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Thread: Barbara Colby

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    Barbara Colby

    Best known for small parts on The Mary Tyler Moore show, Gunsmoke,
    The Odd Couple. Her and a friend were gunned down in July 1975.
    Just as she got a start on the tv show Phyllis. Murders still unsolved.

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    I remember her! On the MTM show didn't she play a hooker Mary was trying to help out? Mary encouraged her to follow her dream of being a dress designer and the clothes were awful. Designed for hookers, the only life she knew. I didn't know she was murdered. Sad, and never solved.

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    Yes you are right she was on alot of tv in the 70s.
    But I still feel bad on how Barbara Colby died.
    She was just becoming famous. And her life was
    cut short.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1karenhb View Post
    I remember her! On the MTM show didn't she play a hooker Mary was trying to help out? Mary encouraged her to follow her dream of being a dress designer and the clothes were awful. Designed for hookers, the only life she knew. I didn't know she was murdered. Sad, and never solved.
    Yep....and Colby had one of the best damn lines I ever heard. Went something like this:

    Mary had convinced her to quit hooking, and they went over to Sherry's (Colby) house. While there, her phone rang, and it was a former john of hers. You only hear Sherry having the conversation with the john, who's obviously trying to set up a date....

    Sherry: Sorry honey, but I've quit.
    (pause)
    Sherry: No, I'm sorry....I'm no longer in that line of work.
    (pause)
    Sherry: No....I'm NOT having a going-out-of-business sale!!!

    LOL!!! Priceless.

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    I remember when that occurred. BARBARA COLBY had also been the daughter in law of ETHEL MERMAN who was devastated by the senseless murders. COLBY & a friend had left an acting class and were gunned down. The crime was never solved. It was speculated that it may have been either a gang initiation or anti-white racial crime.

    COLBY had played a hooker locked up in the same cell as 'Mary Richards' on an episode of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW. She was noticed & well received, so MTM productions found a recurring spot for her on the spin-off PHYLLIS on which she was cast as a co-worker on PHYLLIS' new job in San Francisco.

    CLORIS LEACHMAN who was the star of PHYLLIS had wanted to do a dedication to BARBARA at the end of an upcoming episode but MARY TYLER MOORE nixed it. MOORE went on record saying that although what had happened to COLBY was tragic she wasn't going to loose sleep over the daily tragedies of the world. LEACHMAN was furious that the boss lady wouldn't let her do a simple dedication and point out the loss to the series.

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    MOORE went on record saying that although what had happened to COLBY was tragic she wasn't going to loose sleep over the daily tragedies of the world. LEACHMAN was furious that the boss lady


    whaaaaa...can you say cold and heartless!!!

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    Do photos of her death exist?

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    Hero Worship - They Deserve it. I preserve it.

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    Thanks!
    .

    "Men with two wives don't have opinions. They just smile and nod a lot." Abe Vigoda

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    I remember her, and it was some time after she had died that I heard about it. She sounds like she was quite a woman.

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    I remember her from an episode of Columbo where she was trying to extort money from the evil Jack Cassidy character.
    It was called "Murder by the Book" and it was directed by Steven Spielberg.
    Last edited by crazedfemale; 06-15-2010 at 06:08 PM.
    In memory of a wonderful actor who left us way too soon - William Holden 1918-1981.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisamarie View Post
    MOORE went on record saying that although what had happened to COLBY was tragic she wasn't going to loose sleep over the daily tragedies of the world. LEACHMAN was furious that the boss lady


    whaaaaa...can you say cold and heartless!!!

    You know every once in a while you see an actor in a role and you think to yourself 'This is probably pretty close to the way he/she is in real life';
    that's what I thought of MTM when I saw her in ORDINARY PEOPLE.
    KELT' HOME FOR WAYWARD YOUTH-
    Helping Young Men To Turn Around For Over Twenty Years !

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    MTM's health these days....

    She is not exactly in the best of health these days, thanks to her Type I diabetes.

    Did someone say Karma?

    On a side note, I always liked the ODD COUPLE episode that Colby guest starred in.

