Patricia Barry, an actress with hundreds of TV credits who was best known for her roles on soaps including “Days of Our Lives” and “All My Children,” died Tuesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 93.
Barry logged stints on several daytime serials and dozens of roles on TV series from the 1960s through the 1990s. She was also a philanthropist and businesswoman who was successful in fielding rental properties to actors and directors who needed temporary homes while working on location in New York and Los Angeles. She was married for decades to Philip Barry Jr., son of the playwright behind “The Philadelphia Story” and “High Society.”
Barry’s long list of credits include appearances on “Perry Mason,” “Gunsmoke,” “My Three Sons,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “The Untouchables,” “Dr. Kildare,” “Rawhide,” “Ben Casey,” “Maverick,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Three’s Company,” “Dallas,” “Columbo,” and “Knots Landing,” in addition to later series such as “Providence” and “Murder She Wrote.”
In daytime she had roles on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” in the 1970s and on ABC’s “All My Children” and “Loving” in the 1980s, as well as CBS’ “Guiding Light.” On “All My Children” in 1981 she played a drug lord known as “the Cobra” who pretended to be the mother of one of the show’s central characters. (She wound up dying of a brain tumor in prison.)
Born in Davenport, Iowa, Barry studied theater at Stephens College in Missouri and later studied with famed acting teacher Sanford Meisner in New York. She got her start on stage in the Broadway production of “Calico Wedding” and starred opposite Steve Allen in “The Pink Elephant.”
She eventually headed West to become a contract player for Warner Bros. She appeared in such films as “Deception,” “The Beast With Five Fingers,” “The Man I Love,” and “Riders of the Whistling Pines,” along with plenty of B pictures in the late 1940s and early ’50s. She juggled film, Broadway, and touring stage work during this period.
Barry was a player in the 1950s TV anthology series including “Playhouse 90,” “Studio One,” “The Alcoa Hour,” “General Electric Theater,” and “Goodyear Playhouse.” She appeared in multiple episodes of “The Rifleman,” “The Millionaire,” and “Perry Mason.” She co-starred opposite Jack Klugman in the 1964-65 NBC domestic comedy “Harris Against the World.” Her later film roles included “Send Me No Flowers,” “Kitten With a Whip,” “Dear Heart,” “American Gigolo,” “Safe at Home,” and “Twilight Zone: The Movie.”
Barry was active in Hollywood women’s advocacy orgs, becoming an early member of Women in Film and founder of its international arm. She was also an active member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and SAG. She served a long tenure on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences foreign film committee. She was feted with a lifetime achievement award from Women in Film in 1999.
Barry’s survivors include two daughters, Miranda Barry, a writer and former executive in charge of global “Sesame Street” productions; and Stephanie Barry Agnew; and two grandchildren. Philip Barry Jr. died in 1998.