Barbara Payton (1927 – 1967)

Barbara Payton: American actress born Barbara Lee Redfield 16 November 1927, Cloquet Minnesota; died 8 May 1967, age 39, San Diego California; heart and liver failure.

Payton was on screen 1949 – 1955 but is remembered for scandals, alcoholism and descent into poverty. In 1951 Payton’s lover actor Tom Neal beat up her fiancé Franchot Tone (Neal later served 6 years for killing his wife). In 1955 she was fined for writing bad checks, in 1956 Payton lost custody of her son, in 1961 was arrested twice in one week for drunkeness, in 1963 she was jailed for prostitution. In 1963, an autobiography, I Am Not Ashamed – ghost-written by Leo Guild – was published.

In 1967, shortly after Payton moved to San Diego to live with her parents, she was found dead on the bathroom floor.

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