Her siblings were named Maude, Mable, Mildred ("Millie"), and Malcolm Byron ("Bert") Stevens. Her parents were Byron and Catherine McGee Stevens.
Her son, Dion Anthony "Tony" Fay, was born in February 1932. He was adopted on December 5, 1932.
Her stage name was inspired by a theatrical poster that read "Jane Stanwyck in 'Barbara Frietchie.'".
Her stormy marriage to Frank Fay finally ended after a drunken brawl, during which he tossed their adopted son, Dion, into the swimming pool. Despite rumours of affairs with Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford, Stanwyck wed Robert Taylor, who had gay rumours of his own to dispel. Their marriage started off on a sour note when his possessive mother demanded he spend his wedding night with her rather than with Barbara.
Her wicked turn as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity (1944) was ranked #8 on the American Film Institute's "100 Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains" list.
In 1944, when she earned $400,000, the government listed her as the nation's highest-paid woman.
In 1957 Tony, her adopted son, was arrested for trying to sell lewd pictures while waiting to cash his unemployment check. When questioned by the press about his famous mother, he replied, "We don't speak." She saw him only a few times after his childhood.
In 1981 she was beaten and robbed in her bedroom by an intruder who woke her up at 1:00 in the morning.
In 1985, her house was destroyed in a fire. She was upset to lose all of Robert Taylor's love letters.
In February 1955 she was mentioned to be one of the female stars of Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) but she never made the film.
In Italy, almost all of her films were dubbed by Lidia Simoneschi. She was occasionally dubbed by Tina Lattanzi and Marcella Rovena. As Leona Stevenson in Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), she was dubbed by Andreina Pagnani. This was the only time the Italian actress lent her voice to Stanwyck.
In the early 1950s, made a television commercial for Lustre Creme shampoo.
Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1973.
Lived near Joan Crawford during her marriage to Frank Fay. According to Christina Crawford, Barbara scaled a fence on their property and stayed with the Crawfords for several days.
Measurements: 33 1/4-23-33 1/2 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).
Often called "The Best Actress Who Never Won an Oscar."
Profiled in "Back in the Saddle: Essays on Western Film and Television Actors", Gary Yoggy, ed. (McFarland, 1998).
Profiled in "Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames" bu Ray Hagen and Laura Wagner (McFarland, 2004).