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Biography

Barbara Stanwyck: Straight Down the Line
TV Episode | 58 min | Documentary, Biography

Born Ruby Stevens, she was orphaned when she was four. A chance audition led to a chorus job. By 17 she was a Zeigfield Girl. At 20 she earned excellent reviews for a bit part in a Broadway play -- and she had a new name: Barbara Stanwyck....See moreBorn Ruby Stevens, she was orphaned when she was four. A chance audition led to a chorus job. By 17 she was a Zeigfield Girl. At 20 she earned excellent reviews for a bit part in a Broadway play -- and she had a new name: Barbara Stanwyck. Her first marriage was to vaudeville headliner, Frank Fay. When Hollywood beckoned, it was Fay who convinced Frank Capra to give Barbara her first real break. But as Stanwyck's career took off, Fay's sank. Fay's jealousy and drinking led to divorce. Barbara's greatest love was actor Robert Taylor, her second husband. But even that didn't last and she spent the greater part of her life alone. However, there was always the one love she could rely on: her work -- in over 80 feature films and a rich career in television. Included are clips from: Ladies of Leisure , Annie Oakley, Golden Boy, The Lady Eve, Meet John Doe, Double Indemnity, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers , Sorry, Wrong Number , Clash By Night and The Thorn Birds. Interviewed are: actors Robert Wagner, Robert Stack, Roddy McDowall, Ricardo Montalban and Charlton Heston, producer Aaron Spelling, director Edward Dymtryk, dress designer Nolan Miller, biographers Ella Smith and Bob Thomas. Written by Janson Media See less
Read more: Plot summary
Status
Edit Released
Updated May 12, 1997

Release date
May 12, 1997 (United States)

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Cast

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45 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Barbara Stanwyck
Herself (archive footage) Herself (archive footage)   See fewer
Top 5000
Richard Chamberlain
Ralph de Bricassart (clip from The Thorn Birds (1983)) (archive footage) Ralph de Bricassart (clip from The Thorn Birds (1983)) (archive footage)   See fewer
Top 5000
Gary Cooper
John Doe (clip from John Doe (1941)) (archive footage) John Doe (clip from John Doe (1941)) (archive footage)   See fewer
Top 5000
Kirk Douglas
Walter O'Neil (clip from The Strange Love of Martha ivers (1946)) (archive footage) Walter O'Neil (clip from The Strange Love of Martha ivers (1946)) (archive footage)   See fewer
Top 5000
Paul Douglas
Jerry D'Amato (clip from Clash by Night (1952)) (archive footage) Jerry D'Amato (clip from Clash by Night (1952)) (archive footage)   See fewer
Members only
Shirley Eder
Herself, columnist Herself, columnist   See fewer
Members only
Frank Fay
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
Members only
Henry Fonda
Charles (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) Charles (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage)   See fewer
Top 5000
Charlton Heston
Himself Himself   See fewer
Top 5000
William Holden
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
Top 5000
Larry Kleno
Himself, publicist Himself, publicist   See fewer
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Burt Lancaster
Henry J. Stevenson (clip from Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)) (archive footage) Henry J. Stevenson (clip from Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)) (archive footage)   See fewer
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Roddy McDowall
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Nolan Miller
Himself, fashion designer Himself, fashion designer   See fewer
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Marilyn Monroe
Herself (archive footage) Herself (archive footage)   See fewer
Top 5000
Top 5000
Eugene Pallette
Mr. Pike (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) Mr. Pike (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage)   See fewer
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Ronald Reagan
Farrell (clip from Cattle Queen of Montana (1954)) (archive footage) Farrell (clip from Cattle Queen of Montana (1954)) (archive footage)   See fewer
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Edward G. Robinson
Barton Keyes (clip from Double Indemnity (1944)) (archive footage) Barton Keyes (clip from Double Indemnity (1944)) (archive footage)   See fewer
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Robert Ryan
Earl Pfeiffer (archive footage) Earl Pfeiffer (archive footage)   See fewer
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Ella Smith
Herself, biographer Herself, biographer   See fewer
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Aaron Spelling
Himself, producer Himself, producer   See fewer
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Robert Stack
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Robert Taylor
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Bob Thomas
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Robert Wagner
Himself Himself   See fewer
Top 5000
Clifton Webb
Richard Ward Sturges (clip from Titanic (1953)) (archive footage) Richard Ward Sturges (clip from Titanic (1953)) (archive footage)   See fewer
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Mark Wolper
Himself, producer Himself, producer   See fewer
Members only
Brian Aherne
Capt. E.J. Smith (clip from Titanic (1953)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Capt. E.J. Smith (clip from Titanic (1953)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
Edward Arnold
D.B. Norton (clip from Meet John Doe (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited) D.B. Norton (clip from Meet John Doe (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
Janet Beecher
Mrs. Pike (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Mrs. Pike (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
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Eric Blore
Sir Alfred McGlennan Keith (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Sir Alfred McGlennan Keith (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
Spring Byington
Mrs. Mitchell (clip from Meet John Doe (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Mrs. Mitchell (clip from Meet John Doe (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
Charles Coburn
'Colonel' Harrington (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited) 'Colonel' Harrington (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
Audrey Dalton
Annette Sturges (clip from Titanic (1953)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Annette Sturges (clip from Titanic (1953)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
William Demarest
Muggsy (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Muggsy (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
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Brian Donlevy
Steely Edwards (clip from The Great Man's Lady (1942)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Steely Edwards (clip from The Great Man's Lady (1942)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
Preston Foster
Toby Walker (clip from Annie Oakley (1935)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Toby Walker (clip from Annie Oakley (1935)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
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Ralph Graves
Jerry Strong (clip from Ladies of Leisure (1930)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Jerry Strong (clip from Ladies of Leisure (1930)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
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Robert Greig
Burrows (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Burrows (clip from The Lady Eve (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
Van Heflin
Sam Masterson (clip from The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Sam Masterson (clip from The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
Eddie Kane
Inspector Kane (clip from The Stolen Jools (1931)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Inspector Kane (clip from The Stolen Jools (1931)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
J. Farrell MacDonald
'Sourpuss' (clip from Meet John Doe (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited) 'Sourpuss' (clip from Meet John Doe (1941)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
Joel McCrea
Ethan Hoyt (clip from The Great Man's Lady (1942)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Ethan Hoyt (clip from The Great Man's Lady (1942)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
Thelma Ritter
Maude Young (clip from Titanic (1953)) (archive footage) (uncredited) Maude Young (clip from Titanic (1953)) (archive footage) (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
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Ratings Breakdown

8.3 / 10 | 77 votes