Actress Barbara Tarbuck Dies

Actress Barbara Tarbuck died December 26 at her daughter’s home in Los Angeles at the age of 74 as a result of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – a degenerative brain disorder similar to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease but progresses much quicker.

She made her screen debut in 1978 on an episode of the television series “David Cassidy – Man Undercover”. From there she went on to appear in 100 other productions including “The Waltons”, “The Incredible Hulk”, “Dallas”, “Little House on the Prairie”, “Quincy M.E.”, “M*A*S*H”, “The Twilight Zone”, “Short Circuit”, “Falcon Crest”, “Golden Girls”, “Knotts Landing”, “21 Jump Street”, the daytime drama “Santa Barbara”, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “Curly Sue”, “Silk Stalkings”, “Quantum Leap”, “The Practice”, “ER”, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigations”, “Star Trek: Enterprise”, “Six Feet Under”, “NYPD Blue”, “Walking Tall”, “NCIS”, “CSI:NY”, 41 episodes of the daytime drama “General Hospital”, “Glee”, as Mother Superior Claudia in “American Horror Story”, and “Mad Men”.

Tarbuck taught acting at the University of California at Los Angeles for a number of years.

She was born January 15, 1942 in Detroit, Michigan where she began her acting career when she was only nine years old on radio station WWJ-AM. Later Tarbuck graduated from Wayne State University with her bachelor’s degree and her master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Tarbuck became the lead actress when Indiana University opened it’s theater touring company. After college in the US, she earned a Fulbright Scholarship to study in London at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She later returned to the US and launched a career on Broadway. On Broadway, she appeared in “The Crucible”, “The Water Engine/Mr. Happiness”, and “Brighton Beach Memoirs”.

Predeceased by her husband James, Tarbuck is survived by her producer Jennifer Lane Conolly and and grandsons Cianan and Cuinn Chawinga.


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