Celebrity Deaths

Barbara Barnes Ortieg: Meet Bill Plante’s First Wife

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Barbara Barnes Ortieg is the first and ex-wife of Bill Plante. Barbara Barnes and Bill Plante had two children, along with the four sons from her previous marriage whom he adopted, including syndicated radio talk show host Chris Plante.

They eventually divorced. He later married Robin Smith in 1987. One of his sons, Patrick, predeceased him in 2014. Plante died on September 28, 2022, at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 84 and suffered from respiratory failure prior to his death.

Plante is survived by his wife, Robin Smith, and three brothers, Richard, Jim, and John; and sons Michael, Dan, Christopher, Brian, and David, as well as eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild. His first wife, Barbara Barnes Plante, and son Patrick pre-deceased him.


A Washington journalism institution, Plante retired from CBS News in 2016 after a whopping 52 years at the network. He joined CBS News on June 1, 1964, as a New York-based reporter/assignment editor, and would spend the next five decades with the network, traveling to Vietnam on four separate tours (1964, 1967, 1971-’72, 1975) and Iceland, to Moscow and Teheran.


William Madden Plante (January 14, 1938 – September 28, 2022) was a veteran journalist and correspondent for CBS News, having joined the network in 1964.

Bill Plante
Bill Plante
Image Source: CBS News


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