Binnie Barnes


Actor
Binnie Barnes

About

Also Known As
Gitelle Barnes, Gitelle Enoyce Gertrude Maude Barnes
Birth Place
London, England, GB
Born
March 25, 1903
Died
July 27, 1998

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, whos...

Family & Companions

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

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

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 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.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

40 Carats (1973)
Where Angels Go ... Trouble Follows! (1968)
Sister Celestine
The Trouble With Angels (1966)
Sister Celestine
Fire over Africa (1954)
Frisco
Decameron Nights (1953)
Contessa de Firenze/The Countess/Nerina the Chambermaid/The old witch
Fugitive Lady (1951)
Esther Clementi
Shadow of the Eagle (1950)
Catherine--Empress Of Russia
My Own True Love (1949)
Geraldine
The Pirates of Capri (1949)
If Winter Comes (1948)
Natalie Bagshaw
The Dude Goes West (1948)
Kiki Kelly
The Time of Their Lives (1946)
Mildred "Millie" Dean
It's in the Bag! (1945)
Eve Floogle
Getting Gertie's Garter (1945)
Barbara
The Spanish Main (1945)
Anne Bonny
Up in Mabel's Room (1944)
Alicia Larchmont
Barbary Coast Gent (1944)
Lil Damish
The Hour Before the Dawn (1944)
May Hetherton
The Man from Down Under (1943)
Aggie Dawlins
In Old California (1942)
Lacey Miller
Call Out the Marines (1942)
Vi [Hall]
I Married an Angel (1942)
Peggy
Tight Shoes (1941)
Sybil [Ash]
Angels with Broken Wings (1941)
Sybil Barton
New Wine (1941)
Countess Marie Duvarre
This Thing Called Love (1941)
Charlotte Campbell
Skylark (1941)
Myrtle Vantine
Three Girls About Town (1941)
Faith Banner
'Til We Meet Again (1940)
Countess [Liz] de Bresac
The Three Musketeers (1939)
Milady de Winter
Wife, Husband and Friend (1939)
Cecil Carver
Man About Town (1939)
Lady Arlington
Frontier Marshal (1939)
Jerry
Day-Time Wife (1939)
Blanche
Three Blind Mice (1938)
Miriam [Harrington]
Holiday (1938)
Laura Cram
The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938)
Nazama
Always Goodbye (1938)
Harriet Martin
Thanks for Everything (1938)
Kay Swift
Tropic Holiday (1938)
Marilyn Joyce
The Divorce of Lady X (1938)
Lady Claire Mere
The First Hundred Years (1938)
Claudia Weston
Gateway (1938)
Mrs. [Fay] Sims
Breezing Home (1937)
Henrietta Fairfax
Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937)
Caroline Whipple
The Magnificent Brute (1936)
Della Lane
The Last of the Mohicans (1936)
Alice [Munro]
Three Smart Girls (1936)
Donna Lyons
Small Town Girl (1936)
Priscilla
Sutter's Gold (1936)
Countess Elizabeth Bartoffski
Rendezvous (1935)
Olivia
Diamond Jim (1935)
Lillian Russell [also known as Nellie Leonard]
The Private Life of Don Juan (1934)
Maid pure and simple [Rosita]
The Private Life of Henry VIII (1934)
Katherine Howard
There's Always Tomorrow (1934)
Alice Vail
One Exciting Adventure (1934)
Rina Sorel
The Lady Is Willing (1934)
Helene Dupont
Gift of Gab (1934)
Herself
No Escape (1934)
Myra Fengler
Counsel's Opinion (1933)
Down Our Street (1932)

Producer (Feature Film)

Thunderstorm (1956)
Producer

Cast (Short)

La Fiesta de Santa Barbara (1935)
Herself

Life Events

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"

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"

