Barbara Worth ~ The Tragic Western Star

Barbara Worth

Barbara Worth was a popular Western actress who took her own life in 1955

She was born Verna Louise Dooley on January 6, 1906 in Columbus, Ohio, When she was a baby her family moved to Charleston, South Carolina where her father worked on the railroad. They later moved to Arkansas. In 1922 she left home and went to Los Angeles to become an actress. Barbara spent the next several years working as an extra in silent films. She married film critic Tamar Lane in 1926. That same year she was offered a contract with Universal. The lovely brunette was cast in numerous westerns including The Prairie King, Plunging Hoofs, and Fast and Furious with Reginald Denny. The studio promoted her as the girl with the best figure in Hollywood. Unfortunately most of her roles were in B-films and she never became a major star. After leaving Universal in 1929 she didn't work for two years.

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Barbara tried to form her own production company but wasn't able to get funding. In 1931 she starred in the low budget films Lightnin' Smith Returns and Valley of Badmen. Her final movie was the 1935 drama Racing Luck with William Boyd. She divorced Tamar and married producer Maurice Conn in 1944. Then she started a new career as a screenwriter. Barbara and her husband co-wrote three films including the 1947 drama Dragnet. The couple bought a home in Santa Monica in 1951. As she grew older she struggled with depression. Tragically February 15, 1955 on she committed suicide with an overdose of barbiturates. She was only forty-nine years old. Barbara was cremated and buried at Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood, California.

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Barbara Worth Death Certificate
Barbara's Death Certificate