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Barbara Trentham


1944 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
Barbara Trentham Obituary
Artist, Barbara Trentham, 68, died August 2, 2013, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The cause was complications of leukemia. Barbara was born August 27, 1944, in Brooklyn, NY. She moved to Weston, CT, as a child and graduated from Staples High School in Westport, CT, in 1962. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1966 and moved to England that year to study art at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at the University of Oxford. She married Giles Trentham in 1967. The marriage ended in divorce in 1970. Barbara worked as a model in London during the early 1970s. Her photograph appeared on the cover of the English edition of Vogue Magazine and other magazines numerous times. She also had supporting roles in several movies, including The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972) with Shirley MacLaine, Rollerball (1975), with James Caan, Sky Riders (1976) with James Coburn and Robert Culp, and a made for TV movie, Death Moon (1978). In the mid 1970s she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Deciding that she wasn't an actress, Barbara worked in television in Los Angeles as a reporter and a producer of Those Amazing Animals until 1980, when she met and married British comedian and writer John Cleese and moved back to London. That marriage produced a daughter, Camilla Cleese, and ended in divorce in 1990. Shortly before, she had begun to focus again on her lifelong interest, oil painting. In 1993, she moved to Chicago, where she met George Covington, a lawyer. The two were married in 1998 and lived in Lake Bluff, IL. Barbara built an art studio at their home which became a gathering place and a source of inspiration for local artists. She co-founded a local artist organization, Artists on the Bluff. In about 2003 she began spending a substantial part of each year in Jackson Hole, WY, where the western landscape inspired her art. She became active in the Art Association of Jackson Hole and organized and led events at the Association's art fairs. She was represented at various times in Jackson by Center Street Gallery, Lindsay McCandless Contemporary, and Willow Creek Home Furnishings. She is survived by her husband, George Covington, her daughter Camilla Cleese, her brother Robert Schilling, and her nephew Alex Schilling, as well as four step daughters, Karen Covington, Jean Covington, Sarah Covington, and Cynthia Cleese. A celebration of her life will be held at a time and place to be determined. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to the Art Association of Jackson Hole (Barbara Trentham Fund), PO Box 1248, Jackson, WY 83001. For information, contact Wenban Funeral Home, Lake Forest, IL - 847-234-0022 or www.wenbanfh.com.
Published in Chicago Tribune on Aug. 11, 2013
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