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Barbara Hershey (born as Barbara Lynn Herzstein on February 5, 1948; also known as Barbara Seagull) is an Americanmarker actress and activist.

Personal life

Hershey was born in Hollywoodmarker, Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. She is the daughter of Arnold Nathan Herzstein, a horse racing columnist and occasional actor. Her father was Jewish and her mother was an Arkansasmarker-born Presbyterian of Irish descent.

Hershey attended Hollywood High School.

Hershey lived with actor David Carradine between 1969 and 1975, and was married to Stephen Douglas, an artist, between 1992 and 1993.

Hershey and Carradine were a prominent symbol of the Hollywood counterculture, becoming parents to a child whom they named Free (who later changed his name to Tom).

Hershey has been dating actor Naveen Andrews; during a brief separation in 2005, Andrews fathered a child with another woman. The couple has since reconciled.



Hershey's acting debut came in three episodes of Gidget in 1965, which she followed up by being cast in the television series The Monroes (1966), along with Michael Anderson, Jr.. She found working on The Monroes such a dispiriting experience that she wrote pseudonymous letters to the producers asking that the show be cancelled.

In 1967, Hershey made a guest appearance on the hit Fess Parker NBC western series Daniel Boone in an episode entitled "The Kings Shilling".

Hershey's feature film debut was in the 1968 comedy With Six You Get Eggroll, which marked Doris Day's final screen appearance.

In 1969, Hershey starred in the Glenn Ford western Heaven with a Gun, where one of her co-stars was future Kung Fu star David Carradine.

Also in 1969, Hershey played in the controversial drama Last Summer, based on the novel by Evan Hunter (better known for his police procedurals written under the pseudonym Ed McBain), and directed by Frank Perry. The film received an X rating for a graphic rape scene and earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for co-star Catherine Burns. During the filming of a scene for Last Summer, a seagull was killed. Hershey felt a sense of personal responsibility for its death and went by the name of Barbara Seagull for several years professionally in the early 1970s as a tribute to the creature.


Her 1970 film The Baby Maker explored the idea of surrogate motherhood many years before it became a mainstream reproductive option and reinforced her image as a free-spirited hippie. This image helped secure her the starring role in the Roger Corman production Boxcar Bertha (1972), which was being directed on a typically low Corman budget by a fresh-out-of-film-school Martin Scorsese. During filming, Hershey gave Scorsese a copy of her favorite book — Nikos Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ. Adapting that book into a film would become a 16-year labor of love for Scorsese, who would eventually cast Hershey as Mary Magdalene — though not before making her audition, to prove that she had earned it. Hershey's co-star in Boxcar Bertha was once again David Carradine. They would later recreate their love scene in a hay-filled boxcar for a Playboy magazine pictorial.

In 1974, she guest-starred in a two-part episode of the TV series Kung Fu which starred her then live-in boyfriend of David Carradine (Besieged: Death On A Cold Mountain, Season 3, Episodes 10 & 11). She played a love interest of David Carradine's character, Kwai Chang Caine, during his time at the Buddhist temple.

She starred alongside Charlton Heston in The Last Hard Men (1976). However, the hippie label soon became a career impediment and by the late 1970s she was appearing in made-for-TV movies like Flood! and Sunshine Christmas. But her work in Richard Rush's critical favorite The Stunt Man (1980) — her first big screen appearance in four years — began a gradual career renaissance.


Her appearance in the horror film The Entity (1981) — where she played a woman repeatedly raped by an unseen supernatural force — sufficiently impressed Michael Douglas, who a decade later fought to have her cast as his estranged wife in Falling Down. She also portrayed Errol Flynn's first wife, actress Lili Damita in the TV movie My Wicked, Wicked Ways (1985), based on Flynn's autobiography.

Hershey played a small, but memorable role as a mad woman who seduces and shoots Robert Redford's character in The Natural (1984). She also made a large impression on Woody Allen, who would later foster her mid-'80s career revival by casting her in his greatest commercial success Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).

She gained increased visibility with performance as Glennis Yeager, wife of test pilot Chuck Yeager, in the Philip Kaufman directed film The Right Stuff (1983) and as Gene Hackman's love interest in the basketball film Hoosiers (1986). Hershey followed the commercial success of Hannah and Her Sisters with unprecedented back-to-back wins for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festivalmarker for Shy People and for her appearance as anti-apartheid activist Diana Roth (based on Ruth First) in A World Apart (1988).

For her role in the Bette Midler melodrama Beaches (1988), she injected collagen into her lips — an act that drew negative media coverage.


In 1990, she won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special for her turn as real-life murderer Candy Morrison in A Killing in a Small Town. Throughout the nineties, Hershey made more small independent films and television projects.

As Madame Merle in Jane Campion's adaptation of the Henry James novel The Portrait of a Lady (1996), Hershey earned an Oscar nomination and won the Best Supporting Actress award from the National Society of Film Critics. In 1999, Hershey starred in Drowning on Dry Land with Naveen Andrews. In 2001, Hershey was part of a largely Australian ensemble cast for the critically successful mystery Lantana, which also starred Kerry Armstrong, Anthony LaPaglia and Geoffrey Rush playing a troubled psychiatrist. Hershey will play the role of brash American actress Mrs Hubbard in the adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express for the British televsion series Poirot starring David Suchet. Hershey will also act in Darren Aronofsky's follow-up to The Wrestler entitled Black Swan starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.





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