Barbara Bennett

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Barbara Bennett
Barbara Bennett.jpg
Born Barbara Jane Bennett
(1906-08-13)August 13, 1906
Palisades Park, New Jersey, U.S.
Died August 8, 1958(1958-08-08) (aged 51)
Montréal, Québec, Canada
Cause of death Suicide
Resting place Burtonville Union Cemetery
Nationality American
Other names Barbara Bennett Suprenant
Occupation Actress, dancer
Spouse(s) Morton Downey (m. 1929; div. 1941)
Addison Randall (m. 1941; d. 1945)
Laurent Suprenant (m. 1954)
Children 5 (including Morton Downey Jr.)
Parent(s) Richard Bennett
Adrienne Morrison
Relatives Lewis Morrison (grandfather)
Constance Bennett (sister)
Joan Bennett (sister)

Barbara Jane Bennett (August 13, 1906 – August 8, 1958) was an American stage and film actress and dancer.

Family[edit]

Bennett was the second of three daughters born to actor Richard Bennett and his wife, actress Adrienne Morrison in Palisades Park, New Jersey. Her paternal grandfather was the stage actor Lewis Morrison. Her older sister, Constance, later became an extremely successful film actress as did her younger sister Joan. The girls attended the Chapin School with the actress Jane Wyatt.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Bennett married three times and had five children. On January 28, 1929, she married tenor Morton Downey. The couple had four biological children, including son Morton Downey Jr., and adopted a fifth child, Michael.[2] They divorced in June 1941. Bennett later married actor Addison Randall, a popular romantic star and singing cowboy at the time. On July 16, 1945, Randall died after suffering a heart attack and falling from a horse during the filming of The Royal Mounted Rides Again. Bennett married Laurent Suprenant in 1954. The couple moved to Montreal in 1957 and remained together until her death the following year.[3]

Bennett later worked as a literary representative for producer Walter Wanger, who was married to her sister Joan. In that position, Bennett scouted best-sellers and the like as potential movie properties, especially for her sister Joan.[4]

Death[edit]

On August 8, 1958, five days before her 52nd birthday, Bennett died after what the media described as an unidentified "long illness" in Montreal.[2][3] Over the course of her life, Bennett attempted suicide four times. As the circumstances surrounding herself were vague and Bennett's sister Joan refused to discuss the details of her death, rumors arose that Bennett had finally succeeded in ending her life.[5] In her 1982 memoirs Lulu In Hollywood, longtime friend and actress Louise Brooks wrote of Bennett, "Barbara made a career of her emotions. Periods of work or marriage were terminated by her frightening, abandoned laughter of despair and failure. Only her death, in 1958, achieved in her fifth suicide attempt, could be termed a success."[6]

She was buried at Burtonville Union Cemetery in Lacolle, Quebec. A memorial service was later held at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills.[5]

Broadway credits[edit]

Production Role Date
The Stork Heloise January 26 – February 1925
Victory Belles Miss Flo Hilliard October 26, 1943 – January 22, 1944

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1916 The Valley of Decision Unborn soul
1927 Black Jack Nancy Blake
1929 Syncopation Fleurette Sloane
1929 Mother's Boy Beatrix Townleigh
1930 Love Among the Millionaires Virginia Hamilton

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kellow, Brian (2004). The Bennetts: An Acting Family. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0813138183. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Barbara Bennett, Sister of Actresses". The Miami News. Miami, Florida. August 10, 1958. p. 6C. Retrieved May 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Barbara Bennett, Ex-Actress, Dies". The Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. August 10, 1958. p. 1. Retrieved May 14, 2015. 
  4. ^ Kellow, Brian (2004). The Bennetts: An Acting Family. University Press of Kentucky. p. 497. ISBN 0-813-17192-X. 
  5. ^ a b (Kellow 2004, p. 396)
  6. ^ Brooks, Louise (1989) [Originally published 1983]. "Kansas to New York". Lulu in Hollywood (1989 Limelight ed.). New York: Limelight Editions. p. 13. ISBN 0-87910-125-3. OCLC 639598800. 

External links[edit]