Finding a Future Movie Star

How Ron Barlow discovered actress Kate Capshaw in a St. Louis grocery store.

Around my house, there’s no one more popular than Indiana Jones—at least according to my kids.

While we were recently re-watching the second film in the series (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) for the hundredth time, I began recounting one of my favorite stories (for the hundredth time) about how my boss, Ron Barlow, discovered the movie’s co-star—the one who eventually went on to marry the film’s famous director.


Here’s how Commerce Magazine told the story ten years later.

“Starring in the hit movie, ‘Indiana Jones,’ is just one of St. Louisan Kate Capshaw’s many achievements. And Commerce played a role in starting her on the way to a successful career.
Back in 1974, when she was Kathy Nail and a junior at Mizzou, Photographer Ron Barlow persuaded her to pose in nautical garb on the deck of a sailboat for the cover of the June issue of Commerce.
That led to more modeling assignments here and in New York, acting lessons, off-Broadway roles, parts in TV soap operas, and—at length—a meeting with director/producer Steven Spielberg.
Kate’s beautiful face was on a recent cover of Life Magazine, a pinnacle few can ever hope to reach.
Kate reached it because, among other things, she accepted Ron Barlow’s business card when he approached her in a St. Louis County supermarket with a classic line: ‘I’m looking for a model for a photo assignment. Would you be interested?’
Kate was naturally skeptical, but she checked Ron out, thought it over, and a few days later called Ron to say okay. The rest is history.”

The rest, indeed, is history. We wish you well, Ms. Capshaw, and we hope you’ll drop by and say hi the next time you’re in town.