Barbara Stanwyck

Orphaned at age 4 and raised by her chorus-girl sister, Barbara Stanwyck came naturally to the qualities most associated with her on-screen persona: the tough but vulnerable working gal determined to make it on her own.

Born July 16, 1907, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Stanwyck became a Ziegfeld girl at age 15 and made her Broadway debut before she was out of her teens. Hollywood soon came calling, and Stanwyck shot to stardom in 1930 with Frank Capra's Ladies of Leisure. A 60-year film and TV career followed.

After establishing herself in the early '30s with films such as Illicit and Baby Face, Stanwyck received four Oscar nominations in the late '30s and '40s -- for Stella Dallas, Ball of Fire, Double Indemnity and Sorry, Wrong Number. In later years, Stanwyck transferred her talents to TV, starring in the long-running Western "The Big Valley" and later, "The Colbys." Stanwyck died in 1990.