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|Born||Barbara Jo Lawrence
February 24, 1930
Carnegie, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Jeffrey Stone, né John Forrest Fontaine (m. 1947–1948; divorced)
Johnny Murphy (m. 1951–1957; divorced); 2 children
Lester R. Nelson (m. 1961–1976; divorced); 2 children
Barbara Jo Lawrence (born February 24, 1930) is an American writer and real-estate businessperson, and retired actress and model.
Born to Morris and Bereniece (née Eaton) Lawrence in Carnegie, Oklahoma, she moved with her mother to Kansas City, Missouri as an adolescent. Lawrence's career began as a child photographer's model. She appeared in her first film, Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe (1945). She was featured in the swashbuckler, Captain from Castile (1947) with Tyrone Power. While finishing her studies at UCLA, she attracted the attention of talent scouts, and Lawrence was soon co-starring in a handful of 20th Century Fox movies, including A Letter to Three Wives, The Street with No Name, Thieves' Highway and Here Come the Nelsons.
Upon moving to MGM, Lawrence starred with Gig Young in the 3D movie, Arena. She starred in Her Twelve Men with Greer Garson. She played the role of Gertie Cummings in the film version of Oklahoma!, in which she gets into a knockdown catfight with Gloria Grahame ("Ado Annie"). In 1957, she starred in Kronos with Jeff Morrow. Although the film was not praised by critics at the time, it eventually attracted a cult following for its imaginative storyline and special effects.
Between 1958-1962 Lawrence made four guest appearances on Perry Mason. In 1958 she played Ellen Waring in "The Half-Wakened Wife" and Gloria Barton in "The Case of the Jilted Jockey." In 1961 she played murderer Lori Stoner in "The Case of the Envious Editor," and in 1962 she played Agnes Theilman in "The Case of the Shapely Shadow."
In January 1947, she married John Forrest Fontaine, an actor known professionally as Jeffrey Stone. This was kept secret until June 28, 1947, when Lawrence's mother threw her daughter a church wedding in Beverly Hills, but the marriage ended a year and a half later, in 1948.
In 1951, she wed Johnny Murphy; the couple had two children before divorcing in 1957. After marrying Lester R. Nelson in 1961, she had two more children. She made several more television appearances in 1962, then retired from acting altogether. She and Nelson divorced in 1976.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Census data confirming 1930 as year of birth
- Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Ardmore, Carter, Oklahoma; Roll: 1896; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 6; Image: 151.0; FHL microfilm: 2341630. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.
- Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri; Roll: T627_2169; Page: 62A; Enumeration District: 116-106. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.
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