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Barbara Read


B: December 29, 1917 in Port Arthur, Ontario
D: December 12, 1963 in Laguna Beach, California

Barbara Read was a teenager when she moved to California in 1930. Spotted while she was watching a movie being made in Laguna Beach, where she lived, Read was offered a contract but no work came of it. Six months into the contract she asked that it be cancelled. Intrigued with the possibility of becoming an actress she joined a local theatre company, The Laguna Beach Players, where she gained invaluable experience on stage appearing in a different play every month for the next two years. The actor Fredric March spotted her and she was soon signed to another studio. She made her screen debut in the 1936 feature, Three Smart Girls, which costarred Nan Gray and Deanna Durbin. Her career ended in 1947, the year she married her second husband, talent agent Bill Josephy. She married for the third time in 1953 and settled into what could be termed the average American family, including the birth of two children. But her third marriage also ended in divorce in August of 1960. Three years later, in late December, Read apparently took her own life in Laguna Beach. It is believed the reason for her suicide was ill health.

The photo above of Barbara Read was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection.