Barbara Baxley

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Barbara Baxley
Barbara Baxley 1960.JPG
Baxley in 1960.
Born Barbara Angie Rose Baxley
(1923-01-01)January 1, 1923
Porterville, California, U.S.
Died June 7, 1990(1990-06-07) (aged 67)
New York, New York, U.S.
Occupation Film, stage, television actress
Years active 1950–1990

Barbara Angie Rose Baxley (January 1, 1923 – June 7, 1990) was an American actress and singer.

Early life[edit]

Barbara Baxley was born in Porterville, California, the daughter of Emma (née Tyler) and Bert Baxley.[1] She acted for six years in productions of schools and Little Theaters before she had her first professional role.[2]


A life member of the Actors Studio,[3] Baxley also studied acting under the tutelage of Sanford Meisner at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater in New York City. Her first film was East of Eden, where she portrayed Adam Trask's obnoxious nurse at the end of the film.

In 1961, she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress (Dramatic) for her performance in the Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' comedy, Period of Adjustment. She appeared in Chekhov's The Three Sisters and Neil Simon's Plaza Suite, as well as the 1960s Broadway musical She Loves Me, which co-starred Jack Cassidy, Barbara Cook and Daniel Massey. She also starred in the 1976 Broadway play Best Friend.

Baxley appeared in supporting roles in many television series of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. She played a wife having her rodeo-performing husband, played by Lee Van Cleef, murdered in the CBS crime drama series, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, starring David Janssen. She appeared in a 1958 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Gilded Lily", as Enid Griffin and she also played the role of Cora Wheeler in the original Twilight Zone episode of "Mute".

Baxley played two different characters in two episodes of Have Gun – Will Travel, starring Richard Boone. She also played roles on two daytime soap operas, Where the Heart Is and Another World.

She is perhaps best known for the role of Lady Pearl, the feisty wife of country music icon "Haven Hamilton" in Robert Altman's film Nashville (1975), and as the mother of Sally Field's character in Norma Rae (1979).


Baxley died at age 67 at her home in Manhattan of an apparent heart attack.[4] She is buried at Umpawaug Cemetery in Redding, Connecticut[5].


Year Title Role Notes
1955 East of Eden Nurse Uncredited
1958 The Badlanders Diane (scenes deleted)
1960 The Savage Eye Judith McGuire
1962 All Fall Down Schoolteacher
1967 Countdown Jean
1968 No Way to Treat a Lady Belle Poppie
1972 Images Telephone Voice, uncredited
1975 Nashville Lady Pearl
1979 Butterflies in Heat
1979 Norma Rae Leona
1982 A Stranger Is Watching Lally
1989 Sea of Love Miss Allen
1990 A Shock to the System Lillian
1990 The Exorcist III Shirley (final film role)


  1. ^ Barbara Baxley profile,; accessed May 18, 2015.
  2. ^ Bodin, Walter (June 1, 1948). "Tallulah, Cast Acclaimed in Suave 'Private Lives'". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. p. 28. Retrieved August 12, 2018 – via  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ David Garfield (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of the Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of the Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co. Inc. p. 277. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. 
  4. ^ "Barbara Baxley, 67, Who Acted In Theater, Movie and TV Roles", The New York Times, June 9, 1990.
  5. ^ Wilson, Scott (16 September 2016). "Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed". McFarland – via Google Books. 

External links[edit]