broadway and participate in great works, the dream of Barbara Stanwyck was fulfilled: it had become Theater actress. But the sound gave its first stammerings, the musical moved to the screens and needed pretty blonde with long legs and beautiful. The Stanwyck went to Hollywood to take part in any movie musical, although his first film would be dumb, Broadway Nights (1927), Joseph C. Boyle. His sound debut would come with the door closed (1929), George Fitzmaurice's. Mexicali Rose (1929), by Erle C. Kenton, was his next film, described by herself as "an abortion" and that did Miss giant cake surprise, was on the verge of mean farewell of the cinema. Fortunately, the following year, master Frank Capra made him reconsider his decision, and thus made light women (1930), film that launched the Stanwyck directly to stardom.

And is that Capra and five films which undertook together were decisive in the career of the actress: in 1931 was a preacher who used his sermons to perform some other business in The Miracle Woman; the following year wheel forbidden love (1932) and enrolls surefire which meant to interpret a selfless mother giving everything for her husband; then came the wonderful the bitterness of general Yen (1933), where the Stanwyck was madly Chinese gentleman who had kidnapped; in 1941, Capra unites it with Gary Cooper to interpret together the Juan masterpiece anyone, the more pessimistic of the movies of Capra, where the Stanwyck memorably plays the journalist writing the letter signed by that Juan nobody imaginary, which later will be the developer of much of our social taras.

It can boast the Stanwyck have worked throughout his career with virtually all of the best directors. William a. Wellman was another important character, he continued the work begun by Capra in the first years of the actress. She was a nurse without too many scruples on that wonderful mixture of thriller and melodrama that was nurses at night (1931), and was thin and sarcastic in the Queen of varieties (1943), trying to uncover a killer of streep tease girls.

The quality of his filmography is waxed great, even more if it fits in the second half of the 1930s. George Stevens chose her to recreate the life of Annie Oakley (1935), and stand up to the footballer Buffalo Bill Wild West show. A year later, John Ford fixed it for the role of wife fearful for the lives of her husband, an Irish revolutionary (a very young Preston Foster), in a major bear and the stars (1936). He came close to winning the Oscar, from the hand of the great King Vidor, for his exciting role in Stella Dallas (1937), as the woman who leaves everything to his daughter, Anne Shirley (who was also nominated as best supporting actress). And it was at the height that it demanded the demanding Cecil B. de Mille, as a daughter of one of the engineers heads who are building the first transcontinental railroad, in one of his epic adventures, Union Pacific (1939). That same year in 1939, Barbara Stanwyck married one of the Heartthrobs par excellence of American cinema, Robert Taylor, to twelve years, remained together until their divorce in 1951.

But the peak of his career came in the 1940s, which joined a handful of masterpieces of this unrivalled decade. It began with memories of a night (1940), the wonderful script by Preston Sturges, who directs, with his usual fussiness, Mitchell Leisen. The own Preston Sturges chose her as a malicious seductive, erotic and romantic at the same time, that fobs off with his father (Charles Coburn), a herpetologist (Henry Fonda), scholar and as naive as rico, traveling on the same transatlantic than this pair of miscreants fun. The film, obviously, three nights of Eve (1941), is an absolute classic of the sophisticated comedy, with ingenious and very rapid dialogue, that one never gets tired of seeing. As ball of fire (1941), Howard Hawks, that fabulous review of 'Snow white and the seven dwarfs' tale (designed by Wilder and Brackett, his screenwriters), which gives life to the mistress of a gangster (Dana Andrews) who hides in the mansion in eight encyclopaedists, headed by the younger, Gary Cooper, which revolutionized with the daring dress cabaret that is presented and with the sweetness that oozes with them.

1944 would be a key year for Barbara Stanwyck. Billy Wilder thinks it can cease to be the heroine of melodramas and comedies that had been until then and become a perverse and manipulative 'femme fatale', vengeful and murderous without scruples in a film noir, one of the masterpieces of the cinema in general, perdition. Many directors thought the same, and the Stanwyck appeared in the strange love of Martha Ivers (1946), from Lewis Milestone, a tragic story of love three bands (Stanwyck, Kirk Douglas and Van Heflin) with a fourth in discord, the wonderful Lady of film noir Lizabeth Scott, and as evil aunt as her niece, Judith Anderson. And, however, it could also be the apparently weak wife who on any given night that called her husband (Burt Lancaster) to the office, heard by chance two men arranging the murder of a woman, and realizes that she is the intended victim slowly. Anatole Litvakwas responsible for directing this marvel that was titled voices of death (1948), on a screenplay by Lucille Fletcher, adapting his own work in radio. He returned to incorporate, the following year, to a 'femme fatale' in all rule on Thelma Jordan (1949), Robert Siodmak, where was a cold and credibly accused of murder, able to fall in love with madly to the Assistant to the District Attorney that this lost the case in their favor.

