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Don Barry

Real name: Milton Poimboeuf

In search of Don Barry in the census, marriage records, trades, etc.

(From Old Corral collection)
Above - Peggy Stewart

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a blurb about Barry's marriage to Republic heroine Peggy Stewart, and director Georgie Sherman was their best man. From the pressbook for Barry's THE PHANTOM COWBOY (Republic, 1941) which was released in early 1941. The pairing was short-lived and trade publications had coverage:

  • September 11, 1940 Variety had a marriage announcement: "Peggy Stewart to Donald Barry, in Glendale, Cal., Sept. 7 (1940)."
  • November 24, 1943 Variety had a birth announcement: "Mr. and Mrs. Don Barry, son, Hollywood, Nov. 18 (1943). Father is cowboy star at Republic; mother was Peggy Stewart of the films."
  • May 27, 1944 Billboard had the divorce announcement: "Peggy Stewart, actress from Donald Barry, cowboy actor, in Hollywood April 12 (1944)."

Don Barry ... the Poimbouef, Acosta and Dugas Families ... and the 1965 Family reunion.

(Courtesy of Homer & Ken Dupuy)

The above photo is from the September, 1965 family reunion in Louisiana. Don Barry is front center with the blue suit and tie, and has his arm around Mitchell Dugas, son of Theresa Acosta Dugas and Alcee Dugas (crop and blowup below left). Theresa's sister Regina Acosta was the grandmother of Don Barry. Regina Acostas' married name was Regina Acosta Poimboeuf.

In the photo below right, 'Boone' Dugas is on the left patting Don on the back while Barry has his arm around Wallace Broussard.

Mitchell Dugas and Don

(Courtesy of Homer & Ken Dupuy)

Special thanks to the brothers Ken and Homer Dupuy for these great photos and information on their relative, Don 'Red' Barry. Following are a variety of tidbits, photos and family tree information which have been consolidated from several Homer and Ken e-mails that were received in the Fall of 2003. Ken provided the photos and ALVAREZ KELLY material, and Homer (who missed the September, 1965 family reunion because he was in the Navy) furnished the family background and history.

The film ALVAREZ KELLY was filmed north of Baton Rouge in 1965, and starred William Holden and Richard Widmark. Our distant cousin, Don 'Red' Barry, had a supporting role, and our uncle, 'Boone' Dugas was given a role as an extra in the movie. On the day that I took some photos they were shooting the same scene over, several times. There were many extras, and Don Barry and Harry Carey, Jr. were there also, with little or no involvement in the shooting. It was interesting to see William Holden get sprayed on his back and under his arms to give the impression that he had been sweating. There was little or no interaction between the stars, once the scene was shot, if I recall correctly. I was too star struck to approach Holden or Widmark, and no one else seemed to be doing so. Therefore, I simply shot from a distance without a zoom lens. Such an attachment would have been great, but I made do with my Agfa.

I was always told that Don Barry's real name was Milton Poimboeuf. My Mom's Grandmother (Theresa Acosta) and Don's Grandmother (Regina Acosta) were sisters. Family members who knew and visited Don in California said that this is correct. I have included family photos that were taken while Don was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana filming ALVAREZ KELLY. Don came to Scott, Louisiana where he met with many long lost relatives.

(Courtesy of Homer & Ken Dupuy)

Above - September 29, 1965 newspaper article on the family reunion which was held the previous Sunday.

Don Barry ... and the Family Tree

Narcisse Bernard Acosta (born: August 20, 1837) and Marie Pamela Domingue (born: May 3, 1845) were married May 24, 1865 and had three children who lived: Therese Josephine Acosta (born: March 18, 1866), Marie Regina Acosta (born: May 29, 1867) and Marcis Raimond Blaze Acosta (born: February 3, 1869).

Narcisse Bernard Acosta died November 30, 1868 at the age of 30 after being married just over 3 years. Pamela married Narcisse's third cousin Julian Acosta. They had 11 Children, 3 who lived to adults, Eva, Adam, and George. When Pamela divorced Julian she moved to Morgan City, LA with her children from the second marriage. Julian remarried and had another family with his new wife. Later, Pamela left Morgan City, LA and moved to Houston, Texas where Eva and Regina were living.

Marie Regina Acosta is the grandmother of Don 'Red' Barry.
Theresa Acosta

Therese Josephine Acosta married Alcee Dugas and they had 14 children, 11 who lived to adulthood.

This is how the Dugas connection came about.

