1907–90, American stage, film, and television actress, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., as Ruby Stevens. She started as a chorus girl, was in the Ziegfeld Follies (1923–24) and performed on Broadway in The Noose
(1926) and the musical Burlesque
(1927) before becoming one of the most popular movie stars of the 1930s and 40s. Known for strong-willed roles in which she displayed both toughness and sensitivity, she played in melodramas, comedies, westerns, dramas, and thrillers. Her films include Baby Face
(1933), Stella Dallas
(1937), Golden Boy
(1939), The Lady Eve
(1941), Meet John Doe
(1941), Ball of Fire
(1941), Double Indemnity
(1944), The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
(1946), Sorry, Wrong Number
(1948), and Executive Suite
(1954). In the 1960s she worked mainly in television; The Barbara Stanwyck Show
(1960–61) and the western The Big Valley
(1965–69) both won her Emmys.
See biography by V. Wilson (2013); H. Dickens, The Films of Barbara Stanwyck (1984).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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