    Gone much too soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazedfemale View Post
    I remember her from an episode of Columbo where she was trying to extort money from the evil Jack Cassidy character.
    It was called "Murder by the Book" and it was directed by Steven Spielberg.





    COLUMBO- MURDER :MURDER BY THE BOOK(1971)

    (Lily LaSanka)
    Drowned when Jack Cassidy puts her in the lake (making it look like a boating accident after first knocking her unconscious with a champagne bottle.


    Barbara Colby makes an indelible impression on Columbo fans as Lily LaSanka -- the love-starved, hopelessly inept blackmailer in "Murder By The Book".
    We recall everything from her big, gummy smile, to her tacky efforts to make herself alluring for the reptilian Ken Franklin (Jack Cassidy). Her doomed, bumbling efforts to extort both love and $15,000 from the killer have an appealing air of sweet desperation, yet we can see why Ken Franklin is completely creeped out by the thought of forced intimacy with such a totally incompatible mate.
    In Lily's final moments, as Franklin interrupts her romantic reverie to bash her head with a champagne bottle, we see all of the broken dreams and awful self-realization in her face.
    A modest role, but extremely well acted.

    HERE is the trailer from Youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CywUV...eature=related
    Last edited by coconn04; 06-16-2010 at 11:34 AM.
    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his pay-roll.

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    She was a very good actress, I do recall seeing her on Phyllis. Her death really was a senseless, random tragedy, as was her friend's. How nice of her family to keep her memory alive.

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    Wasn't familiar with her, but how sad. It's ashame MTM is like that. Yes, her diabetes has been hard on her. She admitted to not taking care of her health early on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kman0072 View Post
    She is not exactly in the best of health these days, thanks to her Type I diabetes.

    Did someone say Karma?

    On a side note, I always liked the ODD COUPLE episode that Colby guest starred in.

    Gone much too soon.
    Me too. And that song...

    Oscar, Oscar, Oahhh-ah-ah-ah-os-car!
    .

    "Men with two wives don't have opinions. They just smile and nod a lot." Abe Vigoda

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    Question about Bob Six....

    Quote Originally Posted by SomeChick View Post
    Me too. And that song...

    Oscar, Oscar, Oahhh-ah-ah-ah-os-car!

    Yes, I forgot about that song! Hilarious!

    I believe that Bob Six later married Audrey Meadows (we all know who she is, don't we?). If I recall correctly, Audrey served on the Delta Airlines board of directors.

    Can anyone verify this?

    Great story, Scotty!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KELT View Post
    You know every once in a while you see an actor in a role and you think to yourself 'This is probably pretty close to the way he/she is in real life';
    that's what I thought of MTM when I saw her in ORDINARY PEOPLE.
    When I saw that movie, I also believed that's how MTM was in real life. Maybe not as cold hearted, but you knew the world revolved around HER and that you had to adjust to it. A lot of actors are very much self-involved. They had to be to survive in show business. But a lot of times it comes at a price.

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    Great profile, as you always do, Scott.

  21. #21
    Yes, I remember this happening when I was a kid. After reading this thread I bought her 2nd appearance on MTM and loaded it on my Ipod. I love when she and Georgette become co-workers at a rental car agency and Barbara's character teaches Georgette to call the customers "tricks". Oh, and I remembered another credit for Barbara. She appears very briefly in the film "Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins". Alan Arkin is a driving instructor and she is his hapless student. She gives him and the camera a priceless look when she drives up on a curb. But the "Columbo" episode is my favorite piece of work. Take care.

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    Here is the episode where Julie(Barbara Colby) interviews Phyllis(Cloris Leachman) for a Job.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgr5O...eature=related

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    I was watching an old episode of Match Game. It was from 1974 and Brett Somers mentioned that Barbara Colby was a friend of hers.
    In memory of a wonderful actor who left us way too soon - William Holden 1918-1981.

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    She was instantly likeable--- just saw her again in the "Will Mary Richards Go to Jail?" episode from September 1974. MeTV broadcast it tonight. What a sad and horrific end to such a talented actress. Disappointed that the killer/s were never brought to justice.

