Barbara won an Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy for her work on Ironside in 1968. She left her as Officer Eve Whitfield after four seasons in 1971 to marry Don Burnett, a Scottish-born former actor and stockbroker. She returned to television in 1972 as Mimi Davis onMission Impossible.
The following is from a 1969 cast bio press release forIronside:
Emmy-Award winning actress Barbara Anderson's convincing portrayal of a sophisticated society girl, raised in the lap of luxury, is testimony to her skill at make-believe.
In real life, Brooklyn-born Barbara was the child of a Navy enlisted man and his wife. Her childhood, spent chiefly in Texas and Tennessee, was far from luxurious and she associates the time between dropping out of Memphis State University to pursue her career and her signing by Universal Studios more with peanut butter sandwiches than with caviar.
While still in school in Memphis, Barbara was voted "Miss Memphis" and missed by a half-vote being selected as "Miss Tennessee" for the "Miss America" contest. More meaningful in her eyes were the months she spent in experimental theater groups such as the Front Street Repertory Theater. Barbara decided to try California as the starting point for her professional career. She held dozens of temporary daytime jobs to pay her living expenses, working at night with the Los Angeles Art Theater.
In a Los Angeles production ofThe Rattle of a Simple Man, Barbara's performance as Cyrenne drew the attention of a major talent agency which arranged her contract with Universal Studios. Guest appearances onThe Virginian, The Road West, and Star Trek preceded her casting as Officer Eve Whitfield in Ironside. In her first season on the series she won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress.