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Barbara Pepper

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Also Known As: Died: July 18, 1969
Born: May 31, 1915 Cause of Death: Coronary thrombosis
Birth Place: Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Barbara Pepper was an actress with a prolific career in film and television that spanned the early 1930s to the late 1960s, primarily in supporting roles. Early in her career, she joined the stock female dance company the Goldwyn Girls, where she first met and worked with legendary comedian Lucille Ball. The two became lifelong friends. The first phase of Pepper's career included more than 20 years in well over 100 film roles, many of them secondary or uncredited, however. One early exception was the mystery-romance "The Rogues Tavern" in 1936, where she had a main part as Marjorie Burns. That same year, she had another significant part in the romantic comedy, "Mummy's Boys," but as with most if not all of her film roles, it lacked complexity, and failed to put her in Hollywood's limelight. The second phase of Pepper's career essentially began in 1952, when she teamed up with Lucille Ball on the comedy classic "I Love Lucy," appearing on eight episodes over four seasons. In 1954, Pepper began appearing on one of the other legendary comedies of the era, "The Jack Benny Program," a seven-episode run that lasted until 1962. In 1965, at 50, Pepper landed her most active TV part, as Doris Ziffel on the...

Barbara Pepper was an actress with a prolific career in film and television that spanned the early 1930s to the late 1960s, primarily in supporting roles. Early in her career, she joined the stock female dance company the Goldwyn Girls, where she first met and worked with legendary comedian Lucille Ball. The two became lifelong friends. The first phase of Pepper's career included more than 20 years in well over 100 film roles, many of them secondary or uncredited, however. One early exception was the mystery-romance "The Rogues Tavern" in 1936, where she had a main part as Marjorie Burns. That same year, she had another significant part in the romantic comedy, "Mummy's Boys," but as with most if not all of her film roles, it lacked complexity, and failed to put her in Hollywood's limelight. The second phase of Pepper's career essentially began in 1952, when she teamed up with Lucille Ball on the comedy classic "I Love Lucy," appearing on eight episodes over four seasons. In 1954, Pepper began appearing on one of the other legendary comedies of the era, "The Jack Benny Program," a seven-episode run that lasted until 1962. In 1965, at 50, Pepper landed her most active TV part, as Doris Ziffel on the family comedy "Green Acres," about the New York City couple who adjust to a new life on the farm. Pepper appeared on 29 episodes, from 1965 to '68. She died from a coronary thrombosis at the age of 54.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) Big Bertha
2.
 My Fair Lady (1964) Doolittle's dancing partner
3.
 Who's Minding the Store? (1963) Client at sale
5.
 A Child Is Waiting (1963) Miss Brown
6.
 The Music Man (1962) Feril Hawkes
7.
 It's Only Money (1962) Fishing woman
8.
 The Bramble Bush (1960) Polly Welk
10.
 Rock-a-Bye Baby (1958) Mrs. Oberholt
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Contributions

Tony Scott ( 2006-03-14 )

Source: The Stars of Hollywood Forever

Born: May 13, 1915 New York, NY
Died: July 18, 1969 Panorama City, CA

Scott K. Hill ( 2010-04-01 )

Source: not available

Barbara Pepper AKA: Marion P. Pepper
Born: 1915 05-13
Birth place: New York City, NY USA
Height: 5’5”
Profession: Showgirl, actress.
Husband: Craig Reynolds (Harold Huge Enfield) born 15th July 1907. Married 24 April 1943
Milestone: 1931-1932 Barbara gets her break in the Ziegfeld Follies & meets Lucille Ball. They become fast friends. Barbara becomes a member of the cast in George White’s Scandals on Broadway.
1933 She and friend Lucille Ball are Goldwyn Girls in Eddie Cantor’s Roman Scandals.
1937-1943 Barbara is in no less than 43 movies.
1943 Barbara marries Craig Reynolds.
Mid 1950’s Launched Barbara’s Television Career.
Name on gravestone: Barbara P. Enfield

Barbara was born Marion Pepper in New York City. She likes to say that she was destined for show business because she was born on Times Square in a room at the Astor Hotel, where her father was the manager. Early on, Marion was determined to pursue a showbiz career, against her parents’ wishes. Changing her first name to Barbara, the Beautiful blue-eyed blonde nabs a showgirl spot in the Ziegfeld Follies. She meets fellow Follies showgirl Lucille Ball, and the two become lifelong friends. Among her many achievements, she was a member of the cast in George White’s “Scandals” on Broadway. Barbara soon integrated radio and film work as well, paying her dues primarily in bit parts as saloon girls, chorus girls, clerks, etc. She was also in Eddie Cantor's Roman Scandals "Goldwyn Girls" (1933). A couple of movies gave her the chance for major stardom, including “Our Daily Bread” (1934) as a floozie named Sally, and a love interest role opposite comedian Bert Wheeler (of Wheeler and Woolsey) in Mummy's Boys, Show Boat (1936). Barbara’s ability to memorize and flawlessly recite her lines was well known in the film industry. She also was involved with television commercials as well as some magazine advertisements. In 1943, she married actor Craig Reynolds (born as Harold Huge Enfield). The marriage seemed a happy one for a few years. On 17 November 1944 their son Dennis Michael Enfield was born. Then on 26 October 1946 their second child, John Hugh Enfield, was born. However, this was during the war and work was scarce for both. Their marriage ran into some hardship and by 1948, Barbara filed for divorce. In 1949, her husband died tragically in a motorcycle accident. Barbara was absolutely devastated. Overwhelmed with her loss and the prospect of raising two sons alone, proved too much for Barbara; severe depression and a debilitating alcohol problem developed. Her weight greatly increased, her looks and voice grew bloated and coarse, and she could only muster up tiny roles on film and TV as various comic snoops and harridans. Friends like Lucy stepped in to help. Over the years, Barbara would be given parts several times on "I Love Lucy" (1951), including the "Friends of the Friendless.”Barbara also appeared occasionally on Jack Benny's show and the "Perry Mason" (1957) series playing various small but colorful characters.

Barbara’s list of movies was impressive to say the least. Movies such as: The Music Man (1962), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), (after editing, only her voice remained), My Fair Lady (1964); her career included over 100 movies. She also appeared in well over 50 different television shows through the years, many shows more than once. Barbara was not in the limelight alone. Her Uncle: (U.S. Congressman) Claude Pepper, whom she kept in close contact with throughout the years, was very dear to her. Near the very end of her career when she got the role of "Doris Ziffel" on TV’s "Green Acres" (1965) as well as Petticoat Junction, she was forced to share the scene with Arnold the Pig, a role she took out of necessity but resented deeply; from the climax of being a beautiful showgirl to being upstaged by a pig. Barbara’s health deteriorated rapidly during the run of the show and she was eventually forced to give up the part during the 1968-1969 season, with actress Fran Ryan taking over the wifely chores. Plagued by a heart condition, Barbara died of a coronary on July 18th, 1969, at the age of 54, looking at least a decade older, if not more. Barbara was a kindhearted woman and a good friend, well loved and respected by her peers, who was, in the end, dealt an unfortunate hand.

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