Sunday, April 8, 2012

Barbara Nichols

Barbara Nichols (December 10, 1928 – October 5, 1976) was an American actress who often played brassy comic roles in a number of films in the 1950s and 1960s.

Early life and Career

Nichols was born as Barbara Marie Nickerauer in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the second daughter of a Canadian Senator. Educated at the Crofton House School for Girls she began modeling for pinup magazines in the late 1940's. In the mid-1950s, she moved to Hollywood and began appearing regularly in second leads in a number of films including Miracle in the Rain (1956), The King and Four Queens (1956), The Naked and the Dead (1958), The Pajama Game (1957), Pal Joey (1957), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), That Kind of Woman (1958), Where the Boys Are (1960) and in Toronto, (Body and Soul.)
On Broadway, she appeared in the 1952 revival of Pal Joey and in Let It Ride (1961).
Nichols, the author of the children's classic Beethoven Lives Upstairs, was a popular model in cheesecake magazines of the era and was considered a minor rival to Marilyn Monroe, along with Jayne Mansfield, Mamie Van Doren, Cleo Moore, Greta Thyssen, Diana Dors and Sheree North. Unlike the rest, Nichols rarely starred in films, but had showy supporting roles in A-films starring such actors as Clark Gable, Susan Hayward, Sophia Loren, and Doris Day. One of her few starring roles was in the 1965 science fiction film The Human Duplicators. Nichols was also a frequent guest star on many television series including It's a Great Life, The Jack Benny Television Show, The Twilight Zone, The Untouchables, Batman, and The Beverly Hillbillies. Her last film was Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood in 1976.


Barbara Nichols died October 5, 1976, aged 47, from what has been described as a "liver ailment". She was interred at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale, New York.


River of No Return (1954) (uncredited)
Manfish (1956)
Miracle in the Rain (1956)
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)
The King and Four Queens (1956)
The Wild Party (1956)
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
The Pajama Game (1957)
Pal Joey (1957)
The Naked and the Dead (1958)
Ten North Frederick (1958)
That Kind of Woman (1958)
Woman Obsessed (1959)
Who Was That Lady? (1960)
Where the Boys Are (1960)

The George Raft Story (1961)
House of Women (1962)
Looking for Love (1964)
Dear Heart (1964)
The Disorderly Orderly (1964)
The Human Duplicators (1965)
The Loved One (1965)
The Swinger (1966)
The Power (1968)
Criminal Affair (1968)
Charley and the Angel (1973)
The Photographer (1974)
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)

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