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Biography

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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 18 December 1917Roanoke, Virginia, USA
Date of Death 20 November 1989Santa Barbara, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameMargaret Schuyler Fisher
Nicknames The Girl with the Million Dollar Figure
The Woo Woo Girl
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

A curvaceous, dark-haired WWII pin-up beauty (aka "The Woo Woo Girl" and "The Girl with the Million Dollar Figure"), "B" film star Lynn Bari had the requisite looks and talent but few of the lucky breaks needed to penetrate the "A" rankings during her extensive Hollywood career. Nevertheless, some worthy performances of hers stand out in late-night viewings.

She was born with the elite-sounding name of Margaret Schuyler Fisher on December 18, 1913 (various sources also list 1915, 1917 and 1919), in Roanoke, Virginia. She and her younger brother, John, moved with their mother to Boston following the death of their father in 1926. Her mother remarried, this time to a minister, and the family relocated once again when her stepfather was assigned a ministry in California (the Institute of Religious Science in Los Angeles).

Paying her dues for years as a snappy bit-part chorine, secretary, party girl and/or glorified extra while being groomed as a starlet under contract to MGM and Fox, her first released film was the MGM comedy Meet the Baron (1933), in which she provided typical window dressing as a collegiate. For the next few years there was little growth at either studio, as she was usually standing amidst others in crowd scenes and looking excited. Finally in Lancer Spy (1937), she received her first billing on screen for a minor part as "Miss Fenwick". Though more bit parts were to dribble in, the year 1938 proved to be her breakthrough year. She finally gained some ground playing the "other woman" role in glossy soaps and musicals, first giving Barbara Stanwyck some trouble in Always Goodbye (1938).

Fox Studios finally handed her some smart co-leads and top supports in such second-tier films as Return of the Cisco Kid (1939), Pack Up Your Troubles (1939), Hotel for Women (1939), and Hollywood Cavalcade (1939). Anxiously waiting for "the big one", she made do with her strong looks, tending toward unsympathetic parts. She enjoyed the attention she received playing disparaging society ladies, divas, villainesses, and even a strong-willed prairie flower in such films as Pier 13 (1940), Earthbound (1940), Kit Carson (1940), and Sun Valley Serenade (1941), but they did little to advance her in the ranks.

The very best role of her frisky career came with the grade "A" comedy The Magnificent Dope (1942), in which she shared top billing with Henry Fonda and Don Ameche. But good roles were hard to find in Lynn's case, and she good-naturedly took whatever was given her. Other above-average movies (she appeared in well over 150) of this period came with China Girl (1942), Hello Frisco, Hello (1943), The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1944), and Nocturne (1946).

With diminishing offers for film parts by the 1950s, she started leaning heavily towards stage and TV work. She continued her career until the late '60s and then retired. Her last work included the film The Young Runaways (1968) and TV episodes of "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E." and "The F.B.I." Divorced three times in all, husband #2 was volatile manager/producer Sidney Luft, better known as Judy Garland's hubby years later, who was the father of her only child. Her third husband was a doctor/psychiatrist, and she worked as his nurse for quite some time. They divorced in 1972. Plagued by arthritis in later years, Bari passed away from heart problems on November 20, 1989. Although she may have been labeled a "B" leading lady, she definitely was in the "A" ranks when it came to class and beauty.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (3)

Dr. Nathan Rickles (30 August 1955 - 26 July 1972) (divorced)
Sidney Luft (28 November 1943 - 26 December 1950) (divorced) (2 children)
Walter Kane (15 March 1939 - 26 November 1943) (divorced)

Trivia (13)

Son with Sidney Luft, John Michael Luft (b. 18 September 1948).
While on the set of Shock (1946) one day, she was talking with co-star Anabel Shaw and mentioned that she was a direct descendant, on her mother's side, of Revolutionary War hero Alexander Hamilton. Shaw revealed that she was a direct descendant of Aaron Burr--the man who killed Hamilton in the famous duel.
Her stage name was derived from the names of stage legend Lynn Fontanne and author J.M. Barrie (without the second "r" and the "e").
She was tested for the prime female role in Blood and Sand (1941) opposite Tyrone Power but lost the part because her dancing skills were below par. Rita Hayworth won the role and Lynn was cast as Tyrone's sister instead.
Lynn had two children by former husband Sidney Luft, who later married and divorced Judy Garland. Her first, a daughter, was born in August of 1945 but died shortly thereafter. Lynn never quite got over the loss. Her second child, John Michael, was born on 18 September 1948.
Second only to Betty Grable in WWII pin-up popularity according to a GI's poll taken at the time.
Profiled in "Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames" by Ray Hagen and Laura Wagner (McFarland, 2004).
Profiled in "Hollywood Players: The Thirties" by James Robert Parish and William T. Leonard, 1976.
Upon her death, she was cremated with her ashes scattered at sea.
She was a staunch Republican who gave much of her time and money towards various conservative political causes. She also attended several Republican National Conventions, fund-raisers, galas, was an honorary member of the Republican National Committee, and was active in the campaigns of Herbert Hoover, Wendell Willkie, Thomas E. Dewey, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.
She was a fan of jazz legend Anita O'Day.
According to a 1987 interview by Colin Briggs, published in Classic Images, April 2016, Lynn Bari confirmed the date of her birth as 19 December 1919; she graduated from Beverly Hills grammar school in the spring of 1933.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on her nickname of "The Woo Woo Girl"] I guess the top brass thought I was a lady Hugh Herbert, but the audiences, the public, continue to remember me, and what greater accolade can an actress get?

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