Barbara Bates Profile

Barbara Bates
Barbara Bates
Photo of Barbara Bates
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(Barbara Jane Bates)
6 August 25 is born in Denver, Colorado, to Eva I. and Arthur W. Bates, a postal clerk
does ballet with Claire Dane until age 13
attends Emmaus Lutheran Grade School and North Denver High School and is active in winter sports
enters a local beauty contest and wins a trip to Hollywood
Early 44 arrives in Los Angeles accompanied by her mother
two days before returning to Denver, she meets Cecil Coan, publicist for United Artists. She decides to stay in Los Angeles.
Coan introduces her to producer Walter Wanger, who is looking for "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" for his upcoming Salome Where She Danced
September 44 is signed to a contract at Universal Pictures.
10 December 44 when a Yank outfit in Luxembourg reportedly declared that G. I. Joe is fed up on pinup pictures of film cuties, she and starlet Kathleen O’Malley demanded proof. Costumed for their parts in Salome, Where She Danced, they put the question to the doughboys by holding up a sign that reads: “Are G.I.s Tired of Us?”
25 January 45 is one of the "Seven Salome Girls" for Salome Where She Danced. The seven girls were selected as "best bets" for screen stardom in 1945. The others are Kerry Vaughn of Houston; Karen Randall of Lone Wolf, Oklahoma; Daun Kennedy of Seattle; Kathleen O'Malley of Hollywood; Jean Trent of Denver; and Poni Adams of San Antonio, Texas.
1 March 45 is rated as one of the most accomplished horsewomen and pistol shots in Colorado
falls for Coan, who is much older, married, and father of three sons. The Coans separate and divorce.
27 March 45 marries Coan secretly a few days after his divorce. She's 19; he's 45.
28 May 45 is on the cover of Life
does a lot of cheesecake
1 June 45 is on the cover of Yank, The Army Weekly
a photo session brings her to the attention of Warner Brothers talent executive Solly Baiano
19 July 45 it’s a neat feet feat—when Filipino women couldn’t get shoes from their Japanese overlords before MacArthur came back, they painted them on just to keep in step with the civilized world. Barbara Bates and Julie London heard of this and, feeling a fad coming on, went to work on some fancy paint-brush beach sandals. The cuties, who appear in Universal’s Night in Paradise, don’t really expect to revolutionize the footwear business with their bottled booties, but you’ll undoubtedly see the idea copied on the beaches this summer.
26 August 45 is photographed for newspapers after the iceman slipped her a tip on how not to simmer this summer. She sits happily on a big piece of ice and bids Old Man Summer to do his worst because she, for once, has found the perfect way to beat the heat wave. Peter the Penguin is around to help her think cool thoughts.
31 October 45 Halloween spooking holds no errors for those who chance to encounter beauteous Barbara Bates of the movies, who is photographed getting in some practice with an obviously delighted pumpkin-head scarecrow
19 November 45 Producer Arnold Pressburger wanted four young ladies to disport themselves clad only in filmy slips in the waters of a sylvan pool for a scene in A Scandal in Paris. Four young ladies—Barbara Bates, Cindy Garner, Dawn Kennedy and Marie Icide—reported and were auditioned in quite an intimate manner by the studio's casting director, Florence Tannen. Each was asked to state frankly if the thought she could play the scene with a slip as her sole article of wardrobe on the upper torso, nothing else. The chosen four assured Miss Tannen that they could. On a file card for each young lady. Miss Tannen made a simple notation: "Measured up. Can swim, too."
25 March 46 marries Cecil Sidney Coan, publicist for United Artists
14 June 46 her photo, with mention of Universal Pictures, advertises, “Figure allure begins with contour. Hollywood’s toast to Beauty…Hollywood Bread”
26 May 47 signs a term contract with Warner Brothers
17 July 47 is chosen “Miss Delectable of 1947” by the Western Retailers Restaurant Association at their annual meeting in Los Angles
16 October 47 she will crown the queen tonight of the Van Nuys Fall Festival queenship. Actress Cleo Moore, Rotary Club candidate, surged into the lead among aspirants at the final pre-pageant dinner rally the day before yesterday when she tallied 44,104 votes.
16 October 47 newspaper readers across the country see her photo as she models the new “Half and Half” dress, which features a long hemline and a short one. It may or may not please, depending on where you are standing.
