She started as a bit player. She worked her way up to name above the title star. Then television. Then oblivion.
She starred opposite top leading men..name above the title. Except that the movies she made were not stellar.
Lynn Bari was, however, distinguished for her pulchritude.
She was known as “The Girl with the Million Dollar Figure” and, more explicitly, as “The Woo Woo Girl.” No wonder she was a hit with World War II G.I’s, starved for feminine visual inspiration. To get a taste of one of Lynn’s many pinups see below.
And while we are on the subject, we should mention that Lynn presented decent competition to World War II’s most celebrated pinup, Betty Grable, whose “million dollar legs” made her a national icon. Grable remained Hollywood’s number one box office phenomenon all through the World War II years. (That’s Betty in full flower below.)
Unlike Grable, Bari was never a number one box office phenomenon.
Born Margaret Fisher in 1913 in Roanoke, Virginia, she made her movie debut in the 1933 MGM comedy Meet The Baron, playing a comely college coed. Over the next 35 years, Bari appeared in a whopping 166 movie and tv titles.
She specialized in portraying chorines, secretaries, party girls and cheeky sidekicks first for MGM and then Fox. Finally at the latter studio some meaty parts in such movies as Return of the Cisco Kid, Pack Your Troubles, Hotel For Women and Cavalcade.
1939 was a pretty busy year for Bari.
In the early Forties, she found herself seguing to darker parts — nasty society ladies, divas and villainesses — in such titles as Pier 13, Earthbound, Kit Carson and Sun Valley Serenade. One of her better roles came in the 1942 comedy The Magnificent Dope opposite Henry Fonda and Don Ameche.
You might also check her out in 1944’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey.
By the Fifties she pretty much retired from the big screen, devoting the rest of her career to tv and the stage. (Her marquee name was derived in part from that of theater icon Lynn Fontaine.) Bari worked until the late Sixties, then retired for good. Felled by a series of heart problems, she died at age 75 in 1989.
Bari’s personal life was reasonably busy with three marriages and divorces. Husband No. 2 was Sid Luft, who later married and divorced Judy Garland. There’s Luft with Lynn below.