Born Barbara Nickerauer in New York on December 30, 1928, Barbara Nichols started in show business as a model and burlesque dancer in the late 1940s and gained notoriety as a dancer in the Latin Quarter. In the early 1950s, she appeared on Broadway in Pal Joey and would eventually reprise her role in the film version, released in 1957. In 1954 Nichols began doing guest spots on popular TV anthology series, such as The United States Steel Hour and Center Stage.

Barbara NicholsBarbara NicholsBarbara NicholsBarbara NicholsBarbara Nichols

LEFT: High school photo of Barbara Nichols from the mid 1940s. CENTER: Glamourous shots of Barbara Nichols. RIGHT: Mid 1970s photo of Nichols

Getting good notices, Nichols was cast in a small role in her first film, The Wild Party (1956; with Carol Ohmart). Throughout the remainder of the 1950s, Nichols acted in a string of A and B pictures, such as Pal Joey (1957; with Frank Sinatra) and The Naked and the Dead (1958; with Aldo Ray). In 1958, she landed her only television series, the short-lived Love that Jill with Anne Jeffreys. She also starred in the pilot for The Untouchables with Robert Stack, which aired on Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse in 1958.

the films of barbara nichols

The King and Four Queens (1956)

Barbara NicholsBarbara Nichols

From the western comedy The King and Four Queens

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)

Barbara NicholsBarbara Nichols and Dana Andrews

From the RKO film noir thriller Beyond a Reasonable Doubt,. LEFT: Nichols as dancer Dolly Moore. RIGHT: Dana Andrews keeps an eye on Barbara Nichols

Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Barbara Nichols and Tony Curtis

With Tony Curtis in the excellent film noir release Sweet Smell of Success

The Naked and the Dead (1958)

Barbara Nichols and Aldo RayBarbara Nichols and Aldo Ray

In The Naked and the Dead, unfaithful wife Barbara Nichols is married to Aldo Ray

Who Was That Lady? (1960)

Joi Lansing and Barbara Nichols

Joi Lansing and Barbara Nichols portray sisters in the Columbia comedy Who Was That Lady?

Let it Ride (October 1961-December 1961 Broadway Play)

Let It Ride

An October 1961 copy of Playbill featuring Let it Ride. Nichols appears in the upper right-hand corner. Also starring in this musical comedy were George Gobel and Sam Levene. RCA released an album from the show.

House of Women (1962)

Barbara Nichols, Constance Ford, and Shirley Knight

With Constance Ford and Shirley Knight in the campy Warner Bros. prison drama House of Women

The Disorderly Orderly (1964)

Barbara Nichols and Jerry Lewis

With Jerry Lewis in the Paramount comedy The Disorderly Orderly

Dear Heart (1964)

Barbara Nichols and Glenn Ford

With Glenn Ford in the Warner Bros. comedy Dear Heart

Batman (1966-1968 ABC TV Series)

Art Carney and Barbara Nichols

Nichols as Maid Marilyn with Art Carney from two September 1966 episodes of Batman

Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)

Barbara Nichols

Nichols at the premiere of the star-studded comedy Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood in May 1976. This was her final film appearance

later years

Two separate car accidents, one in July 1957 and another in the 1960s, took a toll on Barbara Nichols' health. The 1957 wreck required the removal of her spleen, but she bounced back quickly given the severity of her injuries. The 1960s accident damaged her liver. Nichols' film career began to run out of steam by the mid 1960s; taking on roles in low-budget films, she acted in such films as House of Women (1962; with Constance Ford and Jeanne Cooper) and The Human Duplicators (1965; with George Nader and Hugh Beaumont). However, Nichols kept working, making occasional films and numerous television appearances through 1976 when, as a result of her previous car accidents, her failing liver ravaged her health. After spending two months in a coma, Nichols passed away on October 5, 1976, at the age of 47. She was survived by her father and mother.

