in Road to Singapore (1940)
February 2, 1909
Venus, Texas, U.S.
|Died||March 10, 2000 91) (aged|
Palm Desert, California, U.S.
|Other names||Nancy Dover|
(m. 1932; div. 1936)
Lindsay C. Howard
(m. 1940; div. 1952)
Born and raised in Venus, Texas, Barrett was one of three children of cattle rancher Sam Kelley, whom she later claimed to be a "dirt" farmer who died of a broken heart. Barrett made several appearances at The Palace Theatre, Dallas while still at school. She did modeling at a department store for ladies tea/fashion shows.
At sixteen, she got on a train to Hollywood. Her first big chance came when she started in a lavish commercial film in 1928, The Sock Exchange opposite Bobby Vernon. In 1929 she starred in five films, and made a successful transition to "talking films". From 1928 to 1933 she was billed as "Nancy Dover", and from 1930 to 1933 she appeared in nine films, all credited.
In 1933, she appeared in only one film, Marriage Humor opposite Harry Langdon and Vernon Dent, while doing stage work. She would not have another role until 1936, when she starred in the crime drama Yellowstone opposite Henry Hunter, and alongside Ralph Morgan and Alan Hale. It was the first film that she was billed as "Judith Barrett". She appeared in two films that year, and five in 1937, one of which was her first uncredited role.
From 1938 to 1940, Barrett appeared in ten films, all credited, including Road to Singapore, the first "road" picture by the team of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Barrett retired from film acting following her appearance in the 1940 comedy Those Were the Days!, starring William Holden and Bonita Granville.
Noted for her beauty, the October 16, 1939 edition of the Baltimore Sun said of her: "Judith Barrett, pretty and blonde actress, is the first Telegenic Girl to go on record. In other words, she is the perfect type of beauty for television. ... She is slated for the first television motion picture." The Salt Lake Tribune noted that Barrett was "selected after months of exhaustive tests by television experts, sound engineers, photographers and make-up specialists." Paramount Pictures followed up on the selection by featuring her in its film, Television Spy (1939).
She eventually settled in Palm Desert, California, where she was residing at the time of her death at age 91 on March 10, 2000.
|1928||The Sock Exchange||June||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1929||Happy Heels||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1929||Scandal||Janet||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1929||Skirt Shy||Nancy, the maid||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1929||Dynamite||Good Mixer||Uncredited, Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1929||Romance De Luxe||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1930||The Head Guy||Nancy||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1930||Oh Darling||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1930||The Fighting Parson||The Brunette Dance Hall Girl||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1930||The Big Kick||Harry's Girl||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1930||The Thoroughbred||Colleen Riley||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1931||Cimarron||Donna Cravat||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1931||Big Business Girl||Sarah Ellen||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1931||Hollywood Halfbacks||Kay||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1933||Marriage Humor||Credited as Nancy Dover|
|1936||Flying Hostess||Helen Brooks|
|1937||The Good Old Soak||Ina Heath|
|1937||Let Them Live||Rita Johnson|
|1937||Armored Car||Ella Logan|
|1937||Vogues of 1938||Model||Uncredited|
|1937||Behind the Mike||Jane Arledge|
|1938||Illegal Traffic||Marie Arden|
|1939||Persons in Hiding||Blase Blonde|
|1939||I'm from Missouri||Lola Pike|
|1939||The Gracie Allen Murder Case||Dixie Del Marr|
|1939||Television Spy||Gwen Lawson|
|1939||Disputed Passage||Winifred Bane|
|1939||The Great Victor Herbert||Marie Clark|
|1940||Road to Singapore||Gloria Wycott|
|1940||Women Without Names||Peggy Athens|
|1940||Those Were the Days!||Mirabel Allstairs||(final film role)|
- "Judith Barrett Weds". The Brownsville Herald. Texas, Brownsville. Associated Press. March 23, 1940. p. 2. Retrieved July 12, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- Reid, John (2004). Award-Winning Films of the 1930s. Lulu.com. p. 46. ISBN 9781411614321. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- "'Venus Venus' Weds Wealthy Stable Owner". Santa Cruz Sentinel. California, Santa Cruz. Associated Press. March 23, 1940. p. 2. Retrieved July 12, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- Telegenic | Define Telegenic at Dictionary.com
- "Film Actress Chosen First Telegenic Girl". The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah, Salt Lake City. August 19, 1939. p. 11. Retrieved July 12, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Divorces". Billboard. April 19, 1952. p. 52. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 44. ISBN 9781476625997. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
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