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  • Barbara Mullen was an American actress well known in the UK for playing the part of Janet, the housekeeper, in Dr Finlay's Casebook. Although the role of Janet brought her fame in later years, she had already made her mark in the theatre. Mullen's parents, Pat and Bridget, were from a fishing family on Inishmore island off the coast of Co. Clare, Ireland. The family had emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, where Mullen was born. She made her stage debut as a dancer at the age of three. When her father returned to Aran, becoming famous as the 'Man of Aran', in the classic documentary film by Robert J. Flaherty, her mother stayed in America to raise the ten children. Mullen sang and danced in various theatres all over America, before crossing the Atlantic in 1934, and training at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. She wrote her autobiography, Life is my Adventure, at 24. A year later she made her London debut, acting the title role in the London West End production of Jeannie, a comedy about a Scottish girl taking a European holiday after coming into money. She became an overnight star.

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