Barbara Niven Biography

Barbara Niven, an American actor and producer, is best known for her roles in the feature film ‘A Perfect Ending’ and the TV film ‘The Rat Pack.’ Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Barbara’s passion for acting began in her teenage years after training at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. She made her screen acting debut in the 1986 TV film ‘Promise’ and went on to appear in various TV series and films throughout the 1990s. It was her supporting role in the soap opera ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ in 1996 that propelled her to success in the industry. Barbara has received critical acclaim for her role in the 2012 independent film ‘A Perfect Ending.’

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Barbara Lee Bucholz
  • Age: 70 Years, 70 Year Old Females
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: David Niven (m. 1993–1998)
    • Children: Jessica Niven
  • Occupation: Writers, Actresses
  • Height: 5’5″ (165 cm), 5’5″ Females
  • U.S. State: Oregon
  • City: Portland, Oregon

Childhood & Early Life

Barbara Niven, born Barbara Lee Buholz on February 26, 1953, in Portland, Oregon, US, grew up with a sister in Portland. During her childhood, Barbara was focused on her academics and was an exceptional student. She was so serious about her education that she fell sick quite a few times due to it. In one instance, she worked on so much extra credit homework that she ended up getting a migraine and was subsequently spared from having to do homework for the rest of the year. She also developed an eating disorder during her teenage years to keep herself in good shape.


After graduating high school, Barbara got married and settled down without any particular career aspirations. However, by her mid-20s, she became sure that acting was something she was really interested in. She received an invitation to her high school reunion party and was asked if she was on the right track for her dreams to be fulfilled. Realizing that she had done nothing significant in her life, Barbara decided to pursue acting. She got a reporting job, read many books about acting, and enrolled at the acting school ‘Beverly Hills Playhouse.’ In the mid-1980s, she started auditioning for TV and film roles.

Barbara’s acting career began in 1986 with a supporting role in the ‘Hallmark’ TV film ‘Promise.’ Although she auditioned for more roles, she did not earn any significant roles for the next few years. She made a comeback in 1989 with a guest role in a single episode of the series ‘My Two Dads.’ In 1990, she appeared in two low-budget action films, ‘Hired to Kill’ and ‘Fatal Encounter,’ both of which failed to gain attention from audiences or critics.

Despite facing some setbacks, Barbara’s career took off in 1996. She starred in two big films, ‘Foxfire’ and ‘Forest Warrior,’ and gained recognition for her recurring role as ‘Brenda Dickerson’ in the soap opera ‘The Bold and the Beautiful.’ She became a soap opera favorite and appeared in another daily soap titled ‘Pacific Palisades.’ In 1998, she portrayed Marilyn Monroe in the ‘HBO’ TV film ‘The Rat Pack,’ which remains one of the highlights of her career in the 1990s. She also appeared in the critically acclaimed series ‘Pensacola: Wings of Gold’ as series regular ‘Kate.’

Despite these successes, Barbara did not achieve a highly successful acting career. In the mid-2000s, she turned to doing TV films and continued to appear in guest roles in series. In 2012, she received critical acclaim for her portrayal of a troubled wife in the independent LGBT film ‘A Perfect Ending.’ She has since appeared in TV films such as ‘A Christmas Detour’ and ‘Christmas in Evergreen.’ Barbara has also produced films like ‘A Perfect Ending’ and ‘Hamlet’s Ghost.’

Family & Personal Life

Barbara Niven has been married and divorced multiple times. She married Ronald Garrison in 1974 and had a daughter named Jessica with him. The couple divorced shortly after. She then married David Alexander in 1985, but their marriage also ended in divorce. In 1993, she married David Niven Jr., but they divorced in 1998. Barbara runs her own website where she interacts with her fans and holds both US and Canadian citizenships.

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