Joanna Barnes, actress of ‘The Parent Trap’ and ‘Spartacus’, dies at 89

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Joanna Barnes, a longtime film and television actress who appeared in both versions of the classic comedy “The Parent Trap,” died Friday at her home in The Sea Ranch, Calif. She was 89 and succumbed to what was described as a long illness by her friend Sally Jackson.

In 1961, she starred as gold digger Vicky Robinson in the original movie “The Parent Trap.” In the 1998 remake, she had the role of Vicki Blake, the gold digger’s mother. His many films include ‘Home Before Dark’, ‘Spartacus’ and ‘The War Wagon’.

His many TV credits include three series – ’21 Beacon Street’, ‘The Trials of O’Brien’ and ‘Dateline Hollywood’. She was a frequent guest star on dozens of TV series, including “The Millionaire,” “Mannix,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “Cheers.” Joanna has been a guest on many TV quiz programs and talk shows including “What’s My Line”, “To Tell the Truth” and “The Johnny Carson Show”.

Joanna Barnes, seen here in 1957, appeared in both versions of ‘The Parent Trap’.
(ABC Photo Archive/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Born in 1934 in Boston, she grew up in Hingham, Massachusetts. She was a graduate of Milton Academy and Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She moved to California and quickly came to the public’s attention playing the young debutante, Gloria Upson, in the 1958 film, “Auntie Mame.” She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for this performance.

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While pursuing her acting career, Barnes was also an author. Her four published novels include ‘The Deceivers’, ‘Who is Carla Hart’, ‘Pastora’ and ‘Silverwood’. In non-fiction, she wrote “Starting from Scratch”, a book that grew out of her column in a syndicated newspaper, “Touching Home”.

Joanna Barnes appeared in 1966 "The chariot of war" alongside John Wayne (left) and Kirk Douglas.
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Joanna Barnes appeared in ‘The War Wagon’ in 1966 alongside John Wayne (left) and Kirk Douglas.
(FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)

Barnes married architect Jack Lionel Warner in 1980. They lived in Montecito, California in a house he designed. In 2005, they moved from Santa Barbara County to The Sea Ranch, where Warner designed and built a home for them overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He died in 2012.

Joanna Barnes has had a decades-long career in film and television.

Joanna Barnes has had a decades-long career in film and television.
(ABC Photo Archive/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

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Joanna’s two previous marriages ended in divorce. She was predeceased by her parents John Pindar Barnes and Alice Weston (Mutch). She is survived by her two sisters, Lally Barnes Freeman of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Judith Barnes Wood of Snellville, Georgia, and Jack’s three children: John Barnes of Goleta, California; Laura Warner of Santa Barbara; and Louise Warner of Whidby Island, Washington. A lifelong animal lover, she is also survived by her dog Gracie Warner.

No memorial project has been announced.

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