Barbara Read

Barbara Read, also known as Barbara Reed, (December 29, 1917 December 12, 1963) was a Canadian-American film actress of the 1930s to 1940s who appeared in 21 films during her career.

Barbara Read
Born(1917-12-29)December 29, 1917
DiedDecember 12, 1963(1963-12-12) (aged 45)

Early life

Born in Port Arthur, Ontario, Read relocated to California during the mid-1930s. Read received her first movie contract while living with in Laguna Beach, California.[1] She was watching a film production in Laguna when she was spotted and offered a screen test.[2] She was given a six-month contract with the production company.[2] When she failed to receive any roles because of her lack of experience, she joined the Laguna Beach Players theater, where she acted in a new play each month for two years.[1]

Film career

Her first film appearance was one of the three principal girls in the 1936 comedy film Three Smart Girls, which also starred Deanna Durbin and Nan Grey. From 1937 through 1939, Read appeared in nine films, most notably starring in The Spellbinder, opposite Lee Tracy. From 1940 through 1948, she appeared in 11 films. Her most remembered role was portraying Margo Lane in three films from The Shadow series, starring opposite Kane Richmond. Richmond and she teamed together in The Shadow Returns, Behind the Mask, and The Missing Lady, all in 1946. Her last role was alongside Randolph Scott and Marguerite Chapman in the 1948 Western Coroner Creek.

Personal life

In September 1936, Read eloped to Mexico with a young artist named William Paul III, but they divorced two months later.[3] Read married talent agent Bill Josephy in Santa Barbara on December 27, 1947. They had two boys, Damon Josephy and Quentin Josephy.[4] She married actor William Talman in 1953. They had two children: Barbie and William Whitney Talman III. They divorced on August 23, 1960. Read died of an apparent suicide on December 12, 1963, in Laguna Beach, California. Notes she left behind blamed ill health for her action.[5]

Selected filmography


  1. "From Comedy to War Drama, New Role for Barbara Read". The West Australian. Perth, Australia. October 19, 1937. p. 5. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  2. Hoadley, Roy (June 14, 1937). "Barbara Read Near Stardom Thinks Writer". The Calgary Daily Herald. p. 15. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  3. Kendall, Read (March 15, 1937). "Around and About in Hollywood". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  4. "Film Actress to Wed". The Deseret News. Hollywood. December 23, 1947. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  5. Biography for William Talman on IMDb
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