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The 6 Roles That Defined Barbara Stanwyck's Career

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 07:22 AM

One of the most amazing roles Barbara Stanwyck played was a real life rags-to-riches story after she was orphaned as a child and shuttled between foster homes. Despite humble beginnings, Stanwyck went on to have an illustrious film and TV career that spanned sixty years. During that time, she played many memorable roles with her signature “tough-talking, non-nonsense dame who sprang from the Bronx.” She played in many Westerns, and toward the end of her career, was also portrayed as the tough but loving matriarch over her families in “The Big Valley” and “The Colbys.”

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Here are six roles that defined Barbara Stanwyck’s career:

1. Phyllis Dietrichson, “Double Indemnity” (1944)

This role cemented Stanwyck as a leading lady, landing her a third Oscar nomination and showing her range in this movie, and Rotten Tomatoes deems that the film “continues to set the standard for the best in Hollywood film noir.”

2. Stella, “Stella Dallas” (1937)

This role earned Stanwyck her first Oscar nomination for playing the title character, a mother determined to give her daughter, Laura, the best life she can have, despite the personal cost that comes with it for Stella.

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3. Ladies of Leisure (1930)

This role may have been Stanwyck’s saving grace, according to Biography.com. “Stanwyck’s career in film almost ended before it began with two unrecognized film roles under her belt, she managed to convince director Frank Capra to have a role in his 1930 film “‘Ladies of Leisure.’”

4. Lulu, “Forbidden” (1932)

Biography.com states of Stanwyck’s role in “Forbidden” that the film “took Stanwyck to Hollywood’s A-List.”

5. Annie, “Annie Oakley” (1935)

At the time, Stanwyck’s star was falling a bit after a few slops, but this role was her first feature with a new studio, RKO, and assured her place as a true leading lady. This paved the way for her first Oscar-nominated performance in “Stella Dallas.”

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6. Victoria Barkley, “The Big Valley” (1965-69)

Later in her long career, Stanwyck gravitated to television, and her role as Victoria for five years in “The Big Valley.” This show also earned her three Golden Globe nominations for Best TV Star – Female and an Emmy win in 1965.

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One of the most amazing roles Barbara Stanwyck played was a real life rags-to-riches story after she was orphaned as a child and shuttled between foster homes. Despite humble beginnings, Stanwyck went on to have an illustrious film and TV career that spanned sixty years.
barbara stanwyck, roles, movies, actress
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2015-22-14
Thursday, 14 May 2015 07:22 AM
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