Barbara Van Orden has had a multifaceted career.
Barbara Van Orden has had a multifaceted career, which began as a model in NY.
She has continuously reinvented herself over the years, as a model, comedienne, actor, author,
marketing strategist, speaker and producer.
However, Van Orden’s career was abruptly interrupted in 1982 when she experienced a devastating
accident that resulted in many surgeries and years of rehabilitation. Barbara, while crossing the street
was hit by an epliletic driver. Her severe injuries involved 12 breaks in her right leg, five breaks in the left,
internal bleeding, crushed back, broken ribs, a fractured disc in her neck and a three & four inch
gashes in her skull both back and front. After years of therapy and intricate surgeries at UCLA hospital,
she spent 3 years at UCLA’s rehab, 5 days a weeks and many hours a day learning how to walk again.
Before the accident she was a model representing glamour products. A career at the top came to a crash.
Barbara today is a walking miracle, to look at her one would not know what she has been through
and how bad her injuries were.
Her singing career began in the Catskill Mountains in NY at Grossinger’s Hotel, opening for many of the greats.
She went on to perform at some of the Playboy Clubs sharing the stage, opening for talents as Morey Amsterdam,
Soupy Sales and others. Barbara was invited to perform in Vegas where she was introduced to Frank Sinatra.
She was thrilled when he asked her if she would do a club date and open for him
in the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York.
Since her accident in 1982, through her determination, she has gone on to continue
in the entertainment industry.
SEE PHOTOS and ARTICLES FROM THE PLAYBOY CLUB PERFORMANCE HERE.
Barbara had a personal management company in Century City in LA representing writers, producers and directors.
She sold her management company in order to devote her energies to film producing and packaging.
Barbara and husband Stephen Heilpern, producer of numerous television series were asked by Universal Studios
to form their own production company, CINEQUEST, and locate onto the Universal Lot.
Ms. Van Orden wrote and produced the highly acclaimed An Evening with Jacques-Yves Cousteau and
Jean-Michel Cousteau, a special event for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
SEE A PHOTO OF BARBARA WITH JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU & JACQUES COUSTEAU
Barbara has also produced several special events for The American Film Institute Associates.
When Barbara was asked to be Ambassador of special events for the Rady School of Mangagement,
UC, San Diego, Barbara wrote and produced “The Pinnacle of Excellence Awards” honoring
Ernest L. Rady, Director, Wachovia Corporation & Founder of American Assets,
Anne R. Nelson, VP of Business Affairs, CBS Entertainment & Ira Rubenstein, Executive Vice President
of Sony Pictures Digital. The “Entertainment Leadership Award” was given to THE KING OF QUEENS,
Sony Pictures Television, CBS Productions, Inc. Paramount Network Television and COLD CASE, Jerry Bruckheimer
Production, in association with Warner Bros. Production & CBS Productions, Inc.
Barbara was also asked to be Vice President of Special Events for Los Angeles Biomedical Institute
at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center’s Child Abuse Crisis Center. She wrote and produced
“HEALING CHILDREN THROUGH MEDICINE & THE ARTS”, honoring, Sharon Morrill, President of
Disneytoon Studios, Jeff Robinov, President of Productions, Warner Bros. Pictures and the
NBC’s Peabody Award winning drama THIRD WATCH.
Barbara was the event consultant and program producer of The Discovery Gala, Bring Discovery
to Life, honoring the CBS Television Drama Series CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION
and the ABC/Touchstone Television Drama Series, GREY’S ANATOMY.
One of Barbara’s special production events as Executive Director, Western Region for
The Schepens Eye Research Institute an affiliate of Harvard Medical School was “WE SEE EYE TO EYE”
for which she wrote and produced the event which honored the CBS Television Network
and The Schepens Institute, both for their vision for the future.
These are just a few of the many special events that Ms. Van Orden has
written and produced throughout her career.
Over the years she has been a guest speaker before many professional business groups.
She has also written a monthly column for newspapers and magazines. Ms. Van Orden and partner,
Sheldon Rosenthal MD, co-hosted a weekly talk show for several years which
mixed health and wellness with business and career life.
READ MORE ABOUT THE KIEV 870 RADIO PROGRAM
To give back to the many that inspired Barbara throughout her career, along with Michael Sterling,
she is sponsor and Co-Executive Producer of LA’S NEXT GREAT STAGE STAR,
which is giving undiscovered young talent, ages
18 – 32 years old, their start. Much of that talent has gone on to the NY Broadway stages,
production shows in Las Vegas, the Disney stages and dinner theatres across the country.
2016 will be the exciting 10th anniversary of LA ‘S NEXT GREAT STAGE STAR.
In 2009 Barbara was back on the boards performing her one-woman cabaret show,
which she still performs to great reviews by critics and audiences alike.
Barbara has two books regarding the entertainment industry in the works.
Yes, Barbara Van Orden, a survivor, performer, writer, producer is an inspiration to
many in and out of the Entertainment Industry.
THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MOTION PICTURE COUNCIL PRESENTED BARBARA
THE GOLDEN HALO LIFETIME
ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION
TO THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.
Barbara Van Orden co-produced the talent competition Senior Star Search.
It is the only show of its kind featuring mature adults showing the world that at over 55 years young
one is still vital, productive, creative, energetic and above all, entertaining!
Competition finals were held on July 12, 2016 at The Barnsdall Gallery Theatre,
4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027.