1. Stanwyck (born Ruby Stevens) was orphaned at the age of four. She and her older brother Byron spent their childhood in and out of foster homes.
2. She was a dancer in the Ziegfeld Follies during the 1922 and 1923 seasons.
3. Her big break came on Broadway playing a chorus girl in The Noose (1926); this is when she became Barbara Stanwyck.
4. The next year, Stanwyck was the toast of Broadway for her starring role in Burlesque (1927).
5. Oscar Levant introduced Stanwyck to her first husband, Frank Fay.
|Stanwyck, director Mitchell Leisen, and Fred MacMurray on the set of Remember the Night (1940)|
6. As Stanwyck’s star rose, Fay’s fell. Many believe their disintegrating marriage was the inspiration for the original film version of A Star Is Born (1937).
7. Zeppo Marx was Stanwyck’s manager and he along with Stanwyck and his first wife, Marion Benda, owned a thoroughbred horse farm called Marwyck.
8. In 1944 she was the highest paid woman in the United States.
9. She was nominated four times as Best Actress, but never won a competitive Oscar; she was awarded a special Academy Award in 1982.
10. Producer Earl Hamner Jr. originally wanted Stanwyck to play Angela Channing in the hit TV series Falcon Crest.
A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel True 1907- 1940 by Victoria Wilson.