Barbara "Barb" Denning was an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary Maximum Security. She was the older sister of Carol Denning and Debbie Denning. She is one of the two main antagonists of Season Six, along with her sister Carol. She is portrayed by Mackienzie Phillips and her younger self is portrayed by by Lauren Kelston.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Compared to her younger sister Carol, Barbara was more popular and self-confident during their youth. Though less intelligent and harsh than Carol, Barbara was still a very smart and deceptive woman. According to Carol, Barbara used to play a victim in most situations, which was probably the reason why their mother visited only her oldest daughter in the prison.
After getting thirty more years added to her sentence, Barbara became dependent on oxycontin. Despite this, she was still much friendlier and humorous than Carol. Nevertheless, many inmates from D-Block were visibly terrified of her, as one of them once got a burnt face from melted milky-way due to backbiting her. It is shown that Daddy uses drugs to suppress and keep power when is doubted by Barb
Her father was shown to have been abusive in some manner, perhaps a cause of Barbara's sociopathic tendencies.
Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]
As a young girl, Barbara had black hair and was very pretty with white teeth and brown eyes. She was also tall. However, as she got older, Barbara's drug abuse became evident when her skin became blotchy and her teeth yellowed. Barbara has a scar on her left cheek from when Carol attacked her with a shiv when they were younger. Barbara had light brown hair in her later years which became messy, sometimes tied up in a pineapple hairstyle.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Before Litchfield[edit | edit source]
As teenagers, both Carol and Barbara worked in an eatery as waitresses. One evening, while Barbara worked at the bar and Carol on tables, a man entered and asked a separate waitress for a glass of ice. The waitress misheard, assuming he said "the Classifieds". The waitress went to the store to buy a newspaper and handed it to the customer. Confused, the customer informs the waitress he asked for a "glass of ice". The waitress later relayed this tale to Barbara and Carol, who both burst into laughter ("Be Free").
Barbara and her family moved around the country a lot to cater to her youngest sister, Debbie, and her gymnastic competitions. This angered both Carol and Barbara. When their parents reveal once more that they are moving, this time to to Plano, Texas, they older sisters are infuriated. Whilst they watch a school assembly in which their sister is competing, Carol suggests murdering their sister as a joke, showing Barbara that she has sketched different scenarios, such as feeding Debbie Yoplait with glass shards. Barbara shows discomfort towards this at first, but this almost immediately fades as she adds her own advice.
At home, Barbara and Carol argue with their parents over moving once again to cater to Debbie's competitions. Their father gets confrontational when Barbara mentions she knows people who will let her stay with them until she graduates. The two parents leave, saying they will be home later and that Barbara and Carol are expected to stay home on their last night in town to look after Debbie.
Debbie asks her sisters for help releasing some tadpoles she has been keeping as pets. Carol threatens to kill Debbie's tadpoles. Barbara steps in and tells Carol to stop and let Debbie release her tadpoles at the lake, however, this is Barbara and Carol's plan to kill Debbie. At the lake, Carol remains in the car while Barbara takes Debbie to the lakeside. Debbie reveals that she dislikes moving as much as Carol and Barbara and had asked her parents to stay but they didn't listen to her protests to which Barbara seems to empathize. Barbara tells Debbie the tadpoles will die from the cold after she releases them, but Debbie informs her of the adaptions tadpoles have for winter. Impressed, Barbara tells Debbie that she's "alright", but this is interrupted when Carol runs at Debbie with a hatchet. Barbara tells Debbie to get into the car and lock herself in. Debbie obeys her eldest sister, and runs to the car. Smiling, Barbara and Carol start to push the car towards the lake. Debbie realises she cannot get out; the locks in the inner doors don't work, as Carol has removed them. Together, Carol and Barbara roll the car into the lake while Debbie screams and begs for them to spare her. The two sisters then watch the car sink as Barbara hums "She's a Maniac" before walking away ("Chocolate Chip Nookie").
Arrival at Litchfield[edit | edit source]
At Litchfield, shortly after their arrival, Carol and Barbara are together in the same cell block. Barbara listens to Carol as she tells the story of the classifieds/glass of ice mix up, but as if it happened to her. Barbara interrupts Carol's story and tells the group that it instead happened to her, and not Carol. The two argue and begin a fight. This is what caused the original rivalry between C-Block and D-Block when the sisters are seperated ("Chocolate Chip Nookie"). In the 1980s, when Frieda Berlin is incarcerated, Carol and Frieda begin selling drugs out of the library. Barbara arrives to confront Carol and Frieda about mutually agreed-upon rules that had been breached between the cell blocks on what contraband they may sell. Barbara attempts to intimidate Frieda and Carol, until Frieda pulls a shiv out on Barbara and her gang, causing them to walk away. As a result, Carol commences an ambush on the opposing dorm during a game of kickball, after realising that her stash has been stolen. Carol stabs the ball during her turn as a symbol of war, and charges at Barbara and tackles her to the ground. Carol demands Barbara confess what she did with the contraband, but Barbara denies all knowledge and says that it was most likely Frieda who took it. This is later revealed to be true and the reason that Frieda got moved to minimum security ("Look Out for Number One").
