Carroll Baker, in the flesh…

Carroll Baker, in the flesh...

I fell in love with Carroll Baker when she played Liz Taylor’s flirty daughter, in the epic, “Giant”, also starring Rock Hudson and James Dean (which rumors say, they had an affair!). In “Harlow”, Baker took on the task of playing THE Jean Harlow. Which was quite a task. Harlow fans world-wide, scrutinized every scene, look, and mannerism! Carroll was a type-cast as a total sexpot, but look at her! She is! In “Baby Doll” she plays a 19-year old who adorns childish nightgowns, sleeps in a crib, and sucks her thumb. As silly as it sounds, Carroll was Oscar nominated for best actress, in this role. 1965, seemed to be the best year for Baker. “Sylvia” (personally recommended!!), “Harlow”, and the classic “Carpetbaggers” were released. Carroll worked steadily through the 1950’s and 60’s, but after “Harlow” she began a legal battle with, Paramount & a divorce from her second husband. After being (in her words) “blackballed” in Hollywood, Baker moved to Italy. She became fluent in Italian and started making edgy, Italian films mostly directed by horror king, Umberto Lenzi. She was a Lenzi favorite and his films took her all over the world, on location. Baker didn’t return to the U.S. until the late 70’s. her come-back American production was leading lady in, Andy Warhol’s “Bad”. Carroll went back to the stage and in TV roles, in the ’80’s. She also wrote an autobio, “Baby Doll” detailing her life as a star. Carroll started out with nothing. Her daddy was a traveling salesman and she worked throughout her childhood, to help make ends meet. I realized Carroll Baker and I had one thing in common, we were both employed as magician’s assistants! One thing is for sure, her life turned out magical!

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