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Lynn Bari


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Lynn Bari (December 18, 1913 – November 20, 1989), born Margaret Schuyler Fisher, was a movie actress (usually in B-movies) who specialized in playing sultry, statuesque man-killers in over one hundred 20th Century Fox films from the early 1930s through the 1940s.


Born in Roanoke, Virginia, most of her early films, before getting supporting parts, were uncredited roles usually playing receptionists or chorus girls.

Bari's rare leading roles include China Girl (1942), Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943), and The Spiritualist (1948). However, in the B movies she was in, Lynn was usually cast as a villainess. Some examples include the films Shock and Nocturne (both 1946).

Notable exceptions to this general theme was The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1944). Lynn Bari's last film appearance was as the mother of rebellious teenager Patty McCormack in The Young Runaways (1968).

In 1955, Bari appeared in the episode "The Beautiful Miss X" of Rod Cameron's syndicated crime drama City Detective. In 1960, she played female bandit Belle Starr in the episode "Perilous Passage" of the NBC western series Overland Trail starring William Bendix and Doug McClure and with fellow guest star Robert J. Wilke as Cole Younger.

In July 1952, Bari appeared in her own situation comedy called Boss Lady (a summer replacement for NBC's Fireside Theater). She portrayed Gwen Allen, the beautiful top executive of a construction firm. Not the least of her troubles in the assignment was that of being able to hire a general manager who did not fall in love with her.

Commenting on her "other woman" roles, Bari once said, "I seem to be a woman always with a gun in her purse. I'm terrified of guns. I go from one set to the other shooting people and stealing husbands!"

Personal life

Bari was the only daughter of John Maynard Fisher, a native of Tennessee, and his wife, Marjorie Halpen of New York. She had a younger brother, John. Her father died in 1920, and his widow moved with her children to Lynchburg, Virginia. Here Bari's mother met the Reverend Robert Bizer, a Religious Science minister, and they married. Assigned a position with his church in Boston, the family moved to Massachusetts. Bari later recalled the other children at school in Boston made life miserable for her and her brother making constant fun of their obvious Southern accents. She determined to eliminate her accent and, as a result, became involved with amateur theatrics, while also taking elocution lessons. Bari was more than delighted when at the age of 13 she was told her stepfather had been reassigned to Los Angeles, where he later became the head of the Institute of Religious Science.

Bari's promising career was sabotaged by unresolved problems with her domineering, alcoholic mother and three exploitative marriages. Bari was married three times, with her second husband Sid Luft her first child, a daughter, was stillborn. Two years later she gave birth to John Michael Luft (b. 1948). Her stage name 'Lynn Bari' is a composite of the names of the theatre actress Lynn Fontanne and the author J. M. Barrie. While at dramatic school, at the age of 14, she had selected her stage name spelled 'Lynn Barrie'. Subsequently, she changed the spelling to 'Bari', after reading a story which featured the Italian city of that name.

She died of an apparent heart attack in Santa Monica, California at the age of 76. In 2010, film historian Jeff Gordon published an authorized biography titled Foxy Lady written from interviews completed shortly before Bari's death.









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