Barbara Wellhoener Jakobs was born in Bielefeld, Germany. On July 21, 1968, the 17-year-old Barbara met 32-year-old Roy Orbison when he asked friends to introduce him to the German beauty. They were in a nightclub in Leeds, England during Orbison's tour of Britain. They married on March 24, 1969 in Hendersonville, Tennessee.They lived in Nashville and in Malibu, California. They raised three sons, Wesley Orbison (1965), Roy Kelton Orbison, Jr. (1970), and Alexander Orbie Lee Orbison (1975).
During the 1980s, Barbara Orbison managed her husband's career and was the executive producer of his 1987 album, In Dreams: The Greatest Hits plus his highly acclaimed January 1988 televised music special, Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night.
Following her husband's death in December 1988, she took charge of his business affairs and has dedicated herself to promoting his music to ensuing generations. She worked with friend and fellow artist Jeff Lynne to put together the posthumous release of the King of Hearts album in 1992 (an album which was re-issued in 2007 by Sony BMG after they took charge of Virgin's catalog in 2005) as well as other record projects. Barbara Orbison co-produced "Only the Lonely: The Roy Orbison Story," a European stage musical.
In late 1993, the family home was destroyed by brush fires that swept through her property and that of many others in the Malibu area. Although she maintains a residence on the West Coast, Orbison returned to Nashville where she purchased a home as well as a commercial property to house her music publishing business. Her company, "Still Working Music, employs songwriters such as Tommy Lee James and Billy Burnette.
Orbison had been involved with charitable causes in aid of the homeless. For Showtime, in 1991, she produced a Roy Orbison tribute at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles that raised in excess of $1 million for the city's homeless. In addition, she personally funded "Orbison House," a 21-unit residence for the mentally impaired homeless of Los Angeles.
Barbara Orbison produced Damien Leith's album Roy: A Tribute To Roy Orbison, which was released by Sony BMG in Australia on 15 April 2011 to co-incide with her late husband Roy Orbison's 75th birthday.
Barbara Orbison was in hospital from May 2011 until she died at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Centre on December 6, 2011 of pancreatic cancer, 23 years to the day of her husband's death. She is survived by her three sons.
Same day died his Husband died on Dezember 6 th in 1988