Introduction to subseries “Legends of the Superheroes” (including list of interviewees).
I began looking for Barbara Joyce in January 2010 and found her in January 2011.
But she had passed away in March 2010.
It’s a shame the first woman to portray the Huntress died without knowing anyone was trying to hunt her down (and without knowing she had fans).
I was disappointed in general and even more so because she had been alive when I started to look for her. However, I did have the fortune to find her family.
After I discovered via an online obituary that Barbara had died, I searched for her in public records databases. One listed her with a man whose name I did not know. Barbara was born in 1941 and this man in 1920; I assumed he was her father. I soon learned that he was, in fact, her ex-husband. I was then pleasantly surprised to learn that he was alive and well and most kind.
He didn’t know about LOTS. To verify we were talking about the same Barbara Joyce, he asked if mine is “big-busted”; I said according to the photos I’ve seen, it seems so.
He then told me the following:
- Barbara Joyce was her theatrical name.
- They separated around 1978 (just before LOTS).
- She had no children.
- Her parents are dead.
- She never remarried.
- A niece of Barbara’s had called to tell Stan that Barbara had died but he didn’t get her name, it went so fast.
- Her brother was a dentist in Florida.
Barbara and her brother, somewhat recently.
Luckily, Barbara’s brother had an unusual last name through which I was able to connect with her family. Glimpses I learned from her nephew:
- He also didn’t know about LOTS.
- Barbara smoked “forever” and died of lung cancer.
- She had appeared on TV with Sonny and Cher (presumably on their eponymous show).
- She would never tell you how old she was.
- She was funny.
The last person to see Barbara was her niece (and this nephew’s sister) Courtney; she was the closest with Barbara. Barbara left all she had to Courtney’s young daughter.
What else Courtney shared (along with all the photos shown here):
- Barbara would read Abbott and Costello scripts to Courtney over the phone.
- After acting, Barbara did odd jobs, including a little modeling.
- She moved to Florida and became a receptionist.
- She moved to Washington State, where she helped run a bed and breakfast and where she was living when she died.
- Courtney flew up to see her just before she died.
Barbara Joyce 1941-2010