Nancy Barrett: "I'm In The
Happiest Period of My Life"
....And There's A Special Someone
Who Makes Her Even Happier
Daytime TV Magazine, January 1977
by Gloria Paternostro
Article Provided By Wanda
Nancy Barrett makes you feel immediately at home in her beautiful East side apartment. Her long, blonde hair shimmers around her shoulders and her quick infectious laughter fills the air as she curls herself comfortably into a chair.
She is lacking only five one-semester courses for her pre-med, but since acting is her first love, it doesn't look as if her fans have to worry about losing her to medicine.
"I have always wanted to act," she says, "but I've never wanted to be a star." Such an attitude is quite unusual, so it's logical to question her about it.
She wrinkles her nose and tries to think of a reason. Finally giving up and laughing.
"I can't think of a good reason for being a star! My personal life is terribly important to me."
Her personal life revolves around her psychiatrist fiancée, Harold, with whom she's been involved for the past 4 years and who is obviously responsible, at least in part, for her present frame of mind.
"Harold makes me happy," she confirms, her eyes taking on that special glow. "He makes me very happy; I'm very happy now - I think I'm in the happiest period of my life!"
And although she refers to him as her fiancée, her feelings about marriage seem to be a little ambivalent.
"From the time I was a child, I remember saying I never wanted to be married and I never wanted to have children. And then I was married, but I really never have wanted to have children. I'm not sure why. I'm not uncomfortable around them - I've never really puzzled it out. We talk about marriage from time to time. It isn't that I want to do or don't want to, but with children being out of the picture, there's no real need. The commitment is very firm. I think that we will get married...."
So it seems as though her heart will eventually rule her head after all. Then she smiles that sweet smile of hers, and adds, almost coyly, "I tend to think that if I did marry, I would suddenly get very, very old fashioned about it. I really do."
Although she wholeheartedly believes in women's rights, she would still tend to put her man first.
"In fact, I'm only insistent upon being able to do the work I want to do, but I certainly will make concessions about it because..... as I said, a personal life is extremely important to me." Just how important Harold has been in her life is brought out when she discusses the development of her personality, for while she admits to being highly emotional, she's only recently learned to accept it.
"Before I was involved in this relationship, I would tend not to trust someone and not really let it all out and exhibit the way I felt about something. I feel so much better! I probably leave him in abject depression, but I feel much better!"
It was fortunate, Nancy found someone to bring out the real person inside, for she does have a great capacity for happiness, and appreciation of life and what it has to offer.
"Music makes me happy. I studied piano and I got acquainted with the classics very early on, and I still like to play. I spent almost my entire youth absolutely loathing country music, because that's where I was from, and I couldn't stand it. But after I came to New York. I just kind of fell in love with it."
"Laughter makes....me happy--people laughing - there's something contagious about it. Work makes me happy - I love to work. Accomplishments make me happy. In any area, people who do things terribly well, as in the Olympics....it absolutely takes my breath away and brings me almost to tears. Perfection...people who do things right. Kim Stanley acting--that's perfection. Anyone who does anything brilliantly. Dance, music, Isaac Stern playing the violin."
And Nancy can be just as articulate about what saddens her.
"Waste of any kind. A lot of things make me sad - most of it on the 7 o'clock news. It really undoes me. That, of course, is truth. Wuthering Heights does me in every time I see it - every time! All I have to do is hear that music! He (Lord Laurence Olivier) was so gorgeous then!"
Sometimes, mixed with sadness, is anger, as in her reaction to senseless violence, and here again, Nancy wasn't always able to express herself.
"I've started learning to get angry. Anger, for a long time, was something I couldn't express. I think I was afraid I would be punished for it. But it was giving me ulcers. Now, I'm not talking about some piddling little thing, you know. I don't have temper tantrums over small items -- I have temper tantrums over big items!"
The laughter bubbles to the surface again before she confesses that it took quite a few years to get her priorities in order.
Nancy, born in Shreveport, Louisiana, moved form place to place since her father was a tool pusher for an iron company. She spent most of her childhood in Oklahoma. Both she and Harold are Librans, her birthday being October 5 and his October 1st.
"Everything I know about Librans is so true of me as to be absolutely terrifying! Librans get on extremely well with one another and they're very very sensual. It's a particularly good sign for a woman."
And although Nancy seems to have a good sense of herself, she is still hesitant to discuss her good qualities. She thinks a long time before trying to describe what she likes best about herself.
"What I most appreciate and am most glad to have - and I acquired it from my father - is a sense of humor. I just think that is absolutely vital!"
But already she sounds too boastful to herself, and hastens to qualify her thought. "When I say that, I don't mean it so much in the sense that I can make people laugh--but I can look on a situation and see the humor in it. It's vital to getting through life. Otherwise, everything is far too serious and far too much to deal with."
"Looking back, particularly in the last few years, has been an incredible way of learning," she adds. But she still feels she has a way to go. "I want to be able to learn to live with the fact that I am not perfect, that I do not have to be perfect and that people who love me do not expect perfection."
Nancy Barrett needn't worry.
When Harold joined us later, he told me, "She's wonderful - she really is!"
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