Barbara Anderson (actress)

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Barbara Anderson
Barbara Anderson 1969.JPG
Barbara Anderson in 1969.
Born Barbara Jeanne Anderson
(1945-11-27) November 27, 1945 (age 71)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Spouse(s) Don Burnett (1971–present)
Awards Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Drama Series
1968 Ironside

Barbara Jeanne Anderson (born November 27, 1945, in Brooklyn, New York) is a retired American actress who is best known for portraying police officer Eve Whitfield in the television series Ironside, for which she won an Emmy Award. She is also known for her appearance as the secret agent Mimi Davis during the final season of the American TV series Mission: Impossible.

Early years[edit]

Anderson was born in Brooklyn, New York,[1] Her father, George Anderson,[2] was a Navy enlisted man.[3] She spent her early years in New York City, but during her teenaged years, she resided in the Memphis, Tennessee, area, where her parents had moved.

Her interest in acting was kindled in her teenaged years. "I did a Tennessee Williams play when I was 16," she said, "I knew I'd be an actress. There was no doubt in my mind."[4]

While she was a student at Memphis State University,[1] Anderson competed in and won the title of Miss Memphis in 1963.[5] Anderson was an actress with the Front Street Repertory Theatre and debuted professionally in Memphis with the Southwestern University Players. Later, she acted with the Los Angeles Art Theatre.[1]


Anderson decided to move to Los Angeles to find work as an actress. She was successful at this, and in 1966, one of her first TV appearances came in a first-season episode of Star Trek, "The Conscience of the King". Anderson also featured in the first episode of the TV series Mannix, which was broadcast in 1967.

Anderson became one of the four original cast members of the TV series Ironside, which began its run in the same year and was the lead actress in the series (for the first 105 episodes). Anderson played the role of one of two police officers chosen to assist the wheelchair-using former Chief of Detectives for San Francisco, Robert Ironside (Raymond Burr). Anderson continued in her role as Officer Whitfield for four seasons.

She later acted in some guest roles in TV series, including performances as the wife of a man who inherits a notoriously haunted house in the Night Gallery episode "Fright Night" and as a witness to a mob hit in the Harry O episode "Material Witness". She then accepted a recurring role (seven episodes) in the final season of Mission Impossible. Since then, she has acted in several made-for-TV movies, notably the 1973 pilot film for The Six Million Dollar Man, and in guest roles in some regular TV series. She was paired with her former Ironside co-star, Don Galloway, in You Lie So Deep, My Love on the CBS Late Movie in 1977.[6]

Anderson's last acting appearance on TV or in films was in 1993, in the TV movie Return of Ironside, where she reprised her role as Eve Whitfield, now the mother of a daughter.


In 1968, Anderson won the television Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in Drama Series for her work on Ironside. She was nominated for two more Emmys for her work on that program: Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series (1969) and Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Drama (1970).[7]

Personal life[edit]

In 1971, Anderson left Ironside, and full-time TV series acting, because she wanted to devote time to her new marriage to the actor Don Burnett,[8] who was born in California November 4, 1930. He is the son of a British father, naturalized American—Albert John Burnett (January 3, 1896 - 1977) and a Canadian-born mother, naturalized American Rosine Kathleen Forhan-Burnett (June 18, 1905 - April 6, 1959). He left acting and became a stockbroker. This was his second marriage; his first wife was the actress Gia Scala. He has no children with either wife.

Selected filmography[edit]


  • Halliwell, Leslie (1965). The Filmgoer's Companion / with a Foreword by Alfred Hitchcock. Hill and Wang. 


  1. ^ a b c "Barbara Anderson: She Bruises Easily". California, Pasadena. Independent Star-News. May 12, 1968. p. 74. Retrieved January 5, 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read
  2. ^ Hall, Clara (May 31, 1968). "The 'New Ironsides' Look". Ohio, East Liverpool. The Evening Review. p. 1. Retrieved January 5, 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ "Former Miss Memphis Stars Again". Tennessee, Kingsport. Kingsport Times. September 16, 1970. p. 30. Retrieved January 5, 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ "Actress Persists in Career". Massachusetts, North Adams. The North Adams Transcript. July 16, 1969. p. 15. Retrieved January 4, 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ "Miss Memphis 1963: Barbara Anderson". Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Deadly Triangle". North Carolina, Lumberton. The Robesonian. October 23, 1977. p. 40. 
  7. ^ "Barbara Anderson: Awards and Nominations". Television Academy. Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  8. ^ Oppenheimer, Peer J. (July 18, 1971). "Why I Quit TV for Home and Hearth". Virginia, Danville. The Danville Register. p. 63. Retrieved January 5, 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read

External links[edit]