Born 1919 in Long Beach, California, American actress Barbara Britton was soon signed to a Paramount Pictures contract when a photo of her while appearing in a Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade was used on the front page of a local newspaper in 1941. Britton’s first major film appearance was in a small role in Reap the Wild Wind (1942).
During the 1940s, Britton starred in three films for which she is most recognized today. The first was the 1945 film Captain Kidd, followed by The Virginian in 1946, and the third was the 1947 film Gunfighters. In total, she starred or appeared in 26 films during that decade.
Britton starred in the 1950s television show Mr. and Mrs. North. She was probably best known for being the spokesperson for Revlon products in the 1950s and 1960s, appearing in advertisements and commercials that included live spots on The $64,000 Question. She also portrayed Laura Petrie in Carl Reiner’s Head of the Family, the 1959 pilot for the later Dick Van Dyke Show.
One of Britton’s last roles was on the daytime television soap opera One Life to Live in 1979. She died of pancreatic cancer at her Manhattan apartment in 1980, at the age of 60.
In 1948, Britton was given a key to the City of Long Beach, California. In 1960, she received a star for television on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; her star is located at 1719 Vine Street.
Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of Barbara Britton in the 1950s and 1960s.