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Barbara Lawrence Profile

Barbara Lawrence
Barbara Lawrence
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(Barbara Jo Lawrence)
24 February 30 is born in Carnegie, Oklahoma, to Morris and Bernice Eaton Lawrence. She's a distant cousin of singer-actor Nelson Eddy.
c. 33 wins a silver loving cup in a tiny-tot beauty contest in Kansas City, Missouri
35 becomes a professional model
41 persuades her parents to move to California
42 is named "Little Miss Hollywood"
? studies at the Max Reinhardt drama school
44 lands a studio contract with 20th Century-Fox
45 at age 14, she fibs about her age in order to land a bit part with Betty Grable in Diamond Horseshoe
October 46 columnist Erskine Johnson tells that she’s romancing with Charley Chaplin
January 47 elopes to Mexico with 20th Century-Fox bit player John Fontaine but afterwards continues living with her mother
6 February 47 on her 17th birthday, her studio, 20th Century-Fox, gives approval of her marriage to John F. Fontaine. He’s 23; she’s 17.
April 47 columnist Jimmy Fidler writes: "Pals of Barbara Lawrence, the 17-year-old charmer who’s bidding for stardom in Captain from Castile, believe that she’s secretly married to actor Johnny Fontaine..."
September 47 she and Fontaine have set June 28 for their wedding day. "When Barbara finishes Off to Buffalo she’ll be off to Mexico on a two-weeks honeymoon.“ Afterwards they will both enter the University of California at Los Angeles for summer classes.
28 June 47 after keeping their marriage secret for six months, they marry at the Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church
June 47 she and Fontaine will get a free honeymoon: “The 20th Century-Fox studio is sending them to make a personal appearance with Bob, Son of Battle in Denver”
? is stabbed in the side by an unknown assailant while attending the movies with her husband and young actor Johnny Sands
March 48 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen writes: "Insiders hint that screen starlet Barbara Lawrence, recent victim of California’s Jack the Ripper, wasn’t knifed in a theatre – as reported – but in a slum district which she had visited by night without proper protection...“
June 48 columnist Harrison Carroll tells that she "goes to New York for three weeks – without John Fontaine. However, Johnny insists it doesn’t mean anything. He’s going to acting school and Barbara’s agent wants her to make some personal appearances...“
Mid-July 48 is seen at Burton’s with Joe Kirkwood, Jr.
24 July 48 gets her divorce from Fontaine in Los Angeles claiming he wouldn’t work, playing only one film role because the director was a friend of his. He’s 24; she’s 19. Under the name Jeffrey Stone he will later marry actress Corinne Calvet.
August 48 is reported fighting with 20th Century-Fox over playing too many second-fiddle roles. She suspects she will be suspended for turning down Mother was a Freshman.
columnist Jack Lait tells: “With Howard Hughes and Barbara Lawrence sizzling, her ex-husband, actor John Fontaine, whose torch is up the movie capital, quit the profession and is working in the sporting goods department of May’s Department Store. But he’s seeking consolation with Judy Clark, B-picture player...“
September 48 has her first night out in New York with Cesar Romero at the Stork Club
February 49 she and Cesar Romero are reported “melting the sun in Taxco, Mexico...“
May 49 is all over town with Turhan Bey and is reported to test for the upcoming Jimmy Stewart picture
romance rumors surround her dating with screen newcomer Scott Brady
September 49 gets her final divorce decree from Fontaine "who embarrassed her by telling friends she didn’t give him enough spending money“
October 49 columnist Walter Winchell wonders: "Peggy Ann Garner is playing handsies with M. Hamilton of Mr. Roberts, who was supposed to be Barbara Lawrence’s feller...“
is reported sending Murray Hamilton 35 pictures of herself accompanied by a note reading, "So you won’t forget what I look like." Kilgallen adds: "But she accepted a magnificent star sapphire ring – a family heirloom – from Turhan Bey. He sent it from Europe (perhaps to counteract all the reports of his romances over there)..."
columnist Harrison Carroll tells: "Scott Brady spent the day with Barbara Lawrence at 20th Century-Fox lot but the No 1 boy in Barbara’s life is Murray Hamilton of the Mr. Roberts cast. 'We’re unofficially engaged,’ she admits. 'I’m going east in December to see him.’ Don’t make any big bets, though, that these two will ever wed.“
May 50 says she’s not letting anybody slip an engagement ring on her third finger, left hand. "Why,“ she says, "I’ve just turned 20. My career comes first. Put me down as a bachelor girl.“
columnist Sheila Graham writes: "Barbara Lawrence’s big romance in New York is Sam Melcher, the brother of Marty. Marty is going to marry Doris Day. Barbara, who was so much in love with Murray Hamilton this time last year, hasn’t even bothered to call him up this visit – which is primarily to find herself a play.“
August 50 columnist Hedda Hopper knows: "That romance between Barbara Lawrence and Ronny Hudson, which started in Hawaii, must be collecting frost. She’s now going places with John Agar..."
