Thursday, July 18, 2019

"Green Acres" Actress Barbara Pepper 1969 Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Barbara Pepper (born Marion B. Pepper; May 31, 1915 – July 18, 1969)[1] was an American stage, television, radio, and film actress. She is best known as the first "Doris Ziffel" on the sitcom Green Acres.

Early life and career

Pepper was born in New York City, the daughter of actor David Mitchell "Dave" Pepper, and his wife, Harrietta S. Pepper.[2] At age 16 she started life in show business with Goldwyn Girls, a musical stock company where she met lifelong friend Lucille Ball during production of Eddie Cantor's Roman Scandals in 1933.[3]

From 1937 to 1943 Barbara was a very prolific actress, appearing in 43 movies, mostly in supporting roles or in minor films, with exceptions being main characters in The Rogues' Tavern and Mummy's Boys, both feature films released in 1936 [3] Among her later film parts were small roles in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) and My Fair Lady (1964). She also performed radio parts. 

In 1943, she married actor Craig Reynolds (né Harold Hugh Enfield), and the couple later had two sons. After Reynolds died in 1949 in a California motorcycle accident, Pepper was left to raise their children alone.[4] She never remarried.

After gaining weight, her roles were mostly confined to small character parts on television, including several appearances on I Love Lucy, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Petticoat Junction, and The Jack Benny Program. She made four appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of Martha Dale, mother of the title character, in the 1957 episode "The Case of the Vagabond Vixen."[5]

A long-time friend of Lucille Ball, Barbara was considered for the role of Ethel Mertz on I Love Lucy, but was passed over due to the fact that she was reportedly a drinker. William Frawley ("Fred Mertz") was, likewise, reportedly, a drinker and was already cast. It was felt that having two drinkers in the cast might eventually cause difficulties so they auditioned and found Vivian Vance to play Ethel instead.

She may be best remembered as the first Doris Ziffel on Petticoat Junction in 1964, although her character's name on the "Genghis Keane" episode of Petticoat Junction was Ruth Ziffel. Her role as Doris Ziffel continued on Green Acres from 1965 to 1968, until heart ailments finally forced her to leave that weekly series. Veteran actress Fran Ryan replaced her on Green Acres, which would continue to run for another three years. 

Her final performance was in Hook, Line and Sinker (1969), in which she played Jerry Lewis's secretary.


Barbara Pepper (Enfield) died of a coronary thrombosis at age 54 on July 18, 1969, in Panorama City, California. She is buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Selected filmography

Roman Scandals (1933) - Goldwyn Girl (uncredited)
Moulin Rouge (1934) - Show Girl (uncredited)

Bottoms Up (1934) - Chorine (uncredited)

Strictly Dynamite (1934) - Performer (uncredited)

Our Daily Bread (1934) - Sally

Kid Millions (1934) - Goldwyn Girl (uncredited)
Let 'Em Have It (1935) - Milly
Dante's Inferno (1935) - Drunk at Ship's Cafe (uncredited)
Anna Karenina (1935) - Party Girl (uncredited)

Waterfront Lady (1935) - Gloria Vance

The Sagebrush Troubadour (1935) - Joan Martin
Forced Landing (1935) - Nancy 'Dusty' Rhodes
Frisco Waterfront (1935) - The Blonde Stranger
The Fighting Coward (1935) - Marie's Friend (uncredited)
The Singing Vagabond (1935) - Honey

Taming the Wild (1936) - Hazel White

Show Boat (1936) - New Year's Eve Cutie (uncredited)

The Rogues Tavern (1936) - Marjorie Burns

M'Liss (1936) - Clytie Morpher

Mummy's Boys (1936) - Mary Browning

The Big Game (1936 film) - Lois - the Drunk's Girl (uncredited)

Wanted! Jane Turner (1936) - Marge Sanders - Posing as Jane Turner
Winterset (1936) - Girl

What Becomes of the Children? (1936) - Elsie Ford

Sea Devils (1937) - Spanked Blonde (uncredited)
Too Many Wives (1937) - Angela Brown
The Outcasts of Poker Flat (1937) - Blonde Saloon Floozie
You Can't Buy Luck (1937) - Store Clerk
You Can't Beat Love (1937) - May 'Bubbles' Smith
The Big Shot (1937) - Mamie
Forty Naughty Girls (1937) - Alice
Music for Madame (1937) - Blonde on Bus (uncredited)

The Westland Case (1937) - Agatha Hogan

Portia on Trial (1937) - Evelyn

Hollywood Stadium Mystery (1938) - Althea Ames

Wide Open Faces (1938) - Belle
The Lady in the Morgue (1938) - Kay Renshaw
The Chaser (1938) - Mabel the Drunken Girl (uncredited)

Army Girl (1938) - Riki Thomas

The Strange Case of Dr. Meade (1938) - Mattie
Sweethearts (1938) - Telephone Operator (uncredited)
The Girl Downstairs (1938) - Woman at the Bar (uncredited)

They Made Me a Criminal (1939) - Budgie

Off the Record (1939) - Flossie - Telephone Operator (uncredited)
Bachelor Mother (1939) - Dance-Hall Hostess (uncredited)

