Three times Emmy Award winning actress Barbara Bain, also known as Barbara Monker, is best recalled as Cinnamon Carter from the 1960’s hit series “Mission Impossible,” opposite Martin Landau. During her tenure on the show from 1966 to 1969, she won Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. After leaving the show, she rejoined Landau in the syndicated science fiction series “Space: 1999” (1975-1978), playing Dr. Helena Russell, and appeared in the TV films “Savage” (1973) and “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island” (1981). She also portrayed Dr. Helena Russell in four TV film sequels throughout the late 1970s to the early 1980s and in one direct to video installment in 2004. Bain also had a recurring role on “Richard Diamond: Private Detective” (1959) and appeared as a guest on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1963), “The Visitor” and “Diagnosis Murder” (both 1997) and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2006), to name a few. On the big screen, she has acted in several films, including “Mission Impossible vs. The Mob” (1968), “Trust Me” (1989), “The Spirit of 76” (1990, produced by her daughter Susan), “Animals with the Tollkeeper” (1998), “Bel Air” (2000), “Panic” (2000), “American Gun” (2002) and “Forget Me Not” (2009). Since the early 1980s, the lifetime member of the prestigious Actors Studio has worked extensively on the Los Angeles theater circuit, where she won the Los Angeles Critic's Circle and the DramaLogue Awards for her efforts.
Bain was married to Academy Award winning actor Martin Landau fro 1957 to 1993. They have two daughters, producer/writer/director Susan Landau and actress Juliet Landau. Commenting on her previous marriage to Landau, she said, “I had a long experience with marriage, half good and half not so good. So it's enough.”
Childhood and Family:
Barbara Bain was born Millicent Fogel on September 13, 1931, in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in a Jewish household and graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in sociology. She then moved to New York City where she studied dance with Martha Graham and worked as a fashion model before making the transformation to acting. Bain also studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York and at the renowned Actors Studio in Los Angeles under Lee Strasberg.
Meeting at The Actor's Studio, Barbara married Brooklyn-born actor Martin Landau (born on June 20, 1931) on January 31, 1957. They welcomed their first child, daughter Susan Meredith Landau, in 1960. Their second daughter, Juliet Rose Landau, was born on March 30, 1965. The couple divorced in 1993 after having been together 36 years.
“I was a quiet, introspective girl. I never dreamed I would become an actress. I was either going to teach or save the world. But after graduation, I had my heart set on a career as a dancer so I went to New York and enrolled in dancer Martha Graham's school. After a year, I discovered I wasn't as good as I wanted to be and consequently I got the only decent job I could find, modeling.” Barbara Bain
After a brief career as a dancer and model in New York City, Barbara Bain made her television acting debut in a 1958 episode of the Barry Sullivan short lived adventure show “Harbourmaster.” She went on to have one episode roles in “Mike Hammer,” “State Trooper,” “Mr. Lucky” and “Tightrope” and a five episodic arc in “Richard Diamond, Private Detective,” where she played Karen Wells (all 1959).
Throughout the 1960s, Bain appeared on “The Law and Mr. Jones,” “Adventures in Paradise,” “Straightaway,” “Hawaiian Eye,” “Empire,” “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” “The Lieutenant,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “Wagon Train,” “The Greatest Show on Earth,” “Ben Casey,” “Perry Mason,” “Vacation Playhouse,” “Get Smart,” “My Mother the Car” and “The Red Skelton Show.” She also made a memorable appearance as the ambitious former girlfriend, Dorothy, in a 1963 episode of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” called “Will You Two Be My Wife?”
Bain's big breakthrough arrived when she won the regular role of agent Cinnamon Carter in the CBS successful espionage series “Mission: Impossible,” which premiered on September 17, 1966, and aired until March 1973. Bain was nominated for a 1968 Golden Globe for Best TV Star - Female and received three back-to-back Emmys for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series in 1967, 1968 and 1969. Her then-husband Martin Landau also acted with her in the series as agent Rollin Hand (76 episodes, 1966-1969). They left “Mission: Impossible” about the same time over a contract conflict.
After “Mission: Impossible,” Bain made sporadic performances on the small screen. She supported John Forsythe in her TV movie debut, “Murder Once Removed” (1971), directed by Charles S. Dubin, played Susan Lakely in the ABC Movie of the Week “Goodnight, My Love” (1972), directed and written by Peter Hyams, and starred as Ellen Hailey in the ABC drama film “A Summer Without Boys” (1973). Also in 1973, she was reunited with her husband in the NBC thriller “Savage,” helmed by Steven Spielberg. Two years later, the two headlined the British syndicated science fiction series “Space: 1999.” The show ran from September 4, 1975, to May 7, 1978. She also reprised the role in the TV movie installments “Journey Through the Black Sun” (1976), “Alien Attack” (1976) and “Destination Moonbase-Alpha” (1978). Bain recalled, “Science Fiction was new turf for me. I'd read quite a bit of it, but I certainly wasn't a buff. The thing I loved about the concept was that we were not there because we wanted to be. The accident that thrust us out into Space was unexpected and whatever we encountered we had no way to cope with. We were ultimately homeless, looking for a place that would accommodate us and there was something quite romantic about that. The best scripts were the ones that kept to that.”
