However, repeated references are made to Barb's mother "not being ready" to meet with Barb at the time of the first season of the show, presumably because of her disapproval of the plural marriage her daughter has entered into. Barb's mother and sister disowned her because she followed Bill into polygamy; her sister is shown as the modern, one-husband wife, raising her two biological and one adopted children, and holding down a job and good status in the local community.
Barb grew up in a traditional, non-polygamous LDS family.
Bill and Barb met while in college, and married soon afterwards. Barb almost died of uterine cancer after the birth of Tancy "Teeny" Henrickson, the youngest of Barb's children, right before Bill married his second wife Nicolette "Nicki" Grant and later, his third wife Margene Heffman.
2001) Raymond (Son by Nicolette Grant) Aaron (Son by Margene Heffman) Lester (Son by Margene Heffman) Nell (Daughter by Margene Heffman) Barbara "Barb" Dutton Henrickson is a character on HBO's Big Love portrayed by Jeanne Tripplehorn. Barb was raised in a traditional Mormon family, outside polygamy.
Barb substitute teaches first grade and seems to be the wife with the "cooler" head.
However, she is occasionally seen engaging in pagophagia during stressful situations.
She has a close relationship with youngest wife Margene Heffman, who looks up to her as the head sister-wife.
Both Nicki and Margie look up to Barb as not only big sister, but also like a mother/authority figure.For example, when Nicki pits herself against Margie, they both scramble to get Barb's attention and wisdom to solve the conflict, most prominently seen in the episode 'Good Guys and Bad Guys'.In this argument, Nicki has commandeered Margene's mother away from Margene, and when they find out Barb is on the phone, they both fight over the line to tell Barb their side of the story.Barb, though she's closest to Margie, is often paranoid about the youngest wife's relationship with the teenaged Henrickson children.Margie, being scarcely out of teenhood herself, has a close friendship with Ben and Sarah, causing Barb to be both jealous and scared of Margie at the same time.Barb eventually confronts Margie about her relationship with Ben, saying that it is "inappropriate" referencing the obvious one-sided attraction Ben has for his third mother.