Claudia Barrett, ‘Robot Monster’ femme fatale, dead at 91

Claudia Barrett, best known for her role as Alice in the 1953 sci-fi “Robot Monster,” has died at 91.

Barrett’s family announced the actress passed away of natural causes at her Palm Desert, California, home on April 30.

Born in Los Angeles in 1929, she began to act at the Encino Theatre and study at Pasadena Community Playhouse following her high school graduation. Barrett then went on to focus on television roles, including “77 Sunset Strip,” “Death Valley Days” and “The Roy Rogers Show,” along with a variety of programming.

Barrett continued a steady career by acquiring several film roles, including the cult classic, “Robot Monster.”

A low-budget, sci-fi 3D film, “Robot Monster” has become one of Barrett’s most notorious roles, along with being crowned “one of the worst films of all time.” Given the era, the film’s quick production and technical abilities have been praised, although, it still remains most well-known for its campiness and cult audience.

Claudia Barrett alongside her "Robot Monster" co-stars George Nader and John Mylong.
Claudia Barrett alongside her “Robot Monster” co-stars George Nader and John Mylong.
Courtesy Everett Collection

“Robot Monster” follows the story of an alien robot villain, named Ro-Man, who has taken an affinity with Alice. The actress was adored her whole life by fans of the cult film and continued to receive fan mail. Regardless of the film’s poor reception, Barrett remained loyal to the film and production.

“When you decide to make a movie, the decision is made for various reasons: money, fame, or working with a particular star or director. I just wanted to act. I was a professional actress for 14 years, and I really loved the business. An ‘Robot Monster’ was a movie I enjoyed making”

— Claudia Barrett, “Screen Sirens Scream!”

Barrett used her show business knowledge off-screen, too, eventually switching gears from acting to publicity and distribution. In 1981, she became an employee for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the department that recognizes and awards films for their scientific and technical advancement — and spearheads the glitzy annual Oscars ceremony.

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