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Second Act

Barbara Barrie's life with a colostomy and other adventures.


Title Second Act
Author Barbara Barrie
Page Count 256


Publish Date September 5, 1997
Publisher Scribner

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This irreverently humorous book describes Barbara Barrie's 30-year experience first with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and later with carcinoma of the rectum. Despite significant symptoms, Barrie denied her illness for so long that she developed a large tumor. In April 1994, when Barbara was in her early 60s, she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Ten months after her first surgery at Columbia Presbyterian, another surgeon at New York Hospital performed a second, successful colostomy. At this same time, she underwent chemotherapy and radiation, she rehearsed and appeared in a play, and appeared on the TV sitcom Suddenly Susan. Through it all, Barbara insisted on her privacy, so few people in her business and personal life knew what she was enduring. Then, a humiliating accident on a Manhattan bus inspired Barrie to go public with her story. She bares her soul and her body with considerable panache. Even the details of how to care for a colostomy and perform the necessary daily irrigation are told with frankness and good humor.

Book Review: Barbara Barrie recounts the struggle with rectal cancer amid her blossoming Hollywood career

Barbara Barrie is an Academy Award-nominated actress, author, and was nominated for both an Emmy and a Tony during her successful career. Her most notable works are Breaking Away, Barney Miller, NBC’s hit comedy Suddenly Susan. Barbara is retired and currently lives in New York City.