The Wild Women (and men) of wongo

Barbara Lee Babbitt

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Whitey hart 1

Barbara Lee Babbitt and Whitey Hart in WILD WOMEN OF WONGO

Barbara Lee Babbitt was born in 1940 to Watson and Margaret Babbitt in Coral Gables, Florida. By age 14 Barbara already stood 5′ 10″ and was a very athletic girl, excelling at tennis. In 1952 she played in the Florida Junior Tennis Championship in St. Petersburg, Florida (in the girls 13 and under category) and in 1956 she played in the 34th Annual North Carolina Tennis Championship along with Evelyn Cowan and Louise Fowler, both of Covington, Georgia. She attended Ponce De Leon High School in Ponce De Leon, Florida before transferring to Coral Gables High School where she graduated the class of 1958.

Barbara was cast as one of the women of Goona, and while she was made up to be rather homely in the film, she was actually quite a looker. Her statuesqueness was used for comedic effect in scenes between herself and the diminutive Whitey Hart.


Barbara Lee Babbitt high school photo 1958

Barbara Lee Babbitt’s 1958 class photo

After her one time stint in front of the motion picture camera, Barbara continued her education with college courses at The University of Georgia, in Athens, Georgia. She later worked for Delta Airlines as a ticket agent and attended the Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. Among her hobbies was playing bridge, and in 2012 she achieved her Gold Life Master Award.

Barbara Lee Babbitt 1958 photo

Barbara’s height and beauty gained the attention newspaper reporters, and she appeared in news items on several different occasions.

Sadly, Barbara suffered much of her life from muscular dystrophy, and she died on May 16th, 2015 in Houston Texas. She was survived by her brother J. Randolph Babbitt and two nieces.

Barbara Lee Babbitt 2015

Barbara Lee Babbitt in 2015

Author: Mike Barnum

I am a lifelong lover of films, with a taste for movies of all genres, new and old, as well as pop culture from around the world. I currently write for the U.S. based film magazines CLASSIC IMAGES and FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE and have also been published in FILMFAX, SCARLET STREET, and VIDEO WATCHDOG.

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