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Also Known As: Gitelle Barnes, Gitelle Enoyce Gertrude Maude Barnes Died: July 27, 1998
Born: March 25, 1903 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: actor, script reader, chorus girl, producer, dance hostess, milkmaid, nurse

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

The delicately beautiful Binnie Barnes displayed a versatility and talent that was equally at home in comedies or dramas. While her heyday was primarily from the 1930s to the mid-50s, younger audiences may recall her as Sister Celestine in the genial romp "The Trouble With Angels" (1966) and its 1968 sequel "Where Angels Go... Trouble Follows" (The former was directed by Ida Lupino, whose father Stanley co-starred in several shorts with Barnes in the late 1920s.) The London-born Barnes worked at various odd jobs including as a milkmaid and nurse before entering show business as a chorus girl. She began to make inroads in British music halls for a lasso act which billed her as 'Texas Binnie'. Starting in 1929, Barnes began appearing in short films before first garnering notice in "A Night in Montmartre" (1931). But it was her turn as Catherine Howard, the sixth and last wife of the monarch, opposite Charles Laughton in "The Private Life of Henry VIII" (1934) that catapulted her to stardom. Before long, Barnes had traveled to Hollywood where she began to appear in leading and supporting roles, often cast as the "other woman" or as wisecracking dames. She offered a delightful turn as Lillian Russell in...

The delicately beautiful Binnie Barnes displayed a versatility and talent that was equally at home in comedies or dramas. While her heyday was primarily from the 1930s to the mid-50s, younger audiences may recall her as Sister Celestine in the genial romp "The Trouble With Angels" (1966) and its 1968 sequel "Where Angels Go... Trouble Follows" (The former was directed by Ida Lupino, whose father Stanley co-starred in several shorts with Barnes in the late 1920s.)

The London-born Barnes worked at various odd jobs including as a milkmaid and nurse before entering show business as a chorus girl. She began to make inroads in British music halls for a lasso act which billed her as 'Texas Binnie'. Starting in 1929, Barnes began appearing in short films before first garnering notice in "A Night in Montmartre" (1931). But it was her turn as Catherine Howard, the sixth and last wife of the monarch, opposite Charles Laughton in "The Private Life of Henry VIII" (1934) that catapulted her to stardom. Before long, Barnes had traveled to Hollywood where she began to appear in leading and supporting roles, often cast as the "other woman" or as wisecracking dames. She offered a delightful turn as Lillian Russell in the biopic "Diamond Jim" (1935) and was the romantic interest for Randolph Scott in "The Last of the Mohicans" (1936). "Three Smart Girls" (1937) cast her as a vampy golddigger who encounters resistance from the daughters of her intended. With Ernest Truex, she provided comic relief in the Gary Cooper vehicle "The Adventures of Marco Polo", was accused of adultery by her husband in the comedy of mistaken identity "The Divorce of Lady X", and played Katharine Hepburn's snooty cousin in "Holiday" (all 1938).

Barnes offered a delightful turn as the villainous Milady De Winter in "The Three Musketeers" (1939) and offered strong support to Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald in the otherwise pallid screen version of the Rodgers and Hart musical "I Married an Angel" (1941). She held her own opposite John Wayne in the undistinguished Western "In Old California" (1942) and garnered critical praise for her comic work in "Up in Mabel's Room" (1944). After co-starring with Abbott and Costello in "The Time of Their Lives" (1946) and Eddie Albert in "The Dude Goes West" (1948), Barnes moved to Italy with her second husband producer M J Frankovich. She offered a magnetic turn as Russian Empress Catherine the Great in "Shadow of the Eagle" (1950) but began to find it difficult to land good roles as she aged; after only three more acting roles (and one film as producer, 1956's "Thunderstorm") she retired from the screen.

