Barbara Cornett

Barbara Cornett, a legit, film and TV actress who was the first wife of pianist-humorist Oscar Levant, died Jan. 16 of natural causes at Ojai Valley Hospital in Ojai. She was 86.

A native of Lewistown, Ill., Cornett, who went by the stage name Barbara Allen and later Barbara Woodell, received theatrical training in N.Y., London and Hollywood before joining “The Ziegfeld Follies of 1931.”

The following year she married Levant, who was just a few years away from becoming a film and radio star. The marriage ended in divorce less than a year later.

Cornett also appeared in the road show of Gershwin’s “Of Thee I Sing” and the 1939 Broadway play “The American Way,” which starred FredricMarch.

In the early 1950s she appeared in the West Coast version of the play “Life With Mother” starring Billie Burke.

Feature film credits included “Annie Oakley,” “Man on the Ledge,” “Father Knows Best” and “Crossroads.”

She worked a great deal in early television, including appearances on “The Spade Cooley Show,” “This Is the Life,” “The Whistler,” “The Racket Squad,” “The Medic” and “Mr. and Mrs. North.”

Cornett is survived by a brother and a sister.

Family suggests contributions in her name to the Krishnamurti Foundation of America in Ojai.

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