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Priscilla Barnes, 2010
December 7, 1955 |
Fort Dix, New Jersey, U.S.
Priscilla Barnes (born December 7, 1955) is an American actress known for her role as nurse Terri Alden on the American television sitcom Three's Company, having been made the permanent replacement for Suzanne Somers. Barnes subsequently made appearances in films such as A Vacation in Hell, the James Bond thriller Licence to Kill, the Kevin Smith comedy Mallrats and the horror film The Devil's Rejects.
Barnes was born December 7, 1955 in Fort Dix, New Jersey, the third of four children of a father who was a major in the United States Air Force. Her mother was a homemaker. Barnes's childhood was marked by a series of moves across various military bases in the United States before her family settled in Lancaster, California. After graduating from Antelope Valley High School at age 17, she relocated to San Diego, working as a waitress and a dancer.
Barnes' first break came when Bob Hope saw her in a local fashion show and invited her to join his troupe for a 1973 performance at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She subsequently moved to Los Angeles to attempt a career in show business in earnest. She appeared as an Amazon in The New Original Wonder Woman alongside Lynda Carter as the title character. Her second break came at 19 when she met Peter Falk at Pips. Six months later he gave her a one-line part in an episode of Columbo, which led to a series of bit parts in films like The Seniors (1978) and Delta Fox (1979).
While working as a hostess at a Hollywood nightclub, Barnes posed nude for the "Pet of the Month" photo layout in the March 1976 issue of Penthouse magazine under the pseudonym Joann Witty. Penthouse later republished the photos under Barnes' real name in 1982 after she gained fame upon joining the cast of Three's Company. Barnes filed suit, which was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 1976, she began studying acting with coach Sal Dano, whose students included Tom Selleck, Robert Hays and Catherine Bach. In 1978, she starred in a TV series, The American Girls, which was canceled after seven weeks. Subsequent parts include the horror film Tintorera, and TV shows such as Starsky and Hutch, Kojak, The Rockford Files, The Love Boat, the 1978 TV version of The Time Machine and the 1979 television film A Vacation In Hell, which has gained a cult following over the years. In 1980, Barnes landed a supporting role in Sunday Lovers, a romantic comedy ensemble featuring Gene Wilder, Roger Moore and Kathleen Quinlan.
In 1981, Barnes was cast as Terri Alden on Three's Company after Suzanne Somers left the series after a contractual dispute with producers, and after Jenilee Harrison served as interim replacement Cindy Snow. The part, which is Barnes' most notable role, brought her instant public recognition. In the 1998 TV program E! True Hollywood Story, Barnes called Three's Company the "three worst years" of her life. Barnes revealed that after shooting a couple of episodes of the show, she felt "uncomfortable" on the set and asked, unsuccessfully, to be released from her contract. She remained friends with her co-stars, particularly Joyce DeWitt. The two, along with fellow castmate Richard Kline, made public appearances together. Barnes was portrayed by actress Anne Ross in the 2003 television movie Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three's Company.
After Three's Company was cancelled by ABC in 1984, Barnes appeared in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill as Della Churchill, the underwater sci-fi/action thriller Lords of the Deep (1989), Traxx (1988) with Shadoe Stevens, and in NBC's Perry Mason and the Case of the Reckless Romeo (1993), with Raymond Burr as Perry Mason.
Her 1990s feature film appearances include the heroine in Stepfather III (1992), a supporting role in the Kevin Smith comedy Mallrats (1995) with Jason Lee, the Sean Penn drama The Crossing Guard (1995) opposite Jack Nicholson, and the 1999 comedy Mumford.
Her 2000s work includes a pivotal role in the Rob Zombie horror film The Devil's Rejects (2005), the supernatural thrillers Thr3e and The Visitation in (2006) and American Cowslip (2009), starring Val Kilmer and Diane Ladd. In 2012, she co-starred as Vicey Hatfield opposite Christian Slater and Jeff Fahey in Bad Blood: Hatfields and McCoys. In 2013, Barnes will appear in Disaster Wars: Earthquake vs Tsunami.
Barnes is married to actor Ted Monte.
- "Priscilla Barnes". AllMovie. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
- Gritten, David (December 14, 1981). "The New Blonde". People magazine, Vol. 16, No. 24.
- "World Premiere for 'Shrink Rap'". MSN. July 30, 2003. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
- "PENTHOUSE INTERNATIONAL, LTD. v. Priscilla BARNES". United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit/bulk.resource.org. 1986. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
- E! True Hollywood Story: Three's Company, E!, 1998
- "Disaster Wars Tempts Fate and Goes Into Production Just in Time". Tom Cat Films. December 21, 2012.
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