Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Bartlesville Native Is Living Her Dream on the Stages of New York

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Bartlesville Native Is Living Her Dream on the Stages of New York

Article excerpt

For more than a century, young actors have struggled to find jobs on Broadway and dreamed of becoming stars. Nancy Barrett, who went to grade school in Midwest City and later graduated from Bartlesville High School, was a struggling actor in the early 1960s, but she did not yearn to become a star.

I just wanted to act when I came to New York, she said. I never wanted to be a star, and I didn't think I could sing. I couldn't see the point in becoming a star. You have to compete for starring roles with the very best.

Instead, Nancy Barrett built a professional acting career that continues to this day and now includes singing and sometimes dancing. She appeared in March and April as a special guest star at Helen's Hideaway in Manhattan in a musical comedy cabaret show. Barrett displayed her versatility with a series of songs and wowed the audience by singing I'm Tired with a delightful take-off on Marlene Dietrich in her German accent.

Barrett's big break in New York came with Dark Shadows, the successful daily afternoon television series that some will remember from the late 1960s. She played eight different characters over five years in Dark Shadows, which followed classic horror themes and featured ghosts, vampires and mysterious things that go bump in the night.

She also appeared in two MGM movies that followed, including House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows, including one as a vampire. Since then, Barrett has appeared in other TV shows and on Broadway.

Her long journey to today as an actor, singer and dancer also has included the sudden, tragic death of her husband, Dr. Harold I. Kaplan, and her determination to start a new life. Throughout all of this, she has focused on her professional approach to acting rather than on becoming a star.

When I was in Dark Shadows, people began to recognize me for the first time, she said.

I was uncomfortable with that. I would get on a bus and see teenagers - usually about 14 or 15 years old - looking at me and talking about me. I hated it.

After Dark Shadows, she played a nurse in The Doctors TV show, won a role in The Pickwic, a play that toured major cities and reached Broadway, by singing It's a Long Long Way to Tipperary in a cockney accent. …

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