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Joanna Barnes

Born in Boston November 15, 1934, Joanna Barnes moved to L.A. soon after graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1956 with a major in English at Smith College and signed a deal with Columbia in ‘57. Barnes also guested on Warner Bros. Westerns “Cheyenne”, “Colt .45” and “Maverick” as well as other TV Westerns such as “Stagecoach West”, “Man From Blackhawk”, “Have Gun Will Travel”, “Laramie”, “Empire” and “Alias Smith and Jones”. In 1967 she was the female lead to John Wayne and Kirk Douglas for “War Wagon”. Besides hundreds of TV episodes and other major movies such as “Auntie Mame” (‘58), “Tarzan, the Ape Man” (‘59), “Spartacus” (‘60) and “The Parent Trap” (‘61), Barnes became a respected novelist—THE DECEIVERS (‘70), PASTORA (‘80) and SILVERWOOD (‘85). Her books have been published in several foreign countries as well as the U.S. Her column “Touching Home” was for many years carried by the CHICAGO TRIBUNE and New York News Syndicate. For years she wrote a weekly book review column for the L.A. TIMES. Joanna was married three times, including actor Larry Dobkin from 1961-1967.

Karen Steele

Busty Karen Steele was born March 20, 1931 in Honolulu, Hawaii. After attending the University of Hawaii and Rollins College in Florida she worked as a cover girl and model which led to her first film, “The Clown” with Red Skelton in ‘53 in which she was credited simply as “a blonde”. After much TV work in the ‘50s she made her first Western, “Decision at Sundown” (‘57) with Randolph Scott, for director Budd Boetticher with whom she developed a romantic relationship. She made three other films with Boetticher, “Westbound” (‘59) and “Ride Lonesome” (‘59) (both starring Randolph Scott) and “The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond” (‘60) with Ray Danton. Guest shots on some 15 TV Westerns include “Wagon Train”, “Maverick”, “Bat Masterson”, “Lawman”, “The Deputy”, “Bronco”, “Bonanza”, “Rawhide”, “Laramie”, “Branded”, “A Man Called Shenandoah”, among others, before she left film work in ‘72 to marry Dr. Maurice Boyd Roland, a psychiatrist at the Mohave Mental Health Clinic in Kingman, AZ. Unfortunately, the marriage was short-lived as Steele died of cancer in Kingman March 12, 1988, just a week before her 57th birthday. (Photo courtesy Neil Summers.)

 

Faith Domergue

Born in New Orleans, sultry eyed brunette, part-Creole FAITH DOMERGUE (Dah-mure) sizzled the Western screen in “Duel at Silver Creek” (‘52) w/Audie Murphy, “Great Sioux Uprising” (‘55) w/Jeff Chandler, “Santa Fe Passage” (‘55) w/John Payne, “Escort West” (‘58) w/Victor Mature and “California” (‘63) w/Jock Mahoney. In the ‘60s Faith primarily concentrated on TV Westerns—“Cheyenne”, “State Trooper”, “Sugarfoot”, “Colt .45”, “Bronco”, “Tales of Wells Fargo”, “Tall Man”, “Have Gun Will Travel”, “Bonanza”. She’s also become a Sci-Fi cult favorite for her work in “This Island Earth” and others. She left showbiz in ‘76 and left us at 74 in 1999 with a legacy of excellent Westerns. (Photo courtesy Neil Summers.)

 

Gloria Talbott

Sexy, gun-totin’ Gloria Talbott was born February 7, 1931 in Glendale, CA, a city co-founded by her grandfather. After participating in high school plays she landed a small role in “Maytime” (‘37) when she was only six. A couple of teenage roles followed before she really got active in 1951 and was seen in hundreds of movies and TV shows including “Wild Bill Hickok”, “Range Rider”, “Gene Autry Show”, “Cisco Kid”, “Hopalong Cassidy”, “Sugarfoot”, “Restless Gun”, “Zorro”, “Bat Masterson”, “Wanted Dead or Alive”, “Bonanza”, “The Rebel”, “Wyatt Earp”, “Tales of Wells Fargo”, “Rawhide”, “Gunsmoke”, “Laramie” and more. Her best big screen Westerns were “The Oklahoman” and “Cattle Empire” both w/Joel McCrea and “Oklahoma Territory” w/Bill Williams. Married four times (including stuntman Sandy Sanders from ‘56-‘65), Gloria died of kidney failure September 19, 2000 in Glendale. She left an admirable treasure of Westerns for us to enjoy. (Photo courtesy Neil Summers.)

 

Dianne Foster


Curvaceous Dianne Foster was born with the unlikely name of Olga Helen Laruska on October 31, 1928 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, of Ukrainian parentage. Initially she found work in Toronto as a model and radio and stage actress before moving to England where she made her first films. She came to the U.S. in the early ‘50s with her first Western being “Three Hours to Kill” w/Dana Andrews in ‘54. Others were “The Violent Men” w/Glenn Ford, “The Kentuckian”, “Night Passage” w/James Stewart, Audie Murphy and 13 TV Westerns including “Wagon Train”, “Riverboat”, “Shotgun Slade”, “Bonanza”, “Have Gun Will Travel”, “Laramie” and “Gunsmoke”. She retired in ‘67 in order to focus on her family and painting. In 2009 she stated, “What I found working in the movies was that the people behind the camera would applaud a good scene. So in that sense, I had a live audience there as well and that was always a thrill for me. I always preferred a director who allowed me to contribute something of my own. Some directors don’t want any contribution. They prefer to tell you exactly what to do and where to move. I always loved the kind of control an actor has in their performance on stage. In film, the control is really in the hands of the director and editor.”