Shirley Barris, wife of Hollywood’s custom car designer George Barris, died July 30 at the City of Hope in Los Angeles following a battle with cancer. She was 71.Shirley was married to George for 43 years and worked as a style consultant on many of his movie and TV creations including the Batmobile, Munsters coach, the truck from “The Beverly Hillbillies,” Sonny and Cher Mustangs, the Flintstones car and the “Knightrider” K.I.T.T. talking car driven by David Hasselhoff in the TV series. Barris served on the Child Help-USA board and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Pasadena, and was dedicated to numerous other causes including fund-raisers for the Big Bear Hospital and Performing Arts Center. A motorcycle and cooking enthusiast, she appeared at hundreds of motorcycle charity events including an ABC-TV special and shared her passion for cooking with friend Wolfgang Puck at Spago. Elvis Presley asked Barris to chaperone young Priscilla (Beauleiu) Presley upon her U.S. arrival as a guest in the Barris home in Encino. Many years later Priscilla included that fact in her book and film “Elvis.” In addition to her husband, Barris is survived by a son, a daughter and a grandson.
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