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Barbara Perry
Barbara Perry
Credits
Roles Mrs. MacLane
Mrs. Bentley
Biographical Information
Birthdate June 22, 1921
Birthplace Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Death Date May 5, 2019 (age 97)
Death Place Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States[1]

Barbara Perry played two neighbors - Mrs. MacLane in the fourth season episode, "How Green Was My Grass", and Mrs. Bentley in the fifth season episode, "Samantha Fights City Hall" (1968).

Biography[]

Barbara Perry was born on June 22, 1921, in Norfolk, Virginia. Her father, William, was a keyboardist and a conductor, and her mother, Victoria, sang in the chorus at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. At the age of four, she made her stage debut as Trouble in "Madame Butterfly" at the Met.

Her mom brought her to Hollywood and opened Perry’s Studios, where her daughter studied dance and performed at the Hollywood Bowl in the 1930s for choreographers Michio Ito and Agnes de Mille. Tap was a specialty, and Perry went on to headline at nightclubs including the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, the Chez Paris in Chicago, the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles and the Café de Paris in London, opening for the likes of Lena Horne and Peggy Lee.

She made her film debut in William Wyler's Counsellor at Law (1933), starring John Barrymore, and then appeared in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935), starring Claude Rains. On Broadway, Perry starred with Burgess Meredith in Happy as Larry in 1950 and danced with Eddie Foy, Jr. in Rumple. She also studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Perry worked on the Samuel Fuller films Shock Corridor (1963) and The Naked Kiss (1964). On the 1963 "Class Reunion" episode of "The Andy Griffith Show", Perry appeared as Mayberry local Mary Lee Becktel. "Dick Van Dyke Show" trivia buffs will know Perry as "Pickles," the wife of joke writer Buddy Sorrell (Morey Amsterdam), on two first-season episodes of the famed sitcom. She was one of Murphy Brown's secretaries — No. 39, in fact — on the Candice Bergen comedy. She played the neighbor Mrs. Douglas on two episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" and was a gift shop employee on a 2017 installment of "Baskets".

Her credits also included the films Tap (1989), Father of the Bride (1991), Just Write (1997), Mr. Woodcock (2007) and The Back-up Plan (2010) and such television shows as The Hathaways, The Donna Reed Show, Bewitched, My Three Sons, Barnaby Jones, St. Elsewhere and Newhart.

Perry also wrote and performed in a one-woman show titled Passionate Ladies, which won two Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards. In October [2018] she received the Founders Award from SAG-AFTRA.

Her second husband was animator Art Babbitt, who developed the character of Goofy and worked on such Disney classics as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Fantasia (1940). They were married from 1967 until his death in 1992.

Barbara Perry died in Hollywood on Sunday, May 5, 2019, of natural causes. She was 97. Survivors included her daughter, Laurel Lee, granddaughter Audrey Lee and stepdaughters Karin and Michele.[2]

References[]

  1. Barbara Perry on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 25, 2020.
  2. Barnes, Mike. "Barbara Perry, Actress on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' Dies at 97", The Hollywood Reporter, May 5, 2019. Retrieved on February 28, 2020, edited.
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