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Barbara Parkins Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (22) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (2)

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Barbara Parkins is best remembered as an icon of the Sixties who had starring roles in two of the era's more notorious productions, Peyton Place (1964) and Valley of the Dolls (1967). After arriving in Hollywood as a teenager, Parkins soon began appearing on episodic television programs such as Wagon Train (1957) and Perry Mason (1957). She also appeared with George Burns as a dancer in his nightclub act. She was soon offered the pivotal role of "Betty Anderson" in what would become television's first prime-time soap opera, Peyton Place (1964). The show was an immediate success and turned Parkins, along with costars Ryan O'Neal and Mia Farrow into household names. Parkins was nominated for an Emmy Award as Best Actress and stayed with the series for its entire 5 year run. Her popularity was further solidified when, in 1967, she starred in the motion picture Valley of the Dolls (1967), which became a huge box office hit. She became close friends with her "Dolls" costar, Sharon Tate and traveled to London to be her bridesmaid when Tate married director Roman Polanski in 1968. Parkins fell in love with England, UK. After Tate's murder in 1969, Parkins decided to leave Hollywood and took up residence in London. There, she appeared on the BBC and starred in such international productions as Puppet on a Chain (1971), Christina (1974) and Shout at the Devil (1976). Her career, however, was no longer the prime focus of her life. She married in the late 1970's and lived in France for awhile. When her marriage ended, Parkins returned to the United States and gave Hollywood another try. She appeared in popular TV shows of the day such as The Love Boat (1977), 0077008, and Hotel (1983). She also filmed Bear Island (1979) with Donald Sutherland and Vanessa Redgrave and Breakfast in Paris (1982). Parkins joined other original cast members for a Peyton Place reunion movie, Peyton Place: The Next Generation (1985), in 1985. Her career, however, was once again put on hold when her daughter Christina was born. Parkins has made infrequent appearances since the late 1980's although she did return to weekly television for a brief stint in the CBS-TV series Scene of the Crime (1991) which was filmed in the city she was born, Vancouver. In 1997, Parkins was the guest of honor at a 30th anniversary screening of Valley of the Dolls (1967) in San Francisco. During a question-and-answer segment with columnist Ted Casablanca, she announced to the sold-out audience that she planned to retire. The following year, however, she appeared in Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story (1998), based on the life of Valley of the Dolls' controversial author. Whether Parkins will resume her career full- time or really retire is unknown at this time.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: jkinoz@aol.com

Trade Mark (1)

Her silky voice

Trivia (22)

Was maid of honor for Sharon Tate at her marriage to director Roman Polanski in London, England on January 20, 1968.
She and Ed Nelson were the only two actors who appeared on the first episode of Peyton Place (1964) in 1964 and the final episode in 1969. They were the only stars who received screen credit for every episode (although not necessarily appearing in every episode) during the series' entire five-year run.
Is an adopted child.
In 1965, was named "Hollywood's Deb Star of the Year" by the Association of Hollywood Make up Artists and Hairstylists.
In 1965, won the Photoplay Gold Medal Award for Best Newcomer.
She is an accomplished photographer.
Appeared in a number of "Playboy" pictorial spreads, her most revealing being the ones in 1967 and 1976.
In 1998 she came out of nowhere and appeared in the mini-movie Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story (1998), the story of Jacqueline Susann, who wrote the book upon which Valley of the Dolls (1967) was based.
While interviewed by gossip columnist Ted Casablanca at a 1996 gala viewing of Valley of the Dolls (1967), she candidly reported, while working with some of her co-stars, that Susan Hayward was "spastic", Patty Duke was "energetic but neurotic" and Sharon Tate was "magic".
She reprised her Peyton Place (1964) character of "Betty Harrington" for a 1985 TV-reunion movie, Peyton Place: The Next Generation (1985).
Has a daughter, Christina (b. 1986) from her marriage in the late '70s. She was later divorced.
Patty Duke gave her the nick name "Barbara Starkins" during the filming of Valley of the Dolls (1967).
She was cast as "Anne Welles" in Valley of the Dolls (1967) after Candice Bergen dropped out two weeks before filming was to begin. She originally tested for the role of "Neely O'Hara".
In 1966 she co-hosted the Miss Teen International Pageant with her Peyton Place (1964) costar Ryan O'Neal.
In 2006 she Barbara commentary for the DVD release of Valley of the Dolls (1967).
Favorite perfume is 'Lheure Bleu' by Guerlain.
Was among the women chosen by famed photographer Patrick Lichfield to be included in his 1983 book, "The Most Beautiful Women".
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#81). [1995].
Was signed to star in the 1980 mini-series, Scruples (1980), but backed out before filming started.
Turned down the opportunity to reprise the role of Betty in the 1977 television film, Murder in Peyton Place (1977). She did, however, agree to play Betty again in 1985 when Peyton Place: The Next Generation (1985) was made.
Turned down leading roles in the movies Goodbye, Columbus (1969) and They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969). When asked why, Parkins replied, "I must have had my head in the sand".
She was considered for the title role in the James Bond film Octopussy (1983) that went to Maud Adams.

Personal Quotes (5)

I'd very much like to be Ava Gardner. She IS sex.
I learned the word "power" when I was in Peyton Place (1964).
[on why she thought Valley of the Dolls (1967) was considered a cult classic] Maybe because it is so . . . bad.
[When asked about her friend, Sharon Tate, in 2010]: Most people know that she was kind and sweet, and had an innocence about her. Her gentleness was very special, and it was a big loss.
[1977, while promoting Testimony of Two Men (1977)]: I don't feel at all self-conscious about taking off my clothes. I trained as a dancer, I watch my diet and I take care of my body. If a script calls for a bedroom scene, I say do it. When I have a brief affair with Steve Forrest, it would look ridiculous for me to get into bed wearing a robe and nightgown. I do object to a nude scene when it is gratuitous. My nude scene in Captains and the Kings (1976) was unnecessary and I'm sorry I did it.

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