14 February 48 graces newspapers across the country modeling a pearl-gray crepe afternoon gown with a top of yellow and green floral print
16 May 48 Jimmie Fidler notes in his column: “Four or five years ago, with great fanfare and hullabaloo, Universal International conducted a nationwide search for a new screen siren to play the title role in Salome. Ten girls were eventually selected for their beauty, dancing skill, and acting potentialities. All ten rode into Hollywood on an avalanche of publicity, destined for screen fame (the studio prophets said) whether they won the Salome role or not. Well, the other day I happened to hear that Barbara Bates had been signed for a featured role in the forthcoming Bette Davis picture, June Bride. Checking up, I discovered that she is one of the ten beauties recruited for Salome. I also discovered a fact more interesting than that. Of the ten, she and Yvonne de Carlo are the only survivors."
17 June 48 is chosen “Miss Firecracker of 1948” and will preside over the American Legion pyrotechnics display at their 4th of July show
18 June 48 Columnist Edith Gwynn receives “a note from Barbara Bates, the Warner starlet, says she’ sure our heckling here just got her a part in June Bride with Bette Davis. In fact, it’s the ‘title role’! Well, it’s nice to know she’s posing for something besides publicity pictures at Warners.
24 August 48 Columnist Edith Gwyn writes that "cute little Barbara Bates is really on her screen way now--landing the ingenue lead in Happy Times with Danny Kaye. We were the first to yell for her to get some parts and not just publicity posing--and we have her thank-you notes to prove it."
29 August 48 a blonde in Romance of the High Seas, she switches back to her own natural brunet for June Bride
4 October 48 is photographed for newspapers across the country assisting in feeding milk to Greenland husky Zoro, of Hollywood film fame, and his son, Zoro, Jr.
17 February 49 she and Virginia Mayo model Hollywood-designed bathing suits
12 April 49 tells a newspaper writer to not believe that slinking comes naturally. “Every Hollywood newcomer goes through a sex school. They have regular exercises to bring out your…uh…fire.” She says she gets her schooling from drama coach Sophie Rosenstein. “They told Sophie to ‘put some sex into me,’” she grins. “She did.” First she learned how to walk. “Sophie made me throw back my shoulders and stick out my chest. Then I had to sit in front of a mirror and breathe deeply—for hours and hours. Next came the hops. They have special exercises you do to get a rolling, undulating effect. They want you to become conscious of your body and to…well…to throw your curves at the world. And all the while you’re supposed to be thinking sexy thoughts. They don’t tell you what. That’s one thing they leave up to you.” Between “curve-throwing” exercises, Sophie has her act out plays—the very kind movie censors are hired to protect the customers from. “I played all kinds of naughty women, from streetwalkers to international spies. And we over-emphasized all the suggestive angles. So what happens?” she shrugs. “They cast me as a demure kitchen maid in Happy Times, and then they lend me to Steifel Productions for Quicksand with Mickey Rooney. And here I am, all covered up and un-fiery again.” She tugs at her high-necked blouse and makes a face “They say I have to tone down my sexiness until after Happy Times comes out. Honestly! It’s things like this that make me wonder. The other day,” she chuckles, “a producer sent me back and told the wardrobe girl to ‘take out all the padding.’” Little did he know, it was all Barbara.
20 April 49 she and Mickey Rooney were doing a scene for Quicksand on location at Ocean Park. The script called for them to argue while standing beside an automobile in a darkened street. The street was too dark. Cameraman Lionel Lindon sent a man to the apartment overlooking the street to see if he could place a light there to shine down on the scene through a window. The emissary came back and said everything was okay with the lady of the house. The light went upstairs. But when focused it was off to the left. Lindon kept telling the worker to move it further to the right. Finally the man said, “I can’t move it any further. There’s a bed in the way!” “Well, move the bed,” Lindon called back. “I can’t,” came the reply, “the lady’s husband is in it.
49 there are rumors she's romantically involved with her co-star in The Inspector General, Danny Kaye, who choses her for his leading lady
her director on The Inspector General, Henry Koster, and his wife, actress Peggy Moran, frequently invite her and her husband to dinner at their home in Pacific Palisades
May 49 her contract with Warner Brothers is immediately terminated when she refuses to go to New York to promote The Inspector General
Harry Cohn offers her a career at Columbia on the condition that she divorce Coan. Drunken, he calls her two nights later to invite her to his yacht. She refuses and signs at Fox.
