Judith O’Dea is an American actress known for her role as Barbra in the George A. Romero film horror classic Night of the Living Dead (1968). Originally from Pittsburgh, she moved to Hollywood to pursue her acting career. Just as she settled into her new home, Producer Karl Hardman called her about a new film project he was working on, and the rest is history.
In addition to her best-known role, O’Dea has acted in theatre, television and radio over the last 35 years and has performed in such horror genre films as Serial Slayer, Claustrophobia, and Evil Deeds. She also appeared in The Pirate, November Son, The Ocean, October Moon and Women’s Studies.
Besides her acting career, O’Dea owns and operates O’Dea Communications. Drawing on her extensive entertainment experience, her firm deals in oral communications workshops, seminars and training for on-camera, professional and non-professional speakers across the country.
Over three decades after its release, George Romero’s low-budget, stomach-churning classic is still one of the greatest indie horror films ever made. Directed by Romero in 1968, Night of the Living Dead is an independent black-and-white zombie film. Ben (Duane Jones) and Barbra (Judith O’Dea) are the protagonists of a story about the mysterious reanimation of the recently dead, and their efforts, along with five other people, to survive the night while trapped in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse.