Barcroft, Judith, 1942-
- Existence: 1942
Judith Lawrence Williams was born on July 6, 1942, in Washington, D.C., to Rev. James Lawrence Basil Williams and Jean McCardell Williams. She has one brother, Ian Williams. Judith’s family traveled often for her father’s work as an Episcopal priest. She attended elementary school in Alexandria, Virginia, before moving to Germany for one year and attending the American School on the Rhine in Godesberg, Germany, for sixth grade. She returned to Millwood, Virginia, for seventh grade, before attending the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. for eighth through tenth grade. In 1958, her family moved from Virginia to Oklahoma, and Judith transferred to St. Mary’s Hall in Faribault, Minnesota for eleventh and twelfth grade. In the summer of 1959, Judith attended Perry-Mansfield School of Theater and Dance in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. During her years at the National Cathedral School and St. Mary’s Hall, Barcroft acted in several school play productions.
Upon graduating from St. Mary’s Hall in 1960, Judith attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. After two years, she transferred to Northwestern University, where she studied acting with Alvina Krause and poetry with Stephen Spender. She graduated with a B.S. degree in speech in 1964.
After graduating from Northwestern, Judith moved to New York City. Her first week living in New York, she booked a job touring the United States with Never Too Late. She then changed her name from Judith Williams to Judith Barcroft because there was already a Judith Williams in the Actors Equity Association, the union representing those who work in live theatrical performance. Her first Broadway play was Mating Dance in 1965, followed by Dinner at Eight in 1966. Barcroft also inaugurated her role as Lenore Moore on the NBC soap opera Another World in 1966.
In 1968, Barcroft joined the cast of the Broadway play Plaza Suite. During her time in Plaza Suite, Barcroft met her husband, Wisner M. Washam, who was production stage manager for the show. They married on June 15, 1969, at St. Thomas Church in New York City. On April 19, 1971, Barcroft and Washam’s first child, Ian Miller Washam, was born. The same year, Barcroft joined the cast of the ABC soap opera All My Children, playing the character Ann Tyler. Washam later became head writer of that show, for which he won three Emmys. Ian Washam also appeared on All My Children as Little Phillip in 1974.
On April 8, 1974, Barcroft and Washam’s second Child, Amy Lawrence Washam was born. In 1977, Barcroft left All My Children and returned to Broadway, where she appeared in All God’s Chillun Got Wings, Shimada, and Betrayal, as well as The Elephant Man alongside David Bowie. She later briefly returned to soap operas for the role of Barbara Wilde in Ryan’s Hope from 1981 to 1982, as well as appearing in a few episodes of As the World Turns between 1978 and 1984.
Between her acting assignments, Barcroft attended the Art Students League of New York. She served on the board for three years as the women’s vice-president and won a merit scholarship with free tuition for one year. She began showing and selling her artwork in 1987. Her artwork explores styles of expressionism and fauvism. She has studied art at the Borghese Gallery in Rome, and she started the Christian Artists Guild in New York.
Starting in 1989, Barcroft has been more actively involved in Episcopal Church ministries and other religious work. In 1998, after her father’s death, she became a Stephen Minister, chalice bearer, and lector. She also studied clinical pastoral care and taught art therapy to teenagers in drug rehabilitation for the Phoenix House program. When available, she has taught Sunday school and bible study since 1970.
In the 1990s Barcroft joined two theatre companies, Playwright’s Harbor and Circle East. In these groups she served as a dramaturge as well as acted, directed, developed, and wrote plays.