|Born||September 9, 1931
|Died||July 10, 1995
Greater London, England, UK
|Website||Biography on IMDb|
Life and career
She was born in Hollywood, California. Her parents, Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels, were both Hollywood actors, beginning in silent films with careers extending into the 1930s. In the early part of World War II, Ben Lyon joined the Royal Air Force, and though the family returned later to the United States, they made Britain their adopted home. From 1950 to 1961 they had a radio programme on the BBC, Life With The Lyons. Ben, Bebe, Barbara, and Barbara's brother Richard all played themselves on this show (perhaps inspired by the success in the US of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, also featuring a real-life family), bringing the family before the UK public.
In the 1950s, both Barbara and Richard began their own independent careers; Richard recorded one single, but primarily found his career to be as an actor, both in the UK and the US. With Barbara, the situation was reversed: she did some acting, but found more popularity as a singer, with two hits in the UK Singles Chart. However, after those two hits she was unable to chart, and went into acting, both in the UK and U.S.
Lyon had her own short-lived TV series Dream Time With Barbara (1955), in which she also sang, and the following year she married the show's producer, Russell Turner. The marriage did not last, and in 1968 she married an accountant, Colin Burkitt, a union that produced one son, but that also ended in divorce.
Her later years were not happy ones. Forgotten and dogged by physical and financial ills, she died on July 10, 1995 of a cerebral hemorrhage in West Middlesex Hospital, Isleworth, west London, at the age of 63.