The Magnificent Fraud (1939) - June (uncredited)

Colorado Sunset (1939) - Ginger Bixby

Flight at Midnight (1939) - Mildred
The Women (1939) - Tough Girl (uncredited)
Three Sons (1939) - Viola
Scandal Sheet (1939) - Rena
The Amazing Mr. Williams (1939) - Muriel - Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Of Mice and Men (1939) - Second Girl (uncredited)
Castle on the Hudson (1940) - Goldie
Framed (1940) - Goldie Green
Forgotten Girls (1940) - Eve Abbott

Women in War (1940) - Millie, Irish Nurse

Sailor's Lady (1940) - Maude
The Return of Frank James (1940) - Nellie Blane

Foreign Correspondent (1940) - Dorine

Ride, Kelly, Ride (1941) - Trudy (uncredited)
The Cowboy and the Blonde (1941) - Chorine in Dressing Room (uncredited)
Out of the Fog (1941) - Cuban Room Cigarette Girl (uncredited)
Three Sons o' Guns (1941) - Francie

Manpower (1941) - Polly

We Go Fast (1941) - Southern Belle with Traffic Fine (uncredited)
Man at Large (1941) - Myrtle, Hotel Guest
South of Tahiti (1941) - Julie (uncredited)

Birth of the Blues (1941) - Maizie

My Favorite Spy (1942) - Speedy (uncredited)
One Thrilling Night (1942) - Lettie
Star Spangled Rhythm (1942) - Blonde Who Bruises Too Easy (uncredited)

Girls in Chains (1943) - Ruth

Let's Face It (1943) - Daisy (uncredited)
So This Is Washington (1943) - Betty - Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Cover Girl (1944) - Chorus Girl (uncredited)
Henry Aldrich Plays Cupid (1944) - Wild Rose (uncredited)
Once Upon a Time (1944) - Taxi Girl (uncredited)
Since You Went Away (1944) - Bowling Alley Pin Girl (uncredited)
I Love a Soldier (1944) - Blonde (uncredited)
An American Romance (1944) - Streetwalker (uncredited)
Can't Help Singing (1944) - Saloon Girl (uncredited)
Brewster's Millions (1945) - Cab Driver (uncredited)
Trouble Chasers (1945) - Goldie
The Naughty Nineties (1945) - Gilded Cage Hostess (uncredited)

Murder, He Says (1945) - Bonnie Fleagle

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945) - Annie (uncredited)
Prison Ship (1945) - Winnie De Voe (uncredited)
The Hoodlum Saint (1946) - Dance Contestant #1 (uncredited)

Terror Trail (1946) - Karen Kemp, the Louisville Lady

The Millerson Case (1947) - Eadie Rookstool (uncredited)
The Snake Pit (1948) - Patient (uncredited)
The Crooked Way (1949) - Shooting Gallery Proprietress (uncredited)
The Inspector General (1949) - Buxom Villager (uncredited)
Unmasked (1950) - Mrs. Schmidt
No Way Out (1950) - Woman (uncredited)
The Fuller Brush Girl (1950) - Wife Watching TV (uncredited)
My Blue Heaven (1950) - Susan (uncredited)
Thunderbirds (1952) - Mrs. Louise Braggart
So This Is Love (1953) - Fat Girl with Sailor in Nightclub (uncredited)
Inferno (1953) - Waitress (uncredited)
The Eddie Cantor Story (1953) - Patron (uncredited)
A Star Is Born (1954) - Esther's Neighbor (uncredited)
Young at Heart (1954) - Wife (uncredited)
The D.I. (1957) - Woman Customer
Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958) - Mrs. Oberholt (uncredited)
Auntie Mame (1958) - Mrs. Krantz (uncredited)
The Bramble Bush (1960) - Polly Welk (uncredited)
Sex Kittens Go to College (1960) - Circe - Big Woman with Ripped Dress (uncredited)
The Music Man (1962) - Feril Hawkes - Snapping Beans (uncredited)
It's Only Money (1962) - Fisherwoman
A Child Is Waiting (1963) - Miss Brown (uncredited)
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) - Woman on Phone at Garage (uncredited)
Who's Minding the Store? (1963) - Customer at Bargain Sale (uncredited)
The Patsy (1964) - Bowler (uncredited)
My Fair Lady (1964) - Doolittle's Dance Partner (uncredited)

Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) - Big Bertha

Hook, Line and Sinker (1969) - Peter's Secretary (uncredited) (final film role)


1. Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 144. ISBN 9780786450190. 
2. "New York, New York Birth Index: 1910-1965 [database on-line] (CERTIFICATE #29526). Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry Library Edition, Operations Inc". 
3. "Barbara Pepper". Turner Classic Movies. TCM Archive Materials: WarnerMedia. 
4. Johnson, Erskine (April 29, 1967). "A Colorful and Tragic Real Life". The Kingston Daily Freeman. New York, Kingston. p. 25.
5. "Perry Mason Actor Page". The Perry Mason DataBase. 

1 comment:

  1. The Fisher Body girl. She brought smiles to a lot of people.