Barbara Babcock

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Barbara Babcock
Barbara Babcock.jpg
Babcock in 1968
Born (1937-02-27) February 27, 1937 (age 85)
Fort Riley, Kansas, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1956–2004
Spouse(s) Jay Sheffield (m. 1962–68)
Awards Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Drama Series
1981 Hill Street Blues

Barbara Babcock (born February 27, 1937) is an American character actress. She is perhaps best known for her role as the sensuous Grace Gardner on Hill Street Blues, for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress—Drama Series in 1981, and her role as Dorothy Jennings on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1993.

Early life

Although she was born in the United States, Babcock spent a large part of her childhood in Tokyo, Japan, because her father Conrad Stanton Babcock, Jr. was a general in the United States Army.[1] She learned to speak Japanese before English.

Babcock studied at Switzerland's University of Lausanne and Italy's University of Milan.[1] She also attended Miss Porter's School and graduated from Wellesley College,[2] where she was a classmate of Ali MacGraw.


Babcock's television appearances began in 1956. They included several episodes of the original series of Star Trek, although much of her work on the show consisted of uncredited voice work. In 1968, she made her debut on the big screen in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer western Day of the Evil Gun, followed by roles in the films Heaven with a Gun, co-starring Glenn Ford, Bang the Drum Slowly, Chosen Survivors, The Black Marble, Back Roads, The Lords of Discipline and That Was Then... This Is Now. From 1978 to 1981, she played the role of Liz Craig on the CBS soap opera Dallas. Other notable films include Heart of Dixie, Happy Together, Far and Away and Space Cowboys.

Babcock won the 1981 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress—Drama Series for her work on Hill Street Blues.[3][4] She appeared in 16 episodes of the NBC police drama as Grace Gardner from 1981 to 1986. She starred in the short-lived TV series The Four Seasons in 1984, Mr. Sunshine in 1986 and The Law & Harry McGraw in 1987.[5]

From 1993 to 1998, she played the role as Dorothy Jennings on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1993. (However, the Emmy Awards website lists the nomination for 1995.)[3] She was voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine in 1994.[6][7] After completion of the show in 1998, she appeared in the The Pretender, Chicago Hope, Frasier and Judging Amy. From 2001 to 2002, she played the role of the mother of Dana Delany's character in the Fox drama series Pasadena. Since 2004, Babcock has not done film or television roles.

Other activities

Babcock went to "remote areas of the world as an assistant on scientific expeditions. And ... was awarded a patent for a shampoo she and another actress developed."[1]



Year Film Role Notes
1968 Day of the Evil Gun Angie Warfield
1969 Heaven with a Gun Mrs. Andrews
1971 The Last Child Shelley Drumm
1973 Bang the Drum Slowly Team Owner
1974 Chosen Survivors Dr. Lenore Chrisman
1977 Christmas Miracle in Caufield, U.S.A. Rachel Sullivan
1978 Operating Room Jean Lawrence
1979 Survival of Dana Lorna Sims
1980 The Black Marble Madeline Whitfield
1981 Back Roads Rickey's Mom
1982 Memories Never Die Louise Lowry
1983 Quarterback Princess Judy Maida
The Lords of Discipline Abigail St. Croix
1984 Attack on Fear Jane Dutton
1985 That Was Then... This Is Now Mrs. Douglas
1986 News at Eleven Joanna Steckler
1989 Happy Together Ruth Carpenter
Heart of Dixie Coralee Claibourne
1990 A Family for Joe Miss Quinn Collins
1992 Far and Away Nora Christie
1993 Fugitive Nights: Danger in the Desert Rhonda Devon
1996 A Mother's Instinct Mrs. Mitchell
1997 Childhood Sweetheart? Rose Carlson
1999 A Vow to Cherish Ellen Brighton
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Movie Dorothy Jennings
2000 Space Cowboys Barbara Corvin
2002 Home Alone 4 Molly


Year Title Role Notes
1961 NBC Sunday Showcase Annie Lee 1 episode
1963 The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis Pamela Osborne 1 episode
1965 The Munsters Miss Guthrie 1 episode
1966–1967 Green Hornet Elaine Carey 2 episodes
1967 The Lucy Show English Teacher 1 episode
1968 Mission: Impossible Major Maria Felder 1 episode
1967–1968 Star Trek Mea 3/Philana/voice-over work "A Taste of Armageddon" and
"Plato's Stepchildren",
plus 4 other episodes
1969 Family Affair Pamela 1 episode
1967–1970 Hogan's Heroes Mama Bear 3 episodes
1971 Night Gallery Flora Alden 1 episode
1972 Banyon Caroline Wheeler 1 episode
1973 Shaft Jane Cunningham 1 episode
Love, American Style Anna Scott 1 episode
1968–1973 Mannix Ellen West 4 episodes
1975 The Streets of San Francisco Judith 'Judy' Tyrell 1 episode
1976 Starsky and Hutch Ellen Forbes 1 episode
1977 McMillan & Wife Lydia Corman 1 episode
Quincy, M.E. Melissa Asten 1 episode
The Rockford Files Karen Hall 1 episode
1978 Logan's Run Marianne 1 episode
1979 Salem's Lot June Petrie TV miniseries
1980 Benson Lily Maxwell 1 episode
1981 Taxi Karen 1 episode
Flo Louise Browning 1 episode
1978–1982 Dallas Liz Craig 16 episodes
1983 Cheers Lana Marshall 1 episode
1984 The Four Seasons Lorraine Elliot 13 episodes
1985 Hotel Monica Shawcross 1 episode
1986 Mr. Sunshine Mrs. June Swinford 11 episodes
1981–1982, 1984, 1986 Hill Street Blues Grace Gardner 16 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award
for Outstanding Lead Actress
in a Drama Series
1987 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Cissie Enright 1 episode
CableACE Award for
Outstanding Actress in
a Dramatic Series
Remington Steele Marisa Peters 2 episodes
1987–1988 The Law and Harry McGraw Ellie Maginnis 16 episodes
1989–1990 Empty Nest Paula Conroy 2 episodes
1990 The Golden Girls Charmaine Hollingsworth 1 episode
China Beach Lt. Col. Libby Heiss 1 episode
1991 Wings Mae Hackett 1 episode
1985–1993 Murder, She Wrote Various roles 5 episodes
1993–1998 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Dorothy Jennings 100 episodes
Nominated -
Primetime Emmy Award
for Outstanding Supporting Actress
in a Drama Series
1998 Chicago Hope Beverly Kronk 2 episodes
2000 The Pretender Edna Raines 2 episodes
2001 Frasier Penelope Janvier 1 episode
2001–2002 Pasadena Lillian Greeley 8 episodes
2002–2004 Judging Amy Diane McCarty 2 episodes


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Barbara Babcock "intriguing"". Pennsylvania, Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Times. April 17, 1982. p. 16. Retrieved February 21, 2016 – via<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> open access publication - free to read
  2. "State Secrets". Indiana, Kokomo. The Kokomo Tribune. November 13, 1987. p. 24. Retrieved February 23, 2016 – via<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> open access publication - free to read
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Awards Search: Barbara Babcock". Television Academy. Retrieved 23 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Awards for Barbara Babcock
  5. Barbara Babcock biography, Allmovie
  6. Barbara Babcock at
  7. Biography for Barbara Babcock

External links