Born on October 21st, 1932 little is known of Barboura Morris aka Barboura O’Neill aka Barbara Crane, prior to her graduation from UCLA. (Hmmm…always food for thought when a bio opens that way.) Shortly after graduation she did some stock theater work before getting into television, primarily in dramatic anthologies and such before transitioning into film. After meeting her in an acting class, Roger Corman convinced Barboura to accept a leading role in his 1957 bad-girl opus ‘Sorority Girl’ about a psychotic pledge (Susan Cabot) who vows vengeance on the sorority that turned her down. In it the attractive actress was billed as Barboura O’Neill. She made ‘Teenage Doll’ and ‘Rock All Night’ for him the same year. Almost instantly she had become a Corman stock player alongside Susan Cabot, Dick Miller, Anthony Eisley, Fay Spain, Ed Nelson, etc. Next she costarred as Lynn with Charles Bronson in ‘Machine Gun Kelly’.

The following year came Morris’ largest screen success in the cult favorite ‘Bucket of Blood’. In the film she plays Carla, the hipster proprietor of a (finger snapping applause, berets, incense, poetry, dope smoking, and all) coffee shop which features art that is basically “plaster of carcass”, the handiwork of psychotic sculptor/busboy Walter Paisley (Dick Miller). The film is a great horror/comedy and a commentary on the beatnik scene at the time, contemporary art, you name it. Corman shot this little gem in 5 days for $50,00!  [It predates the somewhat similar (in tone) ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, which Corman shot the following year.] Barboura also had a great role in Corman’s next film ‘The Wasp Woman’ (1960) as Mary Dennison, the faithful secretary of the stinging she beast Susan Cabot as Janice Starling in the title role. Never one to let an exploitative genre slip by, Corman and his cast next traveled to Athens to film ‘Atlas’ with Barboura and Michael Forest. She made ‘The Wild and the Innocent’ in the early 60s as well.

In 1963 she continued her longtime association with American International Pictures and made a couple more horror favorites. She was Mrs. Weeden in ‘The Haunted Palace’. Based on a story by HP Lovecraft this much-loved “dark castle and curse” gothic flick features Vincent Price, Debra Paget, Lon Chaney Jr., and Elisha Cook Jr. Next she was featured in the Ray Milland chiller ‘X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes’. Her roles thereafter diminished but were no less cult-worthy – ‘The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre’ (1967), she was Flo or “that lady in the Laundromat” in the LSD opus ‘The Trip’ (1967) with Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Susan Srasberg, Luana Anders and with a screenplay by Jack Nicholson (!!!), as a change of pace she played Mother Superior in ‘De Sade’ (1969) with Kier Dullea as the Marquis himself. Her final film role was as Mrs. Cole in the Sandra Dee creep-fest ‘The Dunwich Horror’ in 1970.

The lovely and reliable actress left this earth far too soon. On October 23rd 1975, a mere two days after her 43rd birthday, Barboura Morris suffered a fatal stroke and died in Santa Monica. She had been very ill at the time. In the few years since her last screen appearance her health had greatly deteriorated due to the ravaging effects of cancer. Thanks to her association with Roger Corman and American International she leaves behind a fascinating and diverse film oeuvre.