Born in New Jersey, Barnes aspired to be a dancer, but a bad fall off a stage during a performance ended her career, so the former beauty queen turned to acting.
Barnes made her small screen debut in an episode of Columbo in 1973, and made numerous appearances on classic TV series including Cannon (1976), Starsky and Hutch (1978), Kojak (1978), and Taxi (1980). Barnes gained fame as Suzanne Somers' replacement on Three's Company, where her character (the level-headed, no-nonsense nurse Terri Alden) was the polar opposite of Somers' bubbly and buxom Chrissy Snow. Barnes joined the cast in 1981 and was there until the series ended in 1984.
After Three's Company, Barnes' career remained fairly steady, with regular TV and film roles including Licensed to Kill (1989), The Crossing Guard (1995), Mallrats (1995), Mumford (1999), and cult-film The Devil's Rejects (2005). Barnes is still actively working, and she has been married to actor Ted Monte since 2003.
When Cindy leaves the apartment for the UCLA campus, it's Terri who takes her place. In the beginning, she and Jack don't really get along due to an ER encounter when Terri (a nurse) was a little less than sympathetic to Jack. When she dons her nursing whites, Terri's all business. Efficient and thorough, she has no time for chit-chat, or flirtatious men, but when she lets her hair down at home or at the Regal Beagle, this striking blonde is proof that brains and beauty can easily co-exist. That's not to say she's not without her awkward moments when her mouth and brain get a little out of synch, and all that professional aplomb she conveys so easily at work suddenly flies right out the window.