Shop - Barbara Parkins Collection
Barbara made her film debut in a low-budget crime caper, 20,000 Eyes, in 1961, and also guested in a number of television series, including Leave It to Beaver, The Untouchables, Perry Mason, and The Wide Country.
Barbara was involved in two of the most highly publicized projects of the 1960s — the ABC primetime serial, Peyton Place, and the film adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's best-selling novel, Valley of the Dolls.
In Peyton Place Parkins received lead billing for her role as small town bad girl Betty Anderson. As initially conceived, the character was scheduled to die in a car crash six weeks into the season, but audience reaction to Parkins was overwhelmingly favorable, and it was decided to keep her in the story line. In a late 1965 interview the actress said about her role:
- "I'm lucky in the role I have. Mine was the big story when the series started off. I haven't had much to do lately, but when I do have scenes, they are important to the plot, You might say I'm the salt and pepper in the stew."
She was the only female star to remain with the series through its entire run (1964–1969). In 1966 she was nominated for an Emmy Award as Best Actress in a Lead Role in a Dramatic Series, but lost to Barbara Stanwyck for The Big Valley.
In Valley of the Dolls Barbara played Anne Welles, the naive small-town girl, described as "the good girl with a million dollar face and all the bad breaks" — a character based on author Susann. The film was trashed by the critics, although Barbara was one of the few to emerge unscathed. The movie, however, was a huge commercial success and eventually became a campy cult classic. "Jackie was ...taken with Barbara, who she felt resembled an earlier Jackie Susann, dark and intense and with a distinctive voice."
The images we had signed are shown below