In the 1950s is a wonderful clinic, which gets shot by the cylinder head, in latent lie (1950), Mitchell Leisen; It was a woman who expected more of life that this could give a superior work of film noir, meeting at night (1952), by Fritz Lang; It is convincing Baroness territorial de Tombstone in an acceptable western from Sam Fuller, forty guns (1957); She was superb in Scope on one of adventures in exotic, with lots of animals, Escape to Burma (1955), of Allan Dwan, and the King of melodrama, Douglas Sirk, rescued it for this genre in his great desire (1953) and there is always a tomorrow (1956), movies both in which the height as it was expected.

Practically isolated from the medium of film in the sixties, he decided to venture into television, where he became so popular as on the big screen. He won two Emmy Awards for its 'The Barbara Stanwyck Show' and 'Big Valley', and abandoned his apparent retirement to participate in two mega-hits television of the Decade of the eighties, the bird Hawthorn and the Colby.

Actress of great dynamism, with a special to be in front of the camera, instinct was nominated four times for the Oscar: in 1937 by Stella Dallas; in 1941 by fireball; in 1944 by doom and in 1948 by voices of death, one honorary was awarded in 1981, according to academics, "great creativity and invaluable contribution to the art of film interpretation". And among other awards in 1983 awarded the Golden Globe for his television work in bird espino, and in 1986 Golden Globe called "Cecil B. de Mille".


1927: Broadway Nights.1929: door closed; Mexicali Rose. 1930: Light women. 1931: Illicit; Cabaret license; Night nurses; The Miracle Woman. 1932: Forbidden love; Cruel disappointment; So Big; The Purchase Price. 1933: The bitterness of the general Yen; Ladies They Talk About; Angel face; Always in my heart. 1934: The bride of luck; A Lost Lady; The secret bride. 1935: The dressed in red; The soldier of love; Annie Oakley. 1936: A Message to García; Get married and see; The wife of his brother; Banjo on My Knee; The Plough and the Stars.1937: Internes Can´t Take Money; Password; Stella Dallas; Breakfast for dos.1938: on the other hand love; Eight women and a crimen.1939: Union Pacific; I dream of dorado.1940: memory of a night. 1941: The three nights of Eva; Juan Nadie; Ball of fire; You belong to me. 1942: A great lady; The Gay Sisters.1943: The Queen of varieties; Aside from life. 1944: Perdition; Hollywood Canteen. 1945: Christmas in Connecticut; My reputation. 1946: The Bride Wore Boots; The Strange Love of Martha Ivers; California.1947: Two ladies Carroll; Another love; Cry Wolf; Variety Girl. 1948: The rebel; Voices of death. 1949: Banned address; Opposite worlds; The File Thelma Jordan. 1950: Latent lie; The Furies; Indianapolis.1951: The Man With a Cloak.1952: Clash By Night. 1953: Tricks of women; The sinking of the Titanic; His great desire; The Moonlighter; Blow salvaje.1954: the ambitious Tower; Only witness; The Queen of the mountain. 1955: Violent men; Escape to Burma.1956: there is always a tomorrow; The Hawaiians; These Wilder Years. 1957: Crime of passion; Forty Guns; Trooper Hook. 1962: The black cat. 1964: Roustabout; The Night Walker.

Productions for television: 1956: Sudden Silence (episode of Ford Theatre). 1958: The Freighter (episode of Zane Grey Theatre); Julie (episode of Zane Grey Theatre). 1959: Hang the Heart High (episode of Zane Grey Theatre); The Lone Woman (episode of Zane Grey Theatre). 1961: The Maud Frazer Story (episode of Wagon Train). 1962: The Captain's Wife (episode of Rawhide); The Caroline Casteel Story (episode of Wagon Train); Elegy (episode of the untouchables). 1963: Search for a Dead Man (episode of the untouchables); The Molly Kincaid Story (episode of Wagon Train). 1964: The Kate Crawley Story (episode of Wagon Train). 1970: The House That Would Not Die.1973: The Letters. 1980: Toni completo Boys (episode of Charlie's Angels).

TV Shows and series: 1960-61: The Barbara Stanwyck Show. 1965-69: Big Valley. 1982-83: The thorn birds. 1985-86: The Colby (only four episodes).

Productions which includes sequences of his films: 1988: Going Hollywood: The War Years.