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    A very talented actress, I remember reading Cloris Leachman had filmed a tribute at the end of her last episode, but I don't remember if the network allowed it to run.

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    News article on killing of Barbara and friend

    colby.png

    I have always wondered what her companion looked like, and now I know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KELT View Post
    CLORIS LEACHMAN who was the star of PHYLLIS had wanted to do a dedication to BARBARA at the end of an upcoming episode but MARY TYLER MOORE nixed it. MOORE went on record saying that although what had happened to COLBY was tragic she wasn't going to loose sleep over the daily tragedies of the world. LEACHMAN was furious that the boss lady wouldn't let her do a simple dedication and point out the loss to the series.
    I've never heard that before, but if MTM really said that, she truly is a cold-hearted bitch! Never cared for her much anyways...
    By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once; we owe God a death.... He that dies this year is quit for the next.
    --William Shakespeare!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KELT View Post

    CLORIS LEACHMAN who was the star of PHYLLIS had wanted to do a dedication to BARBARA at the end of an upcoming episode but MARY TYLER MOORE nixed it. MOORE went on record saying that although what had happened to COLBY was tragic she wasn't going to loose sleep over the daily tragedies of the world. LEACHMAN was furious that the boss lady wouldn't let her do a simple dedication and point out the loss to the series.
    For some reason I had thought it was actually CBS who had said no to Leachman and her Colby dedication rather than MTM...but then again back in the early 90's a group of us had taken a tour of a FOX television station in West Virginia ( station is long gone now ). A few weeks before our tour Mary Tyler Moore was there being interviewed for some reason. Think she had owned property in the area back then. Anyway we all had to ask..what was Mary Tyler Moore really like...they were NOT impressed. Not one single employee !! That was not the first time I heard she wasn't exactly the warmest person on earth. Yeah I can see her making such a comment.

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    The person who killed Barbara Colby
    has to be brought to justice.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KELT View Post
    You know every once in a while you see an actor in a role and you think to yourself 'This is probably pretty close to the way he/she is in real life';
    that's what I thought of MTM when I saw her in ORDINARY PEOPLE.


    I was a a kid when the MTM show and this movie came out but I remember my mother saying the same thing about her. She was red hot famous for quite some time, Laura on the DVD show and then the MTM and wasn't her ex-husband a famous producer? She was basically little more than a kid when she got all that fame, probably can't help it going to your head a little. Karma did catch up to her, I remember her son died when he was still pretty young (mid 20's or early 30's if I remember correctly) and he was her only child, he died in 1980 so no living children and no grandchildren. I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone.

    I never watched MTM when I was a kid but when I was a teenager and young adult I worked nights and when I came home from work, I'd watch the MTM episodes. The two with the lovable hooker were my favorites. I didn't know she was dead until a few years when I found this wonderful website. So very, very sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladytinamarie View Post
    Karma did catch up to her, I remember her son died when he was still pretty young (mid 20's or early 30's if I remember correctly) and he was her only child, he died in 1980 so no living children and no grandchildren. I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone.
    Mary's son Richie did indeed died young. Age 24 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. I believe Mary was actually on the phone talking to her son when he had shot himself. I was staying in Baltimore at the time and that part was reported by their local TV.

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    She INSISTS that her son's death was NOT suicide, though others disagree.

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    Barbara Colby, TV actress shot down in 1975

    FindADeath has a link to a photo of the parking lot where Barbara Colby was shot to death in 1975, but I have unable to find a street address location for the killing. Usually accounts just say it was in Venice. And sources are mixed about what she and another actor, James Kiernan, were doing before they were killed. Some say they were leaving from an acting class, others say they were teaching the class, and others said it was a yoga class. But nothing gives the location, which I would like to know.

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    Crag, next time do a search before you create a thread. You can do this by using the Search box or clicking on the Advanced Search below it at the top right of any page, or you can contact any mod via their profile or PM or use the Findadeath Google Custom Search at http://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=007238307261152183210:8i9lacovnm0

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    Grant Tinker her husband at the time apparently got the news first, and delayed telling her since it was late in L.A. saying he let her sleep since it would be the last good night's sleep she would have for awhile. It's in a book called TV Babylon.
    To really know people is to be able to read between the lines on their faces.

