Barbara Leonard

born: circa 1900
Parkersburg (?), West Virginia,
United States of America
died: 02 July 1971
Orange, California,
United States of America
(age ?)

American actress. On April 1, 1935 she was discovered by her 16 year-old son (Phillip DeBarros, b. 22 Aug 1919, Parkersburg, West Virginia) in a closet in her Hollywood home after she had been beaten and robbed by two men posing as door-to-door salesmen. [source link below]
Her father, Charles Anderson (b New York), owned a furniture manufacturing business in New York City with her mother, Dolores 'Dolly' Anderson (b West Virginia). In 1913, they went to Europe on business, taking daughter Violet with them so she could study music and languages. Because of WWI, they "got stuck there", ending up living in Berne, Switzerland, waiting for the war to end. They applied for passports in Switzerland a few times and had difficulties. The Dad was "rumored" to have conducted some "shady dealings". In December 1916, Violet was offered a job with the Broglio Silentium Film Co. in Milan, Italy. She was still unmarried and may have married Brazilian, ARMANDO FLEURY-DeBARROS before going back to NYC with her parents. In the 1920 Census (NYC), ARMANDO is working as a salesman for his father-in-law's furniture manufacturing business with VIOLET and their 4-month-old son, Phillip.
On November 18, 1925 in Hamilton Co., Ohio (Cincinnati) she married JEAN KAHN, a piano teacher and "swore" that "she had never been married and had no living husband"! He used (or changed) the name JEAN LEONARD and ended up in California after 1925 and remained married until his death in 1955.
ARMANDO DeBARROS ended up in Los Angeles, too. By 1934, he was the Brazilian vice-consul in LA and by 1938, full consul.
There is one source that lists her real name as Barbara Anderson, and gives a birthdate of January 9, 1908.
Real name: Violet Anderson
Height: 5'2½"
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


Leaping Love
Barbara Harrison, daughter

Jim Jarvis (bio notes and research)

This page was last updated on: 28 October 2022