Making her feature film debut in “Mission Impossible vs. The Mob” (1968), Bain, who was then billed as Barbara Monker, resumed her film career after a long absence in the 1981 horror movie “Don't Go Near the Park,” directed and co-written by Lawrence D. Foldes. She quickly returned to television when she was reunited with Landau for the Peter Baldwin directed adventure film “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island” (NBC, 1981), where she portrayed Dr. Olga Schmetner. The following year, she appeared in the TV movie sequel “Cosmic Princess.”
In 1984, Bain made her stage debut in Eugene O'Neill's “Long Day's Journey Into Night” at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle. She has since been actively involved in the Los Angeles theater scene. Her work in such productions as Arthur Kopit's “Wings,” Samuel Beckett's “Happy Days” and Eugene Inonesco's “The Chairs” even garnered her the Los Angeles Critic's Circle and the DramaLogue Awards. Bain has also performed in Neil Simon's “Broadway Bound.”
Back in front of the camera, Bain made guest appearances in the TV series “The New Mike Hammer” (1984), “Moonlighting” (1985), “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” and “CBS Summer Playhouse” (both 1987). In 1989, she took the supporting role of Mary Casal in the comedy “Trust Me,” helmed by Robert Houston, and costarred with Chuck Connors in the drama “Skinheads,” directed by Greydon Clark. She next appeared in the Lucas Reiner directed comedy “The Spirit of 76” (1990), which was produced by her daughter Susan.
Bain next appeared as Ellen Lombard in the episode “Unauthorized Obituary” of “Murder, She Wrote” in 1991 and teamed up with Sam McMurray in the pilot of “Likely Suspects” in 1992. She resurfaced in 1994 when she guest starred in “My So-Called Life,” but disappeared again for a few of years until she made memorable performances in “The Visitor” and “Diagnosis Murder” (both 1997). Subsequent TV gigs include guest spots in “Walker, Texas Ranger” (1998) and “Millennium” (1999). In addition, Bain also appeared in the short films “Platform Six” (1997) and “Airtime” (1998), Alejandro Chomski's 1998 “Dry Martini” and Michael Di Jiacomo's film “Animals with the Tollkeeper” (1998), in which she played the heroine's mother. Costars of the latter film included Tim Roth, Mili Avital, Rod Steiger, Mickey Rooney and John Turturro. Bain closed out the decade with a supporting role in Claudia Hoover's “Gideon” (1999), which starred Christopher Lambert as Gideon Oliver Dobbs.
Entering the new millennium, Bain could be seen in the films “Bel Air” (2000), with Marc Coppola, Esteban Powell, Jennifer Rubin and Charles Fleischer, “Panic” (2000), opposite William H. Macy, John Ritter, Neve Campbell, Donald Sutherland and Tracey Ullman, and “American Gun” (2002), alongside James Coburn and Virginia Madsen. In 2003, she played Mrs. March in the “Strong Medicine” episode “Orders” and Judy Utermeyer in the made for TV film “Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales,” which was directed by and starred Tracey Ullman. She then reprised the role of Dr. Helena Russell in the direct to video sequel “Space: 1899” (2004).
After vanishing for nearly two years, Bain was cast in the TV thriller “Trapped,” starring Alexandra Paul, and guest starred as Mrs. Iris Paul in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (both 2006). She reappeared in 2008 in the direct to video thriller “Haunted Echoes,” with Sean Young, M. Emmet Walsh and David Starzyk, and provided the voice of Verdona in an episode of “Ben 10: Alien Force.” Recently, in 2009, Bain costarred with Miranda Kent, Samantha Lemole and Jean-Pierre Gillain in the comedy TV film “In the Mix” and was cast as a nun in Tyler Oliver's horror film “Forget Me Not.”
Bain will star with Tim DeKay in the movie “Political Disasters” (2009) for director/writer Zach Horton. She will also portray Catherine in “Nothing Special” (2010), which was written and directed by Angela Garcia Combs. On the small screen, Bain will portray Margaret in the mystery film “Ghost Writer” (2010), opposite Eileen Grubba, Carmen Argenziano, Kathryn Taylor and Brian Foyster.
Emmy: Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series, “Mission: Impossible,” 1969
Emmy: Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series, “Mission: Impossible,” 1968
Emmy: Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series, “Mission: Impossible,” 1967
Los Angeles Critic's Circle Award