Donna Barrett Gilbert

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Donna Barrett Gilbert died suddenly on July 17 after a brief illness.

Gilbert was born in Santa Monica on Nov. 23, 1945. She grew up on the west side of Los Angeles and graduated from Venice High School with the goal of becoming a successful hair stylist in the entertainment industry. Gilbert realized her dream when she landed her first job as stylist to Kate Smith. She then went on to work at CBS studios on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Red Skelton Show,” “Smothers Brothers” and “The Carol Burnett Show.”

During her 40 years in the hair industry, Gilbert obtained many accolades and awards, her most notable being an Emmy Award for the television version of “The Miracle Worker.” Most recently, her peers honored Gilbert with the Outstanding Achievement Award for her exceptional talent in working with wigs for a popular 2003 movie. Donna’s latest endeavor was her company, “Hair Again,” which was her way of helping people with hair loss.

In addition to enjoying a wonderful career, Gilbert’s real love was for God, family, friends, and her favorite charity…Childhelp USA. Friends say she enjoyed spending time with family, volunteering for a worthy cause and planning a party.

Gilbert is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Dana and Greg LaRue, her son, David Sturt, her sister and brother-in-law, Deborah and Allen Sarlo, her niece and nephew, Sophia and Colton Sarlo and her mother, Pauline Barrett, as well as many extended family members.

In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to Childhelp USA. A memorial service will take place on Friday at 1 p.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery, which is located 1847 14th St. in Santa Monica. A celebration of Gilbert’s life will follow at the Sarlo residence in Malibu.