Reba and Barbra Jean Are BFFs in Real Life, Here's Why

Pedro Marrero
Apr 26, 2019
12:37 A.M.
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The TV friendship between actresses Reba McEntire and Melissa Peterman’s characters on the sitcom “Reba” (2001-2006) developed into a real-life friendship that still goes on, and the two remain frequent collaborators.


64-year-old country music singer and actress Reba McEntire starred in her own namesake show during five seasons. It featured one of the most atypical and touching friendships on American television, the one between Reba and Barbra.

On “Reba,” McEntire played the character Reba Hart, a woman going through a divorce that grows close to her husband young mistress Barbra Jean Booker, played by Melissa Peterman, who’s also pregnant from him.



Barbra Jean is a lightheaded dental hygienist that nevertheless ends up winning Reba’s heart, despite the difficult nature of their relationship, and eventually, the two actresses became the best of friends as well.

Thirteen years after the show’s cancellation, McEntire and Peterman, now 47 years old, still hang out together. Peterman was there to support and celebrate her friend’s success as she was honored by the Kennedy Center in 2018.

“I can’t describe how wonderful and emotional it was to be there to help honor Reba,” Peterman wrote on her Facebook account after the December 26 ceremony, sharing a picture of McEntire at the event.



Peterman also served as a scriptwriter for the 2019’s American Country Music Awards show, hosted by McEntire, who knew her former co-star was ideal for the job because of their excellent chemistry.

"I wanted Melissa in there because she knows my voice, she knows what I like, what I don't want in there, because I worked with her for so many years, and she is one of the funniest people I've ever met in my life," the singer said.


The media and the fans were thrilled to learn about Peterman’s participation in the event, which was celebrated as a public reunion of the two stars.

Peterman took to social media once again to share an article about her recent collaboration with her longtime friend. “To be a part of the amazing team was a thrill. Grateful for the opportunity!” she shared.



In 2018, McEntire featured Peterman in the form of a video call projected onstage to introduce the song “I’m A Survivor,” which was the show’s theme song.

Clips from the series were reproduced as McEntire sang, with Peterman enjoying the performance remotely for the entire time.

On that occasion, Peterman said it was her favorite song, and described it as “the song that is the soundtrack to our [hers and McEntire’s] friendship.”



McEntire and Peterman’s recent reunion in the ACM Awards has revived the hopes of a possible reboot season for “Reba,” but even when McEntire seems to be willing to go for it, it doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon.

Even when she is still in contact with other members of the cast besides Peterman, and she meets them from time to time, she doesn’t see a way for such a project to fit into her busy schedule for the time being.

Peterman appeared as a guest star on the “The Big Bang Theory” spin-off “Young Sheldon” playing the role of Brenda Sparks, the mother of a neighborhood bully, for six episodes between 2018 and 2019.

More recently, she made a surprise appearance on Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing” on the episode “Yass Queen,” as Celia, a hilariously “aggressive” saleswoman.