Joanna Barnes death: Star of both Parent Trap films dies aged 87

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Joanna Barnes, the veteran actor who starred in both versions of The Parent Trap, has died aged 89.

The actor died on Friday (29 April) at her home in California. Her friend Sally Jackson announced her death, saying she had died of “multiple health problems”.

Barnes was best known for playing Vicky Robinson – a delightfully evil, scheming woman who marries a father of twins (who she hates) for his money – in the 1961 film The Parent Trap.

In the 1998 remake, she played Vicki Blake, Robinson’s mother.

She also starred in the films Home Before Dark, Spartacus and The War Wagon and the TV series 21 Beacon Street, The Trials of O’Brien, and Dateline Hollywood.

Barnes guest-starred in The Millionaire, Mannix, Murder She Wrote, and Cheers.

She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her 1958 performance as debutante Gloria Upson in Auntie Mame.

Barnes starred in 1967’s ‘The War Wagon’ (Snap/Shutterstock)
Barnes starred in 1967’s ‘The War Wagon’ (Snap/Shutterstock)

As well as acting, she wrote novels including The Deceivers, Who is Carla Hart, Pastora and Silverwood.

In 1973, Barnes told newspaper columnist Dick Kleiner that she liked writing because “it is something you do yourself. With acting, if you win an Oscar or an Emmy, you have to thank everybody. If you write a book, it is completely your own.”

She is survived by her two sisters, Lally Barnes Freeman and Judith Barnes Wood, and her late husband Jack Lionel Warner’s three children: John Barnes, Laura Warner and Louise Warner.