April 51 attends a movie opening with Hugh O'Brian
June 51 Kilgallen announces that Barbara will become Mrs. John Murphy
August 51 is reported telling pals that she wants to give up her movie career and settle down to being plain Mrs. Johnny Murphy
marries Johnny Murphy, former star centerfield for the Tucson cowboys
November 51 her godfather, Colonel Bob Monnett, is reported gravely ill with leukemia at the Long Beach hospital
January 52 she and Murphy deny the stork rumors
29 May 52 her daughter, Melinda, is born in Los Angeles
End June 52 she and Murphy are noted at Ciro’s taking bows on the arrival of their first. "Barbara is a redhead by now.“
July 52 is reported having been given the green light to resume her film career following the birth of her child
February 53 columnist Harrison Carroll tells: "Nice break for Barbara Lawrence. While she’s locationing for MGM at Tucson, husband Johnny Murphy also will be there for baseball spring training...“
May 53 Carroll’s again reporting on her: "Coming back from Mexicali, where she watched baseball husband Johnny Murphy play in the first game of the season, Barbara Lawrence ran into car trouble. Something fouled up with the electrical system and, all the way back to Los Angeles, the automatic windows kept going up and down..."
54 she and Murphy separate
Mid-February 55 she and Fay Bainter are reported starting off friendly-like during rehearsals of the Broadway-bound play Put Them All Together, "but something happened. Fay’s out of the cast and a replacement actress is rehearsing with Barbara.“
End February 55 tells Carroll that Murphy is back in town. "They talked things over, she says, and it looks as if the separation will stick...“
March 55 columnist Erskine Johnson reports her shrugging her shoulders to questions about a divorce from her husband, baseball player-turned-actor Johnny Murphy. On the set of The Deadly Peacemaker, she tells: "There’s no hurry about a divorce and I see no reason for rushing into it. Neither Johnny nor I have any outside interests. He still comes over to the house to see Melinda. I just don’t know what’s going to happen."
May 55 resides in the San Fernando Valley
her husband resigns from his new baseball job as a step toward a patch-up with her. "He’ll try his luck as an actor."
September 55 according to publicists for Man With a Gun, she has a great pedigree: "She is a direct descendant of Sir Francis Eaton, who came over on the Mayflower, and is a direct descendant of Nelson Eddy."
Early November 55 columnist Harrison Carroll reports: "Barbara Lawrence and Johnny Murphy had another fight and Johnny moved into Scott Brady’s apartment. 'It’s nothing serious,’ Barbara tells me, 'Both of us believe in saying exactly what we think. When we get hot under the collar, there is trouble.’ According to Barbara, Johnny is doing very well now as a bartender in a Laurel Canyon spot."
May 56 is elected "Miss Channel Cheesecake" and pictured posing in front of a photo of Clint Walker
November 56 columnist Louella Parsons reports: "Barbara Lawrence and Johnny Murphy have decided they can’t live with each other so she’ll file for a California divorce. He is a former baseball player who is turning manager of a farmclub for the Cincinnati Reds."
February 57 Carroll tells: "Friends are trying harder then ever to affect a reconciliation between actress Barbara Lawrence and her husband, Johnny Murphy. Blonde Barbara confides to me that she is expecting a baby the end of May. 'We knew about it at the time of the separation but decided to go ahead,’ she declares. 'I wanted to do some pictures before I had to retire temporarily from the screen.’ She just has completed her third, the science fiction film War of the Universe. Barbara and Johnny already have a daughter, who will be five on May 29. 'How about reconciliation chances,’ I asked. 'I don’t know yet,’ replied Barbara."
is quoted in a TV magazine saying: "I don’t care what the little people back in Oshkosh think of me. It’s what the producers think that counts in this business.“ The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce protests.
March 57 declares she was misquoted and claims that she "loves small towns"
23 May 57 her son Michael S. is born in Los Angeles
June 57 Carroll knows about reconciliation for her and Murphy
? divorces Murphy
17 October 61 marries Lester R. Nelson in Los Angeles. He's 29; she's 31.
November 76 divorces Nelson in Los Angeles
77 is completely retired from the screen and devotes her time to raising her four children
00 sells real estate in Beverly Hills
07 as Barbara J. Lawrence, she resides in Malibu, California
2 July 08 announces that her first book, “Welcome to the Jungle,” is scheduled for release on September 30, 2008

13 November 13 dies at age 83 in Los Angeles after suffering kidney failure
Sources:
Hollywood Starlet: The Career of Barbara Lawrence by Jim Connor, The Newark Advocate and American Tribune, The Berkshire Evening Eagle, Joplin Globe, Syracuse Herald-Journal, Middletown Times Herald, Pottstown Mercury, The Era, Indiana Evening Gazette, The Zanesville Signal, Traverse City Record-Eagle, The Monessen Daily Independent, Mansfield News-Journal, Gazette and Bulletin, The Post-Standard, The Daily Register, The Times Recorder, The Dixon Evening Telegraph, The Frederick Post, The Lethbridge Herald, The Lowell Sun, The Vidette-Messenger, Oakland Tribune, The Daily Review, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, Screen World, Silver Screen, Movie Life, Movie Story, Photoplay, www.Ancestry.com
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Filmography