Joanna Barnes, whose many display roles included the conniving fiancée of a divorced father within the 1961 movie “The Mother or father Lure” and, 37 years later, the character’s mom within the remake — and who, whereas nonetheless having fun with success as an actress, launched into a profitable second profession as a author — died on April 29 at her house in The Sea Ranch, Calif. She was 87.
The trigger was most cancers, her pal Sally Jackson stated.
Ms. Barnes’s position within the hit Disney film “The Mother or father Lure” was a part of her busy first 5 years in Hollywood, which started in tv on sequence together with “Playhouse 90” and “Cheyenne” after which superior to supporting roles in “Auntie Mame” (1958), reverse Rosalind Russell, and “Tarzan, the Ape Man” (1959), which starred Denny Miller within the title position.
Life journal featured Ms. Barnes in a photograph unfold that promoted “Tarzan.”
“The silk-clad debutante, above, and the barelegged tree climber at proper are the identical — Miss Joanna Barnes of Boston and Hollywood,” the article stated partially. “She is the newest and, MGM insists, the brainiest of the 20 women who’ve performed Jane, the genteel Englishwoman within the Tarzan movies.”
In “The Mother or father Lure” (1961), starring Hayley Mills within the twin position of long-separated twin sisters who meet and conspire to reunite their divorced dad and mom, Ms. Barnes performed the vixenish fortune hunter courting the women’ father, performed by Brian Keith. When the movie was remade 37 years later with Lindsay Lohan as its star, Ms. Barnes performed the mom of her former character, who was portrayed by Elaine Hendrix.
“She had no judgment about being in a remake,” Nancy Meyers, the director of the movie, stated in a cellphone interview. “And she or he was a type of individuals who, after you say, ‘Lower!,’ you need to preserve speaking to her.”
Ms. Barnes by no means turned a serious star, and within the Sixties she started to search out diversions from appearing.
In 1967 she hosted the ABC tv sequence “Dateline: Hollywood,” on which she took viewers behind the scenes on studio excursions and interviewed stars. She wrote a syndicated column, Touching Dwelling, and a e book, “Beginning From Scratch” (1968), about inside adorning.
Her first novel, “The Deceivers” (1970), was an attractive Hollywood exposé that swirled round a former baby actress and the highly effective individuals in her orbit.
“Joanna Barnes is Jacqueline Susann with a mind,” the critic John Leonard wrote in The New York Instances, referring to the creator of the saucy 1966 saga “Valley of the Dolls.” He added, “A couple of of the characters in ‘The Deceivers’ appear to have been stamped out of stale Saltines; the intercourse grows like grass between every block of plot; and, as in too many first novels, every thing will get resolved at a giant get together. However Miss Barnes is a wonderful information for vacationers within the land of the plastic cactus.”
She additionally wrote the novels “Who Is Carla Hart?” (1973); “Pastora” (1980), a few Nineteenth-century girl’s rise in San Francisco society, which was a New York Instances paperback greatest vendor; and “Silverwood” (1985).
“Performing and writing feed one another,” she informed The Related Press, including, “After I’m starting to really feel confined at writing, I take day trip for appearing.”
And socializing. In 1971, she briefly dated Henry Kissinger, who was President Richard M. Nixon’s nationwide safety adviser on the time. When Maxine Cheshire of The Washington Submit reported that she and Mr. Kissinger had attended a celebration in Hollywood collectively, she famous that Ms. Barnes had written “The Deceivers,” “which Kissinger hasn’t learn.”
Ms. Barnes was born in Boston on Nov. 15, 1934, and raised in Hingham, Mass. Her father, John, was an insurance coverage government, and her mom, Alice (Mutch) Barnes, was a homemaker. She studied English at Smith Faculty, the place she obtained a bachelor’s diploma in 1956 — the yr she earned her first display credit score within the TV sequence “Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers.”
In 1961, she was booted from the Boston Social Register, which, she informed The St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Instances, didn’t approve of actors. She had simply been within the hit film “Spartacus,” starring Kirk Douglas.
“Performed a degenerate Roman woman,” she stated. “Scrumptious half.”
Over the subsequent three many years she was seen on many TV sequence, together with “Bachelor Father,” “77 Sundown Strip,” “Love American Model,” “Homicide, She Wrote” and “Trapper John, M.D.” Within the 1965-66 season she was an everyday on “The Trials of O’Brien,” a short-lived sequence a few protection lawyer, performed by Peter Falk. She performed his ex-wife.
She is survived by her stepdaughters, Laura and Louise Warner; her stepson, John Warner; and her sisters, Lally Barnes Freeman and Judith Barnes Wooden. Her marriages to Richard Herndon and Lawrence Dobkin resulted in divorce; her marriage to Jack Lionel Warner additionally ended.
For all her success on the display, her curiosity in appearing had pale — till the remake of “The Mother or father Lure” got here alongside.
“Her half was small however memorable, and I undoubtedly didn’t want to inform her tips on how to play it,” Ms. Meyers wrote in an e-mail. “She knew precisely what to do and performed it to the hilt.”