Priscilla Barnes

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Priscilla Barnes
Priscilla Barnes, 2010
Born (1955-12-07) December 7, 1955 (age 59)
or (1958-12-07) December 7, 1958 (age 56) [1]
Fort Dix, New Jersey, U.S.[2]
Occupation Actress
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Ted Monte[3][4]
Website Official site

Priscilla Barnes (born December 7, 1955 or 1958 – sources differ)[1][5] is an American actress, who may be best-known in her role as Terri Alden on Three's Company, the permanent replacement for Suzanne Somers. She subsequently made appearances in films such as A Vacation in Hell, Licence to Kill, Mallrats, The Devil's Rejects, and the television series Jane the Virgin.[5]

Early life[edit]

Barnes was born December 7 (some sources indicate 1955 and others 1958) in Fort Dix, New Jersey,[2] the third of four children of a father who was a Major in the United States Air Force and her mother a homemaker. Her 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.[2]


Early career[edit]

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).[5]

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 had become famous in Three's Company. Barnes filed a lawsuit, which was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. She won a partial order in her favor on appeal, but it is unclear if she was awarded any monetary damages.[6]

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 such television series 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. In 1980, Barnes landed a supporting role in Sunday Lovers.[5][2]

Three's Company[edit]

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 co-stars Joyce DeWitt and Richard Kline; they made public appearances together. [clarification needed][7] Barnes was portrayed by actress Anne Ross in the 2003 television movie Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three's Company.[5][2]

Later career[edit]

The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch: Priscilla as Maggie McCulloch (1982)

In 1982, Barnes starred in Aaron Spelling's The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch. 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 Stepfather III (1992), Mallrats (1995), The Crossing Guard (1995), and Mumford (1999).[5]

Her 2000s work includes The Devil's Rejects (2005), Thr3e (2006), The Visitation (2006), and American Cowslip (2009). In 2012, she co-starred as "Vicey Hatfield" in Bad Blood: Hatfields and McCoys. In 2013, she appeared in Disaster Wars: Earthquake vs Tsunami.[8]

Barnes appeared in a Hallmark Channel original movie called Elevator Girl, and appeared in 2014 in the recurring role of "Magda" on the CW series Jane the Virgin (2014).[5]

Personal life[edit]

Barnes has been married to actor Ted Monte since 2003.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Priscilla Barnes",; retrieved August 12, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e Gritten, David (December 14, 1981). "The New Blonde". People Magazine, Vol. 16, No. 24. 
  3. ^ a b "World Premiere for 'Shrink Rap'",; accessed November 8, 2014
  4. ^ July 30, 2003;; retrieved January 20, 2013
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Priscilla Barnes at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ "Penthouse International, Ltd, a New York Corporation,plaintiff/appellant, v. Priscilla Barnes, Defendant/appellee, 792 F. 2d 943". United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. 1986. Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  7. ^ E! True Hollywood Story: Three's Company, E!, 1998
  8. ^ "Disaster Wars Tempts Fate and Goes Into Production Just in Time",; accessed December 21, 2012.

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