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    I'm sorry, I had searched for her name and gotten no result. Maybe it didn't work because I wasn't registered when I did the search. Anyway, I found an answer to my question. I found an image for a death certificate for Colby here at FindADeath, though it doesn't seem to be linked to on the page about her death. The location of the death is whited out on the death certificate, but I can still read it as saying "8970 Ellis Street, Los Angeles." Consulting Google Earth, it shows that the photo that FindADeath indicates is the location was taken at 8970 Ellis Avenue in Los Angeles.

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    Such a sad death and her killer hasn't been arrested.
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~ #METOO grandpa Jan 8,1927-March 9, 2006 Grandma Nov 6, 1926-June 28, 2018. Forever loved and missed always in my heart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkstracy View Post
    Such a sad death and her killer hasn't been arrested.
    Yes, true even after all the years that has past.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

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    I remember when this happened. Such a senseless loss. I recently saw her MTM episodes again, she was so funny. Still wish the killers could be caught. Hopefully, if they really were gang members, they have already gotten what they deserved. RIP Barbara and James.
    "Why don't they make the whole plane out of that black box stuff"

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanfan View Post
    I remember when this happened. Such a senseless loss. I recently saw her MTM episodes again, she was so funny. Still wish the killers could be caught. Hopefully, if they really were gang members, they have already gotten what they deserved. RIP Barbara and James.
    True, I also remember that sad day.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

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    Sadly admitting I am watching a non-stop marathon of MTM while recovering from surgery....I wasn't old enough to watch it in its heyday ☺ Anyway, I loved the episode with Barbara so much I fell down the internet rabbit hole and how funny I ended up here. Had no idea she passed so young, what a shame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LLC View Post
    Sadly admitting I am watching a non-stop marathon of MTM while recovering from surgery....I wasn't old enough to watch it in its heyday ☺ Anyway, I loved the episode with Barbara so much I fell down the internet rabbit hole and how funny I ended up here. Had no idea she passed so young, what a shame.
    I think about her a lot even after all the years.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

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    Me too, she was such a talent. After all these years I still hope her and James killers are brought to justice.
    To really know people is to be able to read between the lines on their faces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mansfield67 View Post
    Me too, she was such a talent. After all these years I still hope her and James killers are brought to justice.
    I so agree, funny how time will pass but still think about
    her.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mansfield67 View Post
    Me too, she was such a talent. After all these years I still hope her and James killers are brought to justice.
    True, why wasn't her ex Bob Levitt (son of Ethel Merman) ever
    interviewed about her murder?
    He was very jealous of Barbara and the new men in her life.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theotherlondon View Post
    True, why wasn't her ex Bob Levitt (son of Ethel Merman) ever
    interviewed about her murder?
    He was very jealous of Barbara and the new men in her life.
    https://www.nytimes.com/1975/07/26/a...-on-coast.html
    Paul Burks, police investigator, identified Miss Colby as the estranged wife of Robert Levitt, Miss Merman's son Mr. Levitt called the police from San Francisco and said he was flying here.
    Six youths believed involved in the shooting were arrested today. The police said they were suspects in another killing and four burglaries in the area since last Wednesday night.
    Miss Colby and Mr. Kiernan carried identification listing their address in the Topanga section of Los Angeles, said Mr. Burks. He added that Mr. Kiernan originally was from New York.

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    Great find Drew. Her murder and that of Karyn Kupcinet have always interested me. I think Barbara's killing was murder for hire. Jealous soon to be ex ? https://thelifeandtimesofhollywood.c...barbara-colby/
    To really know people is to be able to read between the lines on their faces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mansfield67 View Post
    Great find Drew. Her murder and that of Karyn Kupcinet have always interested me. I think Barbara's killing was murder for hire. Jealous soon to be ex ? https://thelifeandtimesofhollywood.c...barbara-colby/
    I think that too.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

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