Priscilla Barnes

Priscilla Anne Barnes (born December 7, 1954) is an American actress, who may be best known in her role as Terri Alden on Three's Company, the permanent replacement for Suzanne Somers. She subsequently made appearances in films such as A Vacation in Hell, Licence to Kill, Mallrats, The Devil's Rejects, and the television series Jane the Virgin[1]and Highway To Heaven.

Priscilla Barnes
Priscilla Barnes in 2006
Priscilla Anne Barnes

(1954-12-07) December 7, 1954
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Ted Monte
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life

Barnes was born December 7, 1954 (some sources list 1952 or 1955) in Fort Dix, New Jersey,[2][3] the third of four children of a father who was a major in the United States Air Force and her mother a homemaker. Her childhood was marked by a series of moves across various military bases in the United States before her family settled in Lancaster, California. After graduating from Antelope Valley High School at age 17, she relocated to San Diego, working as a waitress and a dancer.[3]


Early career

Barnes' first break came when Bob Hope saw her in a local fashion show and invited her to join his troupe for a 1973 performance at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She subsequently moved to Los Angeles to attempt a career in show business in earnest.[3] She appeared as an Amazon in The New Original Wonder Woman alongside Lynda Carter as the title character. Her second break came at 19 when she met Peter Falk at Pips. Six months later he gave her a one-line part in an episode of Columbo, which led to a series of bit parts in films like The Seniors (1978) and Delta Fox (1979).

While working as a hostess at a Hollywood nightclub, Barnes posed nude for the "Pet of the Month" photo layout in the March 1976 issue of Penthouse magazine under the pseudonym Joann Witty. Penthouse later wanted to republish the photos under Barnes' real name in 1982 after she had become famous in Three's Company. The dispute ended up in court, as Penthouse wanted a judge to rule on the legality of publishing the pictures using her real name. At issue was a handwritten addendum to the standard model release contract that all models sign. When Penthouse lost the initial case, they appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal court mostly sided with Barnes and ruled that the handwritten addendum was legally binding and that Penthouse could not republish the photos using her real name.[4]

In 1976, she began studying acting with coach Sal Dano, whose students included Tom Selleck, Robert Hays and Catherine Bach. In 1978, she starred in a TV series, The American Girls, which was canceled after seven weeks. Subsequent parts include the horror film Tintorera, and such television series as Starsky & Hutch, Kojak, The Rockford Files, The Love Boat, the 1978 TV version of The Time Machine and the 1979 television film A Vacation in Hell. In 1980, Barnes landed a supporting role in Sunday Lovers.[3]

Three's Company

In 1981, Barnes was cast as Terri Alden on Three's Company after Jenilee Harrison served as interim replacement to Suzanne Somers, who had left the series as a result of contractual dispute with producers. The part, which is Barnes' most notable role, brought her instant public recognition.

In the 1998 TV program E! True Hollywood Story, Barnes called Three's Company the "three worst years" of her life. Barnes revealed that after shooting a couple of episodes of the show, she felt "uncomfortable" on the set and asked, unsuccessfully, to be released from her contract.

She remained friends with co-stars Joyce DeWitt and Richard Kline, with whom she made public appearances.[5] Barnes was portrayed by actress Anne Ross in the 2003 television movie Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three's Company.[3]

Later career

In 1982, Barnes starred in Aaron Spelling's The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch. After Three's Company was cancelled by ABC in 1984, Barnes appeared in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill as Della Churchill, the underwater sci-fi/action thriller Lords of the Deep (1989), Traxx (1988) with Shadoe Stevens, and in NBC's Perry Mason and the Case of the Reckless Romeo (1992), with Raymond Burr as Perry Mason. Her 1990s feature film appearances include Stepfather III (1992), Mallrats (1995), The Crossing Guard (1995), and Mumford (1999).

Her 2000s work includes The Devil's Rejects (2005), Thr3e (2006), The Visitation (2006), and American Cowslip (2009). In 2012, she co-starred as "Vicey Hatfield" in Hatfields and McCoys: Bad Blood. In 2013, she appeared in Disaster Wars: Earthquake vs Tsunami.[6] Barnes appeared in a Hallmark Channel original movie called Elevator Girl, and appeared in 2014 in the recurring role of "Magda" on the CW series Jane the Virgin (2014).

In 2007 Barnes appeared at the annual New York International Fringe Festival as Hillary Clinton in Nick Salamone's play Hillary Agonistes.[7]

In 2019 Barnes appeared in the Bloomington Playwrights Project's production of Christy Hall's To Quiet the Quiet.[8]

