Corinne Barker

Corinne Barker (née Riely; June 5, 1890 – August 6, 1928) was an American actress and costume designer who came to prominence during the silent era, specifically for her roles in several Vitagraph films. She also appeared in several Broadway productions, as well as two films with Marion Davies: The Restless Sex (1920) and Enchantment (1921).

Corinne Barker
Barker, c. 1921
Corinne Riely

June 5, 1890 (1890-06-05)
DiedAugust 6, 1928(1928-08-06) (aged 38)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Resting placeRiver View Cemetery, Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Spouse(s)William Barker
Hobart Henley (m. 1920)

After transitioning to theater in the 1920s, Barker began working as a costume designer in Manhattan, working under Vincent Youmans. Upon returning to the United States from Europe in July 1928, Barker developed peritonitis from food poisoning, of which she died on August 6, 1928.[1]

Life and career

Early life

Barker was born Corinne Riely[2] on June 5, 1890 in Salem, Oregon,[lower-alpha 1] to Charles Strang and Amelia (née Savage) Riely. She was educated at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Salem.[4] Her father was also a native of Salem, and a prominent businessman there and in Portland, Oregon.[5]

Film and theater career

She began acting in theater productions in Portland in the early-1900s.[6] She relocated from Portland to New York City in 1910,[6] and appeared in a stage production of The Crinoline Girl with Julian Eltinge.[4][7] She married William Barker in Portland some time prior to 1916.[6]

Barker began appearing in films in 1918, debuting in Money Mad. Her second film appearance in Peck's Bad Girl (1918) was praised by Variety, who noted: "Corinne Barker as the wily Hortense could not have been better cast."[8] She appeared in a handful of features in 1919, including One Week of Life, The Peace of Roaring River, and The Climbers, the latter of which starred Corinne Griffith.[9] She subsequently had a supporting role opposite Marion Davies in the drama The Restless Sex (1920).[9] Barker married actor Hobart Henley in New York City in July 1920,[4][10] after which she appeared in Why Girls Leave Home (1921),[9] and Enchantment (also 1921), the latter of which also starred Davies.[9]

In New York, Barker worked as a stage actress as well as a costume designer, designing the costumes for a 1926 Broadway production of No, No, Nanette.[11] In late 1927, she began designing costumes for Vincent Youmans' stage productions.[12] She resided on the Upper West Side at 78th Street with husband Henley, and her mother.[11]


Barker was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan on July 19, 1928, shortly after returning to the United States from Europe, suffering from peritonitis.[11] It was reported on July 27 that her condition had stemmed from food poisoning and that she was in "serious condition."[13] Barker died a little over a week later on August 6, 1928.[1]

Her funeral service was held at the Church of Transfiguration in Manhattan.[11] Barker is interred at River View Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.


Denotes a lost or presumed lost film.
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1918 Money Mad Fanette [9]
1918 Peck's Bad Girl Hortense Martinot [9]
1919 One Week of Life Lola Canby [9]
1919 The Peace of Roaring River Sophy McGurn [9]
1919 The Climbers Julia Godesby [9]
1919 The Golden Shower Gaby [9]
1919 The Broken Melody Mrs. Drexel Trask [9]
1919 The Silent Barrier Millicent Jacques [9]
1920 The Restless Sex Helen West [9]
1921 Why Girls Leave Home Ethel, a gold-digger [9]
1921 Enchantment Nalia McCabe [9]

Stage credits

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1915–1916 Abe and Mawruss Broadway [14]
1916–1917 Shirley Kaye Broadway [14]
1917 On with the Dance Broadway [14]
1918–1919 Remnant Broadway [14]
1925–1926 No, No, Nanette N/A Broadway; costume supervisor [14]


  1. Though some sources state Barker's birth year as 1893, her 1921 U.S. passport application from the state of New York states that she was born June 5, 1890 in Salem, Oregon.[3]


  1. Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (3rd ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-476-62599-7.
  2. "Corinne Riely is Stage Star". Statesman Journal. Salem, Oregon. May 10, 1917. p. 2 via
  3. "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925" (March 16, 2018). Corinne Riely, 1921; citing Passport Application, New York, United States, source certificate #55544, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925, 1664, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  4. "Corinne Barker Bride of H. Henley". The Oregon Daily Journal. Portland, Oregon. July 27, 1920. p. 12 via
  5. "Well Known Salem Resident Passes". Statesman Journal. Salem, Oregon. May 12, 1936. p. 9 via
  6. "Another Portland Girl Wins Success". The Oregon Daily Journal. Portland, Oregon. December 3, 1916. p. 35 via
  7. "Another Star Summers In Europe". Billings Gazette. Billings, Montana. July 10, 1921. p. 13 via
  8. Variety Film Reviews. 1. Garland Pub. 1983. p. 71.
  9. "Corinne Barker". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  10. "Corinne Barker, Actress, Bride of Hobart Henley". New-York Tribune. July 26, 1920. p. 4 via
  11. "Corinne Barker, Actress, Dies of Peritonitis". New York Daily News. August 7, 1928. p. 114 via
  12. "Actress Designs". New York Daily News. October 16, 1927. p. 112 via
  13. "Food Poisons Film Director's Former Wife". New York Daily News. July 27, 1928. p. 333 via
  14. "Corinne Barker". Internet Broadway Database. Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
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