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Nina Bara, 70; Acted in TV’s ‘Space Patrol’

Nina Bara, one of two women to fly the perimeters of space with Commander Buzz Corey on television’s old “Space Patrol” series, died Wednesday of cancer at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

Her husband, Ray Linke, said she was 70 and had pursued a second career as a librarian after leaving show business in the 1960s.

A dark beauty who played the reformed villainess Tonga on the popular 1950-56 series, Miss Bara also was seen in films (“Visa” with Clark Gable and “Carnival in Rio” with Dick Haymes) and on television (“General Electric Theater”).

The daughter of an American father and an Italian mother and born in Buenos Aires, Miss Bara was fluent in Spanish and was heard often on radio in a variety of dialect roles.

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When “Space Patrol,” a low-budget predecessor of “Star Trek,” first went on the air, Tonga was an unfriendly alien. But after undergoing treatment with Corey’s mind-altering machine, she became a valued member of the crew and its “high adventure in the wild regions of space” aboard the rocket ship X-R-Z.

She and Virginia Hewitt--the daughter of the secretary general of the United Planets--were the two women members of the five-person crew.

Linke said that after their marriage she earned a master’s degree in library science at USC and then established a corporate library at Blue Cross of Southern California. After retiring there in 1985 she worked as a substitute in the city library system.

Besides her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Cecillia. A memorial Mass is to be said Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Montrose.

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