'Barnaby Jones' Star Lee Meriwether Defies Age at 84

At the age of 84, Lee Meriwether has still not retired. Known for her role as Betty Jones in the '70s crime drama "Barnaby Jones," Meriwether has retained much of her beauty and continues to remind us of her great past Hollywood roles. 

Beginning Her Career

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Before Lee Meriwether was a Hollywood actress, she won both the Miss California and Miss America pageants. However, according to the LA Times, Meriwether was originally nominated for Miss San Francisco by a fraternity while she was a TV/theater arts major at the City College of San Francisco.

Meriwether told the LA Times that she didn't expect to win the pageant, but she ended up using the money from her winning to study with famed acting teacher Lee Strasberg.


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After being declared Miss America in 1955, Meriwether went on to be a co-host for the "Today" show and worked with Dave Garroway for only a year before landing roles on TV shows. 

After doing TV series such as “The Philco Television Playhouse,” “The Millionaire,” and “The Phil Silvers Show," Meriwether was cast as Linda Davis in the 1959 sci-fi movie “4D-Man,” starring Robert Lansing for her first film role. 

Call Her Catwoman

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Meriwether continued to be a guest star in many series such as “Dr. Kildare,” “Route 66,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” “Twelve O'Clock High,” and “The F.B.I.” In the same year that Meriwether got her first starring role as Dr. Ann MacGregor in “The Time Tunnel” in 1966, she replaced Julie Newmar as Catwoman in the film version of “Batman.” This led to Meriwether later appearing as Lisa Carson, a romantic interest to Bruce Wayne on the “Batman” series.

Aside from her role as Catwoman, Meriwether was also well-known for her role as Betty Jones on "Barnaby Jones" from 1973 until 1980. Her and her co-star, Buddy Ebsen, had a great connection. Meriwether said to Boomer Magazine about Ebsen

“I loved that man! I was so lucky. He was a dream. He loved the idea of being a detective. We had CSI-type equipment in the office on the set, and he liked doing [his own tests]. It was a show the whole family could watch.”

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What's your favorite Lee Meriwether moment? Which of her films do you enjoy watching the most? Are you enamored by how gracefully she has aged? Let us know your thoughts below and pass this article on to others so they can let us know, too!