1927 - 2014
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BARBARA KNUDSON HENRY Dec. 4, 1927-May 11, 2014 Television and film actress, Barbara Ann Knudson, a native Nevadan, born to prominent Las Vegans, K.O. and Beatrice Knudson, passed away of natural causes, at home, May 11, 2014. William Henry "Bill," her only child, was caring for her and was with her at the time of her passing. Barbara was high-spirited, fun and beautiful inside and out! She was a graduate of Las Vegas High School, where she was the lead majorette (leading the Helldorado parades at the time) head cheerleader and a participant in many high school plays. After high school, she joined the Las Vegas Little Theatre, which led her to the Birdcage Theatre's stock company at the Last Frontier Hotel. Here she met a "Hollywood import" actor by the name of Bill Henry, who invited her to a Pasadena Playhouse production where talent scouts spotted her and invited her to "test." She signed with Paramount Studios in 1950 and she and Bill were married in 1952 on Waikiki Beach with celebrities like John Ford and Jack Lemon in attendance. Her TV and film credits number in the 40's.. filmology and TV episodes include: Union Station (1950), Born Yesterday (on the road - lead opposite Lon Chaney ) Iron Man (1951), The Range Rider (1951), The Lady from Texas (1951), Meet Danny Wilson (1951), Son of Ali Baba (1952), Lux Video Theatre (TV 1953), Hopalong Cassidy (TV 1953) Death Valley Days (TV 1954) The Gene Autry Show (TV series - 1955) The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (TV series - six episodes - 1954-55 ) Annie Oakley (TV 1956), Jane Wyman Fireside Theatre (1956), The Lone Ranger (TV series many episodes 1956) State Trooper (TV 1957), Sergeant Preston of the Yukon (TV 1957), Sky King and Highway Patrol (TV 1958) The Cry Baby Killer (1958 - Jack Nicholson's film debut - their pictures were in People magazine), Lassie (TV 1960), My Three Sons (TV 1965), Daniel Boone (TV 1966), Legend of the Northwest (1978). After returning to Las Vegas to live, she kept up her interest in the theatre arts by directing the Clark County Senior Pageants for several years. Her "ladies" still praise her direction, expertise and friendship to this day. She also attended the Lone Pine Western Film Festival in Lone Pine, Calif. for many years, where a variety of her films were shown, she was a guest panelist and got to enjoy her celebrity in westerns all over again. She and Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger) were great friends and they had wonderful stories to tell about filming in Lone Pine. The photo above is from the Memphis Western Film Festival, where she was a guest artist signing a photo for a fan. Barbara loved a good story and a good "laugh" and she loved reminiscing with her "high school buddies" on their Classmate Reunion Committee. She was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. K.O. Knudson; her older sister, Lois Knudson Rodman-Mahood; nephew, Roger Rodman, all of Las Vegas; and her former husband, Bill Henry of southern California. She is survived by her loving son, Bill, and his wife, Elizabeth; and granddaughter, Allisa, of Las Vegas. She is also survived by her nephew, Gilbert "Duke" Rodman (Natalie); cousin, Odette O'Neill, all of Las Vegas; her "little sister," Karen Knudson Lyon of La Jolla, Calif.; and her nieces, Marcia Kirby, Jill Lackey, Kristy Lyon; and grandnieces and grandnephews of southern California. Private Celebrations of life will be held in southern California. If you wish to donate to the Theatre Arts Program at her father's school in her name, that would be greatly appreciated: K.O. Knudson Middle School, 2400 Atlantic St., Las Vegas, NV 89104.

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Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on May 18, 2014.
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6 entries
June 8, 2014
My condolences to the family of Barbara Knudson Henry. I did not know her, but my fourth or fifth grade teacher at John S. Park was her mother, Beatrice Knudson. Mrs. Knudson was a wonderful person and an excellent teacher. I am nearly 65 years old, but my memories of your grandmother are still very vivid. Sincerely, Vickie Grafman Fenton-Yohay.
May 20, 2014
When Barbara was in 7th or 8th grade at 5th Street School my family lived across the street (Clark). It was before I was in school and a friend had taught me to twirl a baton. She used to run across the street, at noon or recess or something and wanted me to teach her to twirl. I did. She far surpassed me in her abilities, and became the LVHS band majorette. She reminded me about this experience whenever we met at LVHS reunions. K.O. Knudsen was the principal at 5th Street all the years I attended that school. Barabara was one of my father's favorite students in his plays at LVHS, and she went on to many great experiences.

We will miss Barbara at our many fun reunions. Alice Thiriot Waite
May 19, 2014
She once let me telephone-interview her about the play BORN YESTERDAY. She was very sweet and her stories about Lon Chaney Jr. were hilarious. I liked Barbara a lot. R.I.P.
May 18, 2014
My heart goes out to the family of Barbara! I worked with Barbara at Paradise Park. I have wonderful memories of Barbara and playing softball with her son Bill. Barbara was so proud of Bill. What a wonderful lady! Las Vegas has lost a true lady and star. I thought of you often. Your in my heart my dear friend.
Kathy Stenberg
May 18, 2014
My heart goes out to the family of Barbara! I worked with Barbara at Paradise Park. What a wonderful lady! Las Vegas has lost a true lady and star. I thought of you often. Your in my heart my dear friend.
Kathy Stenberg
May 18, 2014
We were so sorry to hear of Barbara's death. She was so kind to us when we met her. Barbara was gracious enough to sign a photograph of herself and give it to us as a gift. We have so many fond memories of Barbara through her performances in our favorite movies and television shows, especially Hopalong Cassidy, The Gene Autry Show, The Lone Ranger, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, Sky King, and Daniel Boone. Barbara, for your talent and graciousness, you will be missed. It was an honor to know you even briefly. Thanks for the memories!
Joe and Laurie Boetcher
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