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Barbara Lang


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Barbara Lang (March 2, 1928 – July 22, 1982) was an American actress and singer.

Early life

She worked a number of jobs prior to breaking into the entertainment industry. She sold jewelry in a Los Angeles department store and was a part-time fashion Model (person) at the age of seventeen. She was also a pianist and singer for a time in a cocktail lounge.


Lang suffered an attack of poliomyelitis in late 1953. She spent three weeks in the polio ward of Los Angeles General Hospital. Another eight months were required to convalesce. Lang was told that she might never walk again. She turned to the Bible during this time and reportedly credited faith for performing a miracle. Shortly after being stricken, her legs and facial muscles were paralyzed, and she had difficulty speaking. The lingering effect she experienced most was tiring easily.



She first came to the attention of Hollywood producers with appearances in six Death Valley Days telefilms (1955–1956). Half a dozen motion picture studios vied to sign Lang after her telefilm performances. She inked a long-term contract with Metro Goldwyn Mayer and was assigned to dramatic school. As a new star for MGM Lang played the feminine lead in House of Numbers (1957). The movie was the first motion picture to be filmed entirely inside the walls of San Quentin Prison. Lang was at first named to star opposite Elvis Presley in JailHouse Rock. Before being cast the movie was tentatively entitled Jailhouse Kid. In the Joe Pasternak production of Party Girl (1958), Lang played "Ginger D'Amour", a Chicago showgirl of the 1930s.


After surviving and recovering from polio, Lang went into television work. Her TV credits are numerous. She is in episodes of The Thin Man (TV series) (1957), Maverick (1958), 77 Sunset Strip (1959), Lawman (1959), Tightrope (1959), The Outlaws (1960), Car 54, Where Are You? (1962), Charlie's Angels (1981), and Mr. Belvedere (1987).


In a revival of the musical, Anything Goes, Lang depicted a correctly poised and proper Hope Harcourt at the Orpheum Theatre in May 1962. Lang was in the cast of Guys and Dolls when it was produced by the Civic Light Opera in its twenty-eighth season of musical theater, in 1975, as Miss Adelaide. The show played for seven performances in Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She appeared in So Long, 174th Street (April 1976) and The Robber Bridegroom (October 1976), both on Broadway. In a revival of Mame (1983), Lang played "Sally Cato".

Personal life

In November 1958 Lang won an annulment of her two-year marriage to actor Alan Wells. The decree was granted on grounds that Wells married Lang in Ensenada, Mexico, ten months before his divorce from actress Claudia Barrett was final. Lang and Wells met when she played in Death Valley Days.









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