Barbara Bryne

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Barbara Bryne (born 1 April 1929, London) is a British-born U.S.-based stage, film and television actress. Onstage she has appeared in comedy, dramatic and musical productions. The London-born actress studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA).

Personal life[edit]

Born on 1 April 1929 as Barbara Isabel Birkinshaw, she married Dennis Spence (born circa 1930) in early 1953 in Sidcup, Kent, England.[1][2] Their daughter, Susan Jane Spence, is a veterinarian.[citation needed]


Bryne came to Canada in the early 1960s and has been a frequent performer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival since 1966 and at the Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis) for 50 years.[3] In 1982, she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actress in a Drama for her role as "Kath" in the first American production of Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr. Sloane (which starred Maxwell Caulfield in the title role).

She was in the original Broadway productions of Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George (as George's mother) and Into The Woods (as Jack's mother). She also performed in Sondheim's A Little Night Music in Washington, D.C. She was also a frequent performer at Minneapolis' Guthrie Theater. Among the plays in which she appeared there were Mother Courage, The Glass Menagerie, She Stoops to Conquer, Design for Living, and, most recently, Pygmalion.[4]

On television she played "Mrs. Gaffney" on the Tony Randall series, Love, Sidney (1981–83). In 2011 she appeared as Queen Victoria in H.M.S. Pinafore, which was filmed for PBS in late August 2011.[5] Among the films in which she has appeared are: Romeo & Juliet (1993 TV film), Into the Woods (1991 TV film), Two Evil Eyes (1990; "The Black Cat" segment), Sunday in the Park with George (1986 TV film), Amadeus (1984), The Bostonians (1984), and The School for Scandal (1975 TV film).[5]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ GRO Birth Registry. Name: Birkinshaw, Barbara I. Registration District: Lambeth. County: London. Year of Registration: 1929. Quarter of Registration: Apr-May-Jun. Mother's Maiden Name: Cairns. Volume No: 1D/Page No: 435
  2. ^ GRO Marriage Registry:Name: SPENCE, Dennis, Registration District: Sidcup, County: Kent. Year of Registration: 1953. Quarter of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar. Spouse's last name: Birkinshaw. Volume No: 5B/Page No: 1468
  3. ^ "Christopher Plummer, Barbara Byrne [sic] and more join Guthrie's 50th Anniversary Gala"; accessed 6 August 2014.
  4. ^ Barbara Bryne at the Internet Broadway Database
  5. ^ a b Barbara Bryne at the Internet Movie Database