If you're an avid TV rerun watcher, you can catch Nichols in many episodes of Jack Webb-produced series, such as Dragnet, Adam 12, and Emergency!. In addition, Nichols did guest spots on The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, The Wild, Wild West, and Love, American Style, among other series.

barbara nichols dvds available from


Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)
The Photographer (1975) with Michael Callen and Edward Andrews
Charley and the Angel (1973) with Fred MacMurray and Cloris Leachman
The Power (1968) with Richard Carlson, Yvonne De Carlo, George Hamilton, Suzanne Pleshette, and Aldo Ray
Criminal Affair (1967) with Ann-Margret, Roger Smith, and Rossano Brazzi
The Swinger (1966) with Ann-Margret, Anthony Franciosa, and Yvonne Romain
The Loved One (1965) with Robert Morse, Jonathan Winters, and Tab Hunter
The Human Duplicators (1965) with George Nader, Hugh Beaumont, Dolores Faith, Richard Kiel, and Richard Arlen
Looking for Love (1964) with Connie Francis, Jim Hutton, and Joan Marshall
Dear Heart (1964) with Glenn Ford and Geraldine Page
The Disorderly Orderly (1964) with Jerry Lewis, Karen Sharpe, and Francine York
House of Women (1962) with Shirley Knight, Constance Ford, Jeanne Cooper, and Jason Evers
The George Raft Story (1961) with Jayne Mansfield, Julie London, and Ray Danton
Who Was That Lady? (1960) with Joi Lansing, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, and Dean Martin
Where the Boys Are (1960) with Jim Hutton, Paula Prentiss, Connie Francis, George Hamilton, and Yvette Mimieux
Woman Obsessed (1959) with Susan Hayward and Stephen Boyd
That Kind of Woman (1959) with Sophia Loren, Tab Hunter, and George Sanders
Ten North Frederick (1958) with Gary Cooper, Diane Varsi, Stuart Whitman, and Suzy Parker
The Naked and the Dead (1958) with Aldo Ray, Cliff Robertson, Raymond Massey, William Campbell, James Best, and Max Showalter
Pal Joey (1957) with Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, and Kim Novak
Sweet Smell of Success (1957) with Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Jeff Donnell, and Martin Milner
The Pajama Game (1957) with Doris Day and John Raitt
Miracle in the Rain (1956) with Jane Wyman, Peggie Castle, and Van Johnson
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) with Dana Andrews and Joan Fontaine
The King and Four Queens (1956) with Clark Gable and Eleanor Parker
Manfish (1956) with John Bromfield and Lon Chaney Jr.
The Wild Party (1956) with Anthony Quinn and Carol Ohmart
River of No Return (1954) with Marilyn Monroe, Robert Mitchum, and Rory Calhoun

Love That Jill, 1958 ABC TV series

Emergency!, episode Details, originally aired December 7, 1974
The Doris Day Show, episode Have I Got a Fellow for You!, originally aired November 8, 1971
Hawaii Five-O, episode A Thousand Pardons -- You're Dead!, originally aired September 24, 1969
The Jackie Gleason Show, episode The Honeymooners: Two Faces of Ralph Kramden, originally aired November 18, 1967
Green Acres, episode Never Take Your Wife to a Convention, originally aired February 8, 1967
Batman, episodes Shoot a Crooked Arrow and Walk in the Straight and Narrow, aired September 7 and 8, 1966
The Wild, Wild West, episode The Night of the Whirring Death, originally aired February 18, 1966
Laredo, episode A Question of Discipline, originally aired October 28, 1965
The Beverly Hillbillies, episodes Jethro's First Love and Chickadee Returns, originally aired October 30 and November 6, 1963
The Twilight Zone, episode Twenty-Two, originally aired February 10, 1961
Stagecoach West, episode A Time to Run, originally aired November 15, 1960
The Real McCoys, episode The Politician, originally aired December 9, 1959
The Untouchables, episode The Empty Chair, originally aired October 10, 1959
The Untouchables, episode The Scarface Mob, originally aired October 3, 1959
Maverick, episode The Third Rider, originally aired January 5, 1958
The United States Steel Hour, episode Good For You, originally aired June 8, 1954

barbara nichols now showing

Watch Barbara Nichols in the adventure Manfish (1956)

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This page premiered December 14, 1999.
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