Two of Theresa's children are in the family group picture with Don at the top of the page. You see Mitchell with Don and there is Mrs. Cecile (Dugas) Bonin who is also in the picture.
Marie Regina Acosta
Grandmother of Don 'Red' Barry

Marie Regina Acosta (born: May 29, 1867) married Jules Francois Poimboeuf (born: July 19, 1864) on April 23, 1885 and they are the grandparents of Donald 'Red' Barry. Regina Acosta and Jules Poimboeuf had 6 children:

(1) Louis Leonce "Leon" Poimboeuf (born May 15, 1887; died October 11, 1936) (Don Barry's father - see obituary below)
(2) Julius Joseph Poinboeuf (born: May 16, 1893; died April 10, 1971)
(3) Louise Poimboeuf (born: February 23, 1889); married Frank Wilkins
(4) Auguste "Gus" Joseph Poimboeuf (born: March 19, 1891); married Belle Julian; married twice
(5) Lillie Anne Poimboeuf (born: October 14, 1896); married George Nickalis
(6) Joseph Luis Poimboeuf (born: February 3, 1886, died: March 12, 1886 at age 1 month)
Homer contacted two of Mitchell Dugas' sons and they both are almost positive that the father of Don Barry was Leonce Poimboeuf. Mitchell Dugas was 7 or 8 when Don was born, and one of his sons told Homer that his dad used to tell him how he would carry Don on his shoulders when Don was young.

In summary, is Don 'Red' Barry's real name Milton Poimboeuf? We'll learn more as new information is uncovered. The generally accepted real name for Barry is Donald Michael Barry DeAcosta, and that name is on Barry's grave marker (Find A Grave link below). However, the last name of "DeAcosta" appears to be incorrect.

Looks like Barry adapted/modified the surname of his grandmother, Regina Acosta Poimboeuf.

The California Death Index has a record for Donald Michael Barry, born 1/11/1911 in Texas, his Mother's maiden name was Barry, Father's name is not listed, and he passed away on 7/17/1980. There is also a record in the Social Security Death Index, and that shows his birth date as January 11, 1910:

Find A Grave website has a picture of the grave marker for Donald Michael Barry DeAcosta at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California:

March, 2004 update from Homer Dupuy:

"I spoke with a Granddaughter of Louise Poimboeuf, but she was unable to answer the question of Don's parents. She is in her 70's and like she said all of the old timers who knew the answers are no longer with us. She said she did visit Don in California when he was in his prime. She said when Don would come to Louisiana they would go to Houston to visit Lillie Anne Poimboeuf. I'm working to find someone who has access to records from Texas. I'll keep you informed of any information that I uncover." A geneology researcher friend was able to find 1910 Houston, Texas census records on Regina: Regina Poimbouef (age 41, born in LA); living with her were her children: Leon, 23, Gus, 19, Julius, 16, and Lillie, 13.

May, 2004 update from Homer Dupuy who credits friend Anna Marie Hayes with discovering lots of additional info on the Poimboeuf genealogy. Two bits of info relate to our search for Don Barry:

Obituary from the Houston POST, 13 OCT 1936, sec. 2, page 8:
POIMBOUEF---Louis Leonce Poimbouef, 50, of 1602 [?] Brooks, died at midnight Sunday in a hospital. He had been a resident of Houston for 50 years. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Louis Leonce Poimbouef of Houston; three daughters, Mrs. Ruth King of Houston, Mrs. Juanita Sands of Corpus Christi, Miss Janet Poimbouef of Houston, one son, Milton Poimbouef of Hollywood, Cal; one sister, Mrs. George Nicholas of Houston; two brothers, Julius Poimbouef of Weslaco and J. A. Poimbouef of Mexia; four stepchildren and three grandchildren. Services will be held at the Fogle-West chapel at 4 p. m. Tuesday with Rev. D. L. Griffith officiating. Burial will be in the Forest Park cemetery. Active pallbearers: Hugh Booker, J. Gaber, William J. Goode, J. C. Pullen, J. E. Bock and O. R. Spencer. Fogle-West company directing.

Anne Marie writes about census data:
"I finally found Milton in 1920. He was listed as Milton PINEBLUFF. He was age 10 (making him born in 1909 or 1910). He was living with his adopted father, John B. FANE(?) (not sure of this last name....bad copy) and Virginia, age 50, b. LA (who might be Regina ACOSTA, ex-wife of Julian POINBOUEF (sic)." Later in her report, Anne Marie notes that it is not John B. FANE, but FAAE.

Family Search had the 1920 census summary and census takers worksheet - they list him as Milton Pinebluff [sic], about 10 years old, and the adopted son of John B. Fare and wife Virginia and living in Houston, Harris County, Texas:
Find A Grave website has Louis Leonce 'Frenchie' Poimbouef (1886-1936) interred at Forest Park Cemetery, Houston, Texas:

David Delhomme e-mailed in early 2007:

"I have some information concerning Don Red Barry that might be helpful. My mother was Laura Grace Poimboeuf and her father was Arthur Poimboeuf of Lafayette, Louisiana. Even when I was a young boy, I often heard her speak of Milton Poimboeuf, who had made it big in Hollywood and was a movie star. All I can remember now is that they said he was our cousin and as far a cousins go, 1st, 2nd and so on ... that can go a long way. It was just common knowlwdge in the family."