13 November 49 owns a 51-foot yawl, The Bayadere, a mahogany, teakwood, and rosewood job that cost $45,000 when new. She paid only a fraction of that. She has spent the last 8 months of spare time studying navigation at the Auxiliary Coast Guard School to sail on her own. The studio ordered her to install a radio-telephone so that executives can keep in touch with her during the filming of Cheaper by the Dozen.
25 March 50 having nicked their mutual bankroll for a couple of cameras and all the gadgets that go with picture-taking, she and her husband plan on becoming Hollywood’s foremost amateur photographers
50 her fresh face in her brief role at the close of All About Eve arouses movie critics and the public
51 Steve Forrest, brother of actor Dana Andrews, gets a screen test at 20th Century-Fox with her. They want to give him a small role in Frogmen, but he turns it down because his brother will be in it, and he wants to make it on his own. He will later sign with MGM and languish there in a series of walk-ons until Warner borrows the Fox test of Barbara Bates. Warners makes some inquiries about the boy in the test and signs him.
3 March 51 experts in Movieland say Hollywood, always on the lookout for new talent, was exceptionally lucky in 1950. The “15 finest” newcomers who seemed destined for fame include Marilyn Monroe, Debra Paget, Barbara Bates (suddenly one of Hollywood’s most talked of young actresses after serving a 6-year apprenticeship in the film capital), Mitzi Gaynor, Jeff Chandler, Jane Powell, Howard Keel, Mario Lanza, Mala Powers, Marlon Brando, Gordon MacRae, Frank Lovejoy, Patrice Wymore, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, and Judy Holliday.
2 April 51 shrugs her shoulders when Erskine Johnson asks about her movie luck following the critical huzzahs thrown her way following her performance in All About Eve. “I thought great things were going to happen,” she wails. “So far—nothing. They keep casting me as a 16-year-old; I can’t seem to get up to 20.”
2 June 51 is set to test for the ballet dancer role in Charles Chaplin’s Limelight, she tells Erskine Johnson that she isn’t worried about the hard luck that dogged all Chaplin leading ladies except Paulette Goddard. “I’m not afraid. Most of the women in the pictures have been incidental. This is a big, important role.”
Chaplin conducts the test himself, is very pleased with her performance, and offers her the part. But because of Chaplin's political beliefs, Fox vetoes the offer, and the part goes to Claire Bloom.
while filming I'd Climb the Highest Mountain, she becomes close friends with co-star Rory Calhoun and his wife, actress Lita Baron
is scheduled to star in John Sturges's The People Against O'Hara, but her part goes to Diana Lynn
11 October 51 people’s ages are all mixed up on the Belles on Their Toes set. Robert Arthur, who’s 26 and looks no more than 21, is playing a 17-year-old. Debra Paget, 18, is pretending to be 16. Jeanne Craine, who’s 25 and has 3 children, portrays an unmarried 20-year-old. Barbara Bates, 23, is represented as 18. Just to confuse matters more, they all age about 20 years in this sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen.
along with Piper Laurie, Mona Freeman, Peggy Castle, Mala Powers, and Barbara Payton, she is one of the Hollywood Press Association's "Baby Stars"
December 51 attends the premiere of David and Bathsheba with husband Cecil Coan
18 April 52 Denver photographer Ralf Myers visits Atchison, Kansas, to photograph businessmen and local executives. The local paper mentions his visit and that he has photographed a number of celebrities all over the nation, including Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Eddie Cantor, Victor Mature, Franchot Tone, and Lizabeth Scott, and that he “discovered” a Denver girl, Barbara Bates, who went on to Hollywood.
30 April 52 John Payne’s next bride, coasters hear, may be Barbara Bates
7 July 52 she and her husband buy their first home; it’s in Benedict Canyon
22 May 52 is chosen “Miss World Trade” by the Chamber of Commerce of the United States
12 July 52 on the first day in their new Canyon home, her husband tries to fix the 250-foot TV aerial, slips on a cliff, twists his ankle, and has to be rescued by the fire department
7 August 52 a family of skunks has moved in under her home. How do you dispose of skunks, ponders Armand Archer.
12 August 52 while washing dishes the other evening, she lost the diamond from her ring; it went into the garbage disposal unit. She and her husband took the mechanism apart, removed the diamond, reassembled the apparatus-—and found themselves with three parts left over. They say it works better than before.
