Golden globe nominee lived in Montecito from 1980 until 2005
After a long battle with illness, actress and author Joanna Barnes died Friday in her home at The Sea Ranch, California, at the age of 87.
Ms. Barnes was best known for her role in the 1961 film The Parent Trap, in which she portrayed gold-digger Vicky Robinson. In the 1998 remake, she portrayed the character’s mother, Vicky Blake.
Ms. Barnes was born in Boston in 1934 to John Pindar Barnes and Alice Weston, and grew up in Hingham, Mass. She was a graduate of Milton Academy, a prestigious Boston prep-school. She also graduated from Smith College in 1956, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
After she moved to California, she drew the attention of audiences in her role as Gloria Upson in the 1958 film “Auntie Mame,” for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
Her many film credits include “Home Before Dark,” “Spartacus,” “Tarzan: The Ape Man” and “The War Wagon.”
Her extensive television credits include three series: “21 Beacon Street,” “The Trials of O’Brien” and “Dateline Hollywood.” She was also a frequent guest on dozens of TV series, including “The Millionaire,” “Mannix,” “Murder She Wrote,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “The New Perry Mason,” “Planet of the Apes,” “SWAT,” “Fantasy Island,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Cheers.” Ms. Barnes was a guest on many of TV’s early quiz programs and chat shows including “What’s My Line,” “To Tell the Truth,” and “The Johnny Carson Show.”
In addition to her career as an actress, she was also an author and penned several books, both fiction and non-fiction. Her published novels include “The Deceivers,” “Who is Carla Hart,” “Pastora” and “Silverwood.” Her non-fiction book, “Starting From Scratch,” was birthed out of her syndicated book-review column for The Los Angeles Times “Touching Home.”
In 1980, Ms. Barnes married Jack Lionel Warner, a noted architect. They resided in Montecito in a house designed by Mr. Warner. In 2005, they moved out of Santa Barbara for the serenity they found in The Sea Ranch. There, Mr. Warner designed and built a house for them overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He died in 2012.
Ms. Barnes’ two earlier marriages ended in divorce. She is survived by her two sisters Lally Barnes Freeman of Santa Fe, N.M., and Judith Barnes Wood of Snellville, Georgia, as well as Mr. Warner’s three children, John Barnes of Goleta, Laura Warner of Santa Barbara and Louise Warner of Whidby Island, Wash. A lifelong animal lover, she is also survived by her dog, Gracie Warner.
“Joanna was admired and loved for her talents, her intelligence, and her accomplishments. Of all her accolades and successes, however, one feather in her cap that always brought a full-throated laugh was that she was thrown out of the Boston Social Register when she became a professional actress,” according to the press release.
“She was remarkably well educated and well-read, and she made conversations (on any topic) smarter. She made parties and gatherings more glamorous. She had an impeccable sense of humor and a wry wit. She was a thoughtful friend who planned ahead to make every occasion feel custom-made for her friends,” Sally Jackson, a friend of Ms. Barnes for almost 30 years, told the News-Press in an email.