In June, 2009, Linda Poinboeuf Denyer sent me an e-mail:

"I am writing about an error on your web page about Donald Barry. Don was my first cousin. His father (Leonce) and my dad, Julius Joseph Poinboeuf, were brothers. The information you have about my dad is incorrect. He was born on May 16, 1893, however he died on April 10, 1971 in Cameron County, Texas. I don't know where you got the date of his death as shown on the website. He was reported as being dead in 1918. He was stationed on the USS San Diego when it exploded in New York harbor, however he was one of the many who were ill with influenza and was in the hospital in Portsmouth. Even his family was incorrectly told of his death. Imagine their surprise when he came home to them. By the way, Don's real name was Milton Poimboeuf, and his dad was Leonce. Our fathers were the first generation to be born in the U.S. Our grandfather, Jules, was from France. Our grandmother, Regina Acosta, was from Barcelona, Spain. The name is spelled Poimboeuf in France and by most of my relatives in the U.S., but according to my dad he changed the spelling to Poinboeuf. He was born in Lafayette, Louisiana. When I was a youngster in Texas, he (Don Barry) brought a USO tour group to our home and my mom cooked for all of them. What a wonderful treat."

Homer Dupuy and Woody Hebert provided a 2010 update with corrections on the descendants of Narcisse Bernard Acosta:

"Here is information on the Acosta descendents beginning with the first arrivals. This family - Antonio Acosta, his wife and six children (a total of 292 passengers) embarked on the Polacre LA VICTORIA, commanded by Captain Andres Orange, at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, on October 22, 1778 and sailed directly to New Orleans, LA arriving on January 14, 1779. The family settled in the area of Donaldsonville and Plattenville, LA. where Narcisse Bernard was born in 1837 but by 1865 he was here in Lafayette where he married Pamela Domingue. The Domingue family had also immigrated from the Canary Islands."

Charles Burwell e-mailed in July, 2018:

"... wondering about something my dad told me about him. My dad was born the same year as Don, 1911 and told me that he attended (elementary school?) with him here in Houston, Texas. When I was a young boy (late 50s-60s) Dad told me that Don's real name was Milton Poinbouef."

Narcisse Bernard ACOSTA married Marie Pamela DOMINGUE:

Narcisse Bernard ACOSTA
     born: August 20, 1837 in Donaldsonville, LA
     Baptism: August 31, 1837 Donaldsonville, LA
     died: November 30, 1868 in Lafayette Church at age 30 yrs
     Succession: March 25, 1867 Succ. # 1201 Lafayette Ct Hse

Marie Pamela DOMINGUE
     born: May 03, 1845 in Lafayette Church
     married: May 24, 1865 in Lafayette Church

Their daughter, Marie Regina ACOSTA, married Jules Francois POIMBOEUF:

Marie Regina ACOSTA born: May 29, 1867 in Lafayette Church (Grandmother of Don Barry)

Jules Francois POIMBOEUF
     born: July 19, 1864 in Lafayette Church
     Emancepation: April 16, 1885
     married: April 23, 1885 in Lafayette Church
     Father: Francois Augustin POIMBOEUF
     Mother: Cleonise (Leonise) MONTET
     Succ. # 1737 Lafayette Ct Hse

Children of Marie Regina ACOSTA and Jules Francois POIMBOEUF:

     born: February 03, 1886 in Lafayette Church
     died: March 12, 1886 in Lafayette Church at age 1 month
Leonce POIMBOEUF born: May 15, 1887 in Lafayette Church (Father of Don Barry)
Louise POIMBOEUF born: February 23, 1889 in Lafayette Church
Auguste Joseph POIMBOEUF born: March 19, 1891 in Lafayette Church
Jules POIMBOEUF born: May 16, 1893 in Lafayette Church
Lillie Anne POIMBOEUF born: October 14, 1896 in Lafayette Church

(Courtesy of Homer & Ken Dupuy)

Don Barry on the ALVAREZ KELLY set. From left to right, the names on the chairs read Don Barry, William Holden, Richard Widmark.

(Courtesy of Homer & Ken Dupuy)
Ken's uncle, E. J. 'Boone' Dugas (Barry's cousin) and Don on the ALVAREZ KELLY set.

Ken Dupuy and Barry on the ALVAREZ KELLY shoot.
(Courtesy of Homer & Ken Dupuy)

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