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

Photo Collections

The Trouble with Angels - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The Trouble with Angels (1966), starring Rosalind Russell and Hayley Mills. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Private Life Of Henry VIII (1934) - Poor Anne Boleyn The star (Charles Laughton) is not seen but much discussed, as producer-director Alexander Korda lets his nurse (Lady Tree) and attendants chatter, the current queen (Merle Oberon) awaiting the gleeful executioner (Gibb McLaughlin), opening The Private Life Of Henry VIII, 1934.
Skylark (1941) - Show Me The Moon Sulking hostess Lydia (Claudette Colbert) who, following an insult, has just sent a plate of adulterated food to Myrtle (Binnie Barnes), the snooty wife of her ad-man husband's top client, is approached by suave Jim (Brian Aherne), himself that client's lawyer, in Skylark, 1941.
Last Of The Mohicans, The (1936) - Want Paleface Squaws Shifty Magua (Bruce Cabot) is leading Brit Hayward (Henry Wilcoxon) and his commanding officer’s daughters (Binnie Barnes, Heather Angel) toward abduction, fortunately Hawkeye (Randolph Scott) and the Mohicans (Robert Barrat, Philip Reed) have followed, in The Last Of The Mohicans, 1936.
Last Of The Mohicans, The (1936) - Haircut By Huron Barbers Impressive location shooting as Hawkeye (Randolph Scott) convinces Hayward (Henry Wilcoxon) they’d better save British Alice and Cora (Binnie Barnes, Heather Angel) from the Hurons quick, then some back-story for James Fenimore Cooper’s hero, in The Last Of The Mohicans, 1936.
Private Life Of Henry VIII (1934) - I'm Leaving My Crown Outside Even as his next wife approaches on a ship, the king (Charles Laughton) attempts an assignation with Katherine (Binnie Barnes), until news from Cromwell (Franklin Dyall) causes her admirer Culpepper (Robert Donat) to intervene, in Alexander Korda’s The Private Life Of Henry VIII, 1934.
Last Of The Mohicans, The (1936) - This Is Merely A Skirmish British Colonel Munro (Hugh Buckler) in Albany, 1757, hopes to recruit Colonial troops, but the proper fight begins when Randolph Scott appears, as James Fenimore Cooper’s Hawkeye, not swayed by the pitch from Major Hayward (Henry Wilcoxon), in The Last Of The Mohicans, 1936.
Fire Over Africa (1954) - Everything's For Sale Maureen O'Hara's first night out in Tangier as sexy spy Joanna Dane, informing "The Moor" (Antonio Casas) that their handler has been offed, then meeting smuggler DuPont (Leonard Sachs) and saloon keeper Frisco (Binnie Barnes, wife of the producer Mike Frankovich), in Fire Over Africa, 1954.
Three Smart Girls (1936) - Are They Like You, Dear? Penny, Kay and Joan (Deanna Durbin, Barbara Read, Nan Grey), who haven't seen their tycoon father (Charles Winninger) for ten years, have come from Europe to New York to stop him from marrying his gilrfriend (Binnie Barnes), in Universal's Three Smart Girls, 1936.
Spanish Main, The - You Are An Ornament Already married in jest, Francesca (Maureen O'Hara) and Van Horn (Paul Henreid) decide to make it for real, when rivals Anny (Binnie Barnes) and Da Bilar (John Emery) intrude, in Frank Borzage's The Spanish Main, 1945.

Trailer

First Hundred Years, The - (Original Trailer) A working woman (Virginia Bruce) doesn't want to give up her career when she marries. Co-starring Robert Montgomery and Warren William.
Barbary Coast Gent - (Original Trailer) Wallace Beery plays a bandit from the gold fields who moves to San Francisco and tries to go straight in Barbary Coast Gent (1944).
Time Of Their Lives, The - (Original Trailer) Lou Costello is a Revolutionary War ghost trying to clear his name in the unusual Abbott & Costello comedy The Time Of Their Lives (1946).
If Winter Comes - (Original Trailer) Scandal results when a well-meaning man (Walter Pidgeon) takes in a pregnant girl (Janet Leigh) in If Winter Comes (1947).
Man from Down Under, The - (Original Trailer) A World War I veteran (Charles Laughton) sneaks two orphans back to his native Australia in The Man From Down Under (1943).
I Married An Angel - (Original Trailer) Some husbands say it but Nelson Eddy means it literally in his final pairing with Jeanette MacDonald, I Married An Angel (1942).
Broadway Melody of 1938 - (Original Trailer) Backstage problems jeopardize a Broadway musical in Broadway Melody of 1938 starring Eleanor Powell, George Murphy, and Judy Garland.
Call Out The Marines - (Original Trailer) Two old Marine Corps pals re-enlist and end up fighting over the same woman in Call Out The Marines (1942).
Rendezvous - (Original Trailer) A decoding expert (William Powell) tangles with enemy spies in Rendezvous (1935) based on the true-life adventures of the head of the U.S. Secret Service.
Spanish Main, The -- (Original Trailer) Dutch rebels in the Caribbean turn pirate and kidnap the corrupt Spanish governor's bride-to-be in The Spanish Main (1945) starring Paul Henreid and Maureen O'Hara.
Til We Meet Again - (Original Trailer) A dying woman shares a shipboard romance with a criminal on his way to the gallows in 'Til We Meet Again (1940) starring Merle Oberon and George Brent.
Where Angels Go...Trouble Follows - (Original Trailer) A young liberal nun (Stella Stevens) creates headaches for the Mother Superior (Rosalind Russell) in Where Angels Go...Trouble Follows (1968).

Family

Peter Frankovich
Son
Producer.
Mike Frankovich Jr
Son
Producer, executive.
Michelle De Motte
Daughter
Rayford K Barnes
Nephew
Actor. Died on November 11, 2000 at age 80.

Companions

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

Bibliography

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