Returning to the USA to live, Barnes came out of her self-imposed "retirement" in the early 60s to make a guest appearance on "The Donna Reed Show". Not long after, Ida Lupino tapped her to play the ear plug-wearing music teacher in "The Trouble With Angels" (1966). Barnes made her final screen appearance as Liv Ullmann's glamorous mother in the light romantic comedy "40 Carats" (1973), produced by Frankovich. In an interview around the time of the film's release, the actress explained that she took the role only because no other British actress offered the part wanted to play a grandmother and because her husband was the film's producer. After Frankovich's death in 1992, Barnes continued to remain active in charity work until her own death in July 1998.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 40 Carats (1973) Maud Ericson
2.
 Where Angels Go ... Trouble Follows! (1968) Sister Celestine
3.
 The Trouble With Angels (1966) Sister Celestine
4.
 Fire over Africa (1954) Frisco
5.
 Decameron Nights (1953) Contessa de Firenze/The Countess/Nerina the Chambermaid/The old witch
6.
 Fugitive Lady (1951) Esther Clementi
7.
 Shadow of the Eagle (1950) Catherine--Empress Of Russia
8.
9.
 My Own True Love (1949) Geraldine
10.
 If Winter Comes (1948) Natalie Bagshaw
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Appeared in British vaudeville performing a lasso act; billed as 'Texas Binnie'
1929:
Film acting debut, in first of some 25 short comedies opposite Stanley Lupino
1931:
Starred onstage in Noel Coward's "Cavalcade"
1931:
Had first major feature role in "A Night in Montmartre"
1933:
Co-starred opposite Charles Laughton in "The Private Life of Henry VIII"
:
Moved to the USA
1934:
Hollywood debut in "There's Always Tomorrow"
1935:
Portrayed Lillian Russell in "Diamond Jim"
1936:
Appeared opposite Randolph Scott in "The Last of the Mohicans"
1937:
Delivered a fine turn as a golddiging vamp in "Three Smart Girls"
1938:
Played Lady Mere, whose husband sues to end their marriage, in "The Divorce of Lady X"
1938:
Offered a delightful comic turn in "Three Blind Mice"
1939:
Co-starred as Milady De Winter in "The Three Muskateers"
1942:
Appeared in support of Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald in the film adaptation of the Rodgers and Hart musical "I Married an Angel"
1942:
Teamed with John Wayne in the Western "In Old California"
1944:
Garnered laughs for her turn in the farcical "Up in Mabel's Room"
1946:
Supported Abbott and Costello in "The Timeof Their Lives"
:
Moved to Italy
1950:
Portrayed Russian Empress Catherine the Great in "Shadow of the Eagle"
1951:
Appeared in "La Strada Buia/Fugitive Lady", produced by second husband M J Frankovich
1953:
Co-starred with Louis Jourdan and Joan Fontaine in "Decameron Nights"
1954:
Last film appearance for more than a decade, "Fire Over Africa"
1956:
Sole producing credit, "Thunderstorm"
1966:
Returned to films to play Sister Celestine in "The Trouble With Angels", directed by Ida Lupino
1968:
Reprised role of Sister Celestine in the sequel "Where Angels Go... Trouble Follows"
1973:
Final screen appearance as Liv Ullmann's mother in "Forty Carats", produced by Frankovich
1973:
Final screen appearance as Liv Ullmann's mother in "40 Carats", produced by Frankovich
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"Frankly, I've never been mad about acting. It just happened to be hte only way I could make a living." --Binnie Barnes in a 1972 interview

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Samuel Joseph. Art dealer. British; married in 1932; divorced in 1936.
husband:
Mike Frankovich. Producer, executive, radio commentator. Married from 1940 until his death in 1992.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Peter Frankovich. Producer.
son:
Mike Frankovich Jr. Producer, executive.
daughter:
Michelle De Motte.
nephew:
Rayford K Barnes. Actor. Died on November 11, 2000 at age 80.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Contributions

04051939 ( 2007-10-12 )

Source: Thousands of encyclopedic references.

Catherine Parr was the sixth and last wife of Henry VIII. Binnie Barnes did play Catherine Howard, but she was in the middle, not at the end.

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