When Frieda was planning on killing Lolly Whitehill to keep her quiet over Aydin Bayat's body being buried in the garden, Galina Reznikov warns Frieda that she would go back to Maximum Security if she got caught in the act. This terrifies and causes Frieda to back down, as she acknowledges that she would die shoud she go back to MAX, alluding to Carol and Barbara's desire to see her dead for double-crossing them both.
Barbara is the leader of D-Block. Daddy reports to Barbara and sells her product. After an attack on C-Block's cheese manufacturing jobs that unwittingly compromises the smuggling of drugs into the prison, Barbara becomes upset when Daddy can't find another way for them to sneak in the drugs, as not only is it their side hustle but also Barbara herself is addicted to them. To buy time, Daddy gives Barbara some bath salts to sniff. This causes her to hallucinate and lands her in the hospital ward, where she annoys Nicky and Elsie. Whilst there, she bonds with Nicky and decides to get clean after she is told that Nicky was here before the riot and she didn't even notice her. She states due to Frieda's actions, she got 30 more years and never became sober. ("Break the String")
After she becomes sober, she spends time with Annalisa, Lorna and Nicky. She shows them her bottle trick and Lorna is completely amazed. Nicky gives her a 30 day sober chip. Deitland arrives and Barb allows the 3 to order whatever they want from commissary. She is angered when Carol allegedly bought all the Noxzema. She decides to go after Carol. She sets up a plan to kill Carol while she's getting a haircut in the salon, alongside Red who has become Carol's confidante due to their mutual hatred of Frieda. She tells Nicky, much to the dismay of Annalisa and Daddy. Nicky tries to discourage her from doing it. ("Chocolate Chip Nookie")
However, Nicky foils Barbara's plan when she embeds a note into a bottle cap meant for Red (telling her to get out) which is found by CO Copeland who does not know who wrote it. Barbara summons Nicky with Annalisa Damiva and her Daya, Daddy and Alice Hutton intimidate her. When asked what she was doing, Nicky replies she was masturbating. Barbara states that the girls think she is a mole but Nicky reminds her that she sold out Red, Nicky is angered and squares up to Daya wondering why she thinks she's a big shot. Barb apologises, hugging Nicky and saying she loves Nicky's company and that she's funny and Nicky leaves. Annalisa calls her a liar to Barb which causes Barbara to roar at her as she just got embarassed. Barbara looks out the window to see Frieda Later, CO Copeland puts both Barbara and Carol in the same solitary confinement cell. She stays there all night watching the two of them hoping that they'll fight each other, as she stands to gain money from an underhand fantasy game between the COs. The two likely plan their hit on Frieda. ("Well This Took a Dark Turn")
Unfortunately for Copeland, nothing happens so Copeland releases them back into their respective cell blocks. Barb returns saying she wants to kill Carol. She begins planning the hit for the kickball game and tells her girls to recruit new people, including cookies. ("Double Trouble")
They begin to rally and she gives Maria a shiv. They shout repeatedly D-Block. The gang war is supposed to go down during the kickball game but both Carol and Barbara aren't there. Instead, they've hidden in a utility closet together. They both change into B-Block (Florida) pink scrubs with the aim of getting in and murdering Frieda in all the chaos. and wait for the fight to begin. Unfortunately for them, their plan goes awry when the fight never breaks out and instead the C- and D-Block girls just play kickball. Carol states that something must've gone wrong, Barbara asks what Carol wants to happen, thinking she wasn't doing their plan after all. Barbara asks if Carol is threatening her and Barbara and Carol turn against each other. Barbara ends up getting her throat slit while Carol simultaneously gets a shank in her back. ("Be Free")
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Family[edit | edit source]
- Ronnie Denning (father)
- Alice Denning (mother)
- Carol (younger sister; deceased)
- Debbie (younger sister; deceased)
Friendships[edit | edit source]
Enemies[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- She believes in reincarnation ("Break the String")
Appearances[edit | edit source]
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Six|
|"Who Knows Better Than I":||"Shitstorm Coming":||"Look Out for Number One":||"I'm the Talking Ass":||"Mischief Mischief":||"State of the Uterus":||"Changing Winds":|
|"Gordons":||"Break the String":||"Chocolate Chip Nookie":||"Well This Took a Dark Turn":||"Double Trouble":||"Be Free":|