Personal life

Barnes is married to actor Ted Monte.[9][10] In 2012 they purchased a home in Glendale, California.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1977 Tintorera Girl From Bar
1977 Beyond Reason Leslie Valentine
1978 Texas Detour Claudia Hunter
1978 The Seniors Sylvia
1979 Delta Fox Karen
1980 The Last Married Couple in America Helena Dryden
1980 Sunday Lovers Donna Segment: "Skippy"
1988 Traxx Mayor Alexandra Cray
1989 Lords of the Deep Dr. Claire McDowell
1989 Licence to Kill Della Churchill Leiter
1992 Body Trouble Vera Vin Rouge
1992 Stepfather III Christine Davis
1992 Talons of the Eagle Cassandra
1994 Erotique Claire Segment: "Taboo Parlor"
1994 May Jane Sister Fong
1995 The Crossing Guard Verna
1995 Mallrats Ivannah
1995 Witch Academy Edith
1997 Catherine's Grove Sally Willows
1998 The Killing Grounds Della Desordo Video
1998 Ava's Magical Adventure Sarah
1998 Divorce: A Contemporary Western Chris
1999 Implicated Chloe
1999 Hash Brown's Lil Brown
2001 Final Payback Sharon Moreno
2001 Alone with a Stranger Claire Andrews
2002 The Backlot Murders Stephanie Video
2003 Shrink Rap Sheila
2004 Unseen Evil 2 Sheila Video
2005 The Devil's Rejects Gloria Sullivan
2005 Heart of the Beholder Miss Olivia
2005 Sex Sells: The Making of Touché Roxy Free
2006 The Visitation Dee Henchle
2006 Thr3e Balinda Parson
2007 Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield Vera 'Momma' Mason Video
2008 Trailer Park of Terror Jean
2008 An American in China Silvia Braddock
2009 American Cowslip Samantha
2010 Kid Racer Buddy Video
2010 First Dog June Angell
2011 The A Plate Candice Stevens
2012 Hatfields and McCoys: Bad Blood Vicey Hatfield
2013 88 Miles to Moscow Mom Short film
2013 Disaster Wars: Earthquake vs. Tsunami Vice President Taylor
2013 Fat Planet Jill Strong
2014 Helen Alone Mrs. Straub
2015 Turkey Sue Short film
2017 Jonny's Sweet Revenge 'Stonewall' Rosie Callahan


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Cannon Linda "Bloodlines"
1977 The Rockford Files Lauren Ingeborg "The Mayor's Committee from Deer Lick Falls"
1978 The American Girls Rebecca Tomkins Main role (6 episodes)
1978 Starsky & Hutch Lisa Kendrick "Foxy Lady"
1978 Kojak Sally Addison / Vicki Addison "60 Miles to Hell"
1978 The Love Boat Jeanette Arnold 1 episode
1978 The Time Machine Weena TV film
1979 A Vacation in Hell Denise TV film
1980 Taxi Tawny "Fantasy Borough: Part 2"
1980 Vega$ Pam / Satin "Love Affair"
1981 Scruples Melanie TV miniseries
1981–1984 Three's Company Terri Alden Regular role (72 episodes)
1982 The Love Boat Britta Sorenson "Getting to Know You: Parts 1 & 2"
1982 The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch Maggie McCulloch TV film
1984 Hotel Elayne Grayson "Final Chapters"
1985 The Love Boat Helga Bjorsson "Mr. Smith Goes to Stockholm: Parts 1 & 2"
1985 Murder, She Wrote Vicky Gallegos "Dead Heat"
1986 Blacke's Magic Maryanne Thompson "The Revenge of the Esperanza"
1987 Hotel Donna Shepherd "Mixed Emotions"
1988 Perfect People Amy TV film
1989 Highway to Heaven Mary Anders / Tawny Turner "Summer Camp"
1991 The Letters from Moab Lila TV short
1992 Perry Mason: The Case of the Reckless Romeo Brenda Kingsley TV film
1992 Stepfather III Christine Davis TV film
1994 Time Trax Veronica Barclay "Happy Valley"
1994 Attack of the 5 Ft. 2 Women Crystal TV film
1995 Burke's Law Christy Winters "Who Killed the Toy Maker?"
1995 Asian Connection: Old Flames Frankie TV film
1997 Total Security Diane Richards "One Wedding and a Funeral"
1997 Viper Sheila Dunn "Cold Warriors"
1998 The Cowboy and the Movie Star Marlene Brighton TV film
2000 The Invisible Man Liz Morgan "Liberty and Larceny"
2002 For the People Patricia Franklin "Pilot"
2002 She Spies Warden Stoop "Perilyzed"
2010 Elevator Girl Elaine Schuster TV film
2012 Low Lifes Mary TV film
2014–2019 Jane the Virgin Magda Andel Recurring role (33 episodes)
2015 Break a Hip Sabrina Klinefelter "The Class"
2015 NCIS Mrs. Skalbe "Lockdown"
2017 The Minutes Collection Ms. Marshall "Cory Comes to Christmas"


  1. "Priscilla Barnes",; retrieved August 12, 2013.
  2. "Barnes, Priscilla 1952(?)– (Joann Witty)". Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  3. Gritten, David (December 14, 1981). "The New Blonde". People. Vol. 16, No. 24. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  4. "Penthouse International, Ltd, a New York Corporation,plaintiff/appellant, v. Priscilla Barnes, Defendant/appellee, 792 F. 2d 943". United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. 1986. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
  5. E! True Hollywood Story: Three's Company. E!. 1998
  6. "Disaster Wars Tempts Fate and Goes Into Production Just in Time" Archived 2014-02-01 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  7. Gans, Andrew (August 10, 2007). "Hillary Agonistes, with 'Three's Company' Star Barnes, Begins Performances Aug. 10". Playbill. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  8. Dorfman, Peter (April 30, 2019). "Priscilla Barnes: Star of TV and Film Performing in B-town". Bloom Magazine. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  9. Beale, Lauren (April 5, 2012). "Actress Priscilla Barnes buys Glendale home in gated compound for $689,000". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  10. "World Premiere for 'Shrink Rap'". MSN. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
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