52 while filming Belles on Their Toes, the daughter of comedian Stan Laurel, Lois Laurel Hawes, becomes her closest friend
10 December 52 at Balboa the green-eyed charmer is photographed on her 51-foot racing yawl. She spends her weekends on the boat and is herself a navigator, having graduated from the Coast Guard Auxiliary School.
13 January 53 purty Susan Morrow, crutches and all, hobbled over on her busted ankle to see studio brass about landing the femme spot opposite Marlon Bando in The Cyclists Raid yesterday. Barbara Bates is also being considered.
22 March 53 has a new gimmick. She wears polarized glasses while looking at TV. Says they straighten out the crooked figures.
June 53 spends her spare time trapping gophers
10 July 54 chats with Marilyn Erskine at the premiere showing of About Mrs. Leslie
23 December 54 columnist Lydia Lane visits her on the set of the NBC TV show “It’s A Great Life.” Relaxing in a contour chair, she says, “TV has taught me to relax every minute I can.” When a man comes on the set wheeling a cart of tempting sweets, she reacts, “Get thee from me!” I have had such trouble keeping thin,” she explains. “I dearly love anything sweet—especially chocolate—and to say no really takes discipline. But it isn’t healthy to be dieting all the time, and letting your weight go up and down is not the right way to go about it. The thing to do is find the weight at which you are comfortable and level off. I keep a check by weighing in every morning, and if I’ve gained even a pound, I start cutting down. I have a calorie chart which I carry in my handbag and this helps me limit myself to 500 calories a day until I’m back to normal. But, “she adds, knocking on wood, “I haven’t had to diet for quite a while, and it’s a wonderful feeling.”
23 December 54 the most useful thing she has learned from the makeup men: “How to put on a foundation so that it gives your skin a smooth, even tone without ever looking like makeup. The trick is to use a wet sponge, rub it lightly over a cake of makeup and smooth it quickly over your face and under the chin so as to leave no unblended places. I think it’s the exceptional complexion that doesn’t need some makeup, but it’s better to use nothing than to apply makeup so that it looks obvious. Subtlety is especially important in eye makeup. Eyebrows should always follow your natural arch and if you fill them out with a pencil, use feathery strokes. A thin, straight line is never flattering. After I have penciled my brows, I brush them to help blend the hairs in the line. For the most natural look, keep trying until you find a pencil which matches your own coloring exactly.”
26 April 55 has been written out of future “It’s a Great Life” telefilms
56 is off to England as a contract player at Rank. The studio lists her age as 24 despite the fact she's 31. The Coans sell their Beverly Hills home and their yawl Bayadere and move to London, where he becomes publicity director at United Artist's London office.
2 April 57 Dorothy Kilgallen notes that Barbara “just dropped out of her second starring role within a month. The unpredictable Barbara first refused to say on as Rod Steiger’s leading lady in Across the Bridge; now she’s exited from Campbell’s Kingdom.
8 November 57 is forced to quit British-made Across the Bridge because of illness. Its star, Rod Steiger, suggests that Marla Landi take over.
collapses after being announced to star opposite Dirk Bogarde in Campbell's Kingdom. When she drops out of sight for several days, there are rumors she may have suffered a nervous breakdown or attempted suicide.
when Rank cancels her contract, the Coans move back to the States
58 her friend Rory Calhoun casts her for his film Papago Wells, released as Apache Territory
59 is back to England for an episode of "The Saint"
the Coans lose some money in bad land investments in Spain
60 the Coans move to a Beverly Hills apartment at 445 North Doheny Drive and convert to Catholicism
when Coan is diagnosed with cancer, she never leaves his side. She moves to Saint Victor's Catholic Church, working as a volunteer.
attempts suicide by slashing her wrists. Unconscious, she is rushed to Cedars-Sinai Hospital. After her recovery she moves in with her friend Lois Laurel.
25 January 67 Coan dies; she's at his bedside
helped by a friend, Ron Tonkins, she moves to Denver, Colorado. She attends a secretarial school in the evenings and works as a nurse's aide by day.
December 68 marries sportscaster William Reed, whom she has known since childhood
18 March 69 her mother finds her dead on the front seat of her Volkswagen in the sealed garage of their suburban Denver home. Reportedly pregnant, her death from carbon monoxide poisoning is ruled a suicide.
is buried in Lakewood, Colorado, at the Crown Hill Cemetery, West 29th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard, Section 2, Block 69, Lot 44, Unit A
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