The Baby Doll House, 2003. Benoit, Mississippi. It’s since been completely restored. Hollywoodplantation.com http://www… – http://pinterest.com/pin/107593878573960102/?s=3&m=wordpress
I suspect Carroll Baker’s experiences in the late fifties and sixties (as described in her book, Baby Doll – An Autobiography) were pretty typical for a lot of aspiring actors, having slaved away, in the Midwest and New York City, in roadshows, commercials and small gigs as a chorus girl, magicians assistant and Winston cigarette smoker. She eventually worked her way into the Actor’s Studio, making the acquaintance of Mike Nichols, Inger Stevens, Eva Marie Saint, Ben Gazzara, Shelley Winters, Paul Newman, James Dean and her future husband, Jack Garfein, among others. By the time she screen-tested for Giant, for George Stevens, and was chosen by Elia Kazan for Baby Doll, she was a pretty obvious candidate for film roles – not just for her influential friends, but because she had paid some dues and done genuinely good work on the NY stage.
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Carroll Baker has been one of my favorite actresses ever since I saw her in the 1956 Elia Kazan classic Baby Doll(1956) . Carroll is a unique actress who managed to create her own bombshell persona that was unlike other actresses of the 50’s and early 60’s. Her 50’s films are classics, in particular BABY DOLL and GIANT, where Carroll stands out as a special actress even among such greats as James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. She portrayed Jean Harlow in the early 60’s classic Harlow [Blu-ray](1965) and a Harlow type character with Alan Ladd in his last movie The Carpetbaggers [DVD](1964) DVD. Her late 60’s and 70’s films were often trashy good fun (including the classic Bad [DVD](1977) ) and she acted in films up through 2003. Below are some of the Carroll Baker sites on the web where you can learn morea bout this amazing actress and one of the last living legends from Hollywood’s golden years!
Carroll Baker Web Links
My Carroll Baker Tumblr Blog | My Carroll Baker Pinterest Board | Baby Doll DVD Stills Gallery | My Carroll Baker Photo Gallery #1 | My Carroll Baker Photo Gallery #2 | My Carroll Baker Gallery #3 | My Carroll Baker Gallery #4 | My Carroll Baker Something Wild Gallery
Carroll Baker Fans – My page of comments from some of Carroll’s fans
Buy Carroll Baker Movies – a list and descriptions of the Carroll films available on video with links to purchase them
Carroll Baker – Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen
Star Archive – This site has Carroll Baker’s address if you want to write her a letter or send for an autograph
IMDB Carroll Baker – Carroll’s filmography
Carroll Baker Yahoo Group
Ebay – Bid on Carroll Baker’s autobiography, Life magazine (Carroll graced the cover at least 4 or 5 times), vintage photos and magazines featuring Carroll, etc.
Charlton Heston World – Carroll’s co-star from The Big Country
George Peppard – Carroll’s co-star in The Carpetbaggers and How The West Was Won
Karl Malden – Carroll’s co-star in Baby Doll
James Dean – Carroll’s co-star in Giant
Elizabeth Taylor – Carroll’s co-star from Giant
Eli Wallach – Another of Carroll’s co-stars from Baby Doll
Robert Mitchum – Carroll’s co-star in Mister Moses
Clark Gable – Carroll got to act with the King in But Not for Me
Carroll Baker’s Films
Here are my reviews of the Carroll Baker films that I have enjoyed.
Giant (1956) –
Carroll plays ET’s daughter in this classic American epic from the 1950’s. Carroll is charming as the ingenue who falls in love with the alcoholic oil baron played by James Dean. She has some great scenes with Dean and with Liz Taylor.
Baby Doll (1956) –
Carroll’s most memorable role and a role that started the Lolita trend in films. Carroll plays a 19 year old virgin whose unusual marriage and life is changed forever when her husband asks her to entertain a rival cotton gin owner. Carroll should’ve won an Oscar for her role. The film was considered shocking and immoral when it premiered in 1956 and this scandal gave the movie a lot of publicity. Carroll became an overnight sensation. Tennessee Williams wrote the screenplay. Click here to see pictures of how the Baby Doll house looked when I visited it in 2003. The Baby Doll House (Burrus Hollywood Plantation) has since been restored and you can now tour it. I’m so glad that this piece of “Hollywood” history has been preserved. For more about the Hollywood Plantation and how to visit The Baby Doll House please see their website!
The Big Country (1958) –
Carroll plays a free-spirited woman who is engaged to city boy (and dufus) Gregory Peck. She becomes dismayed by Peck’s non-confrontational attitude towards life. Carroll seems much more attracted to rough cowboy Charlton Heston. Then Peck disappears for a weekend with Jean Simmons and the story unfolds.
The Miracle (1958) –
This is a very weird movie. A raven haired Carroll plays a nun who gets fed up with life in the nunnery and runs off with soldier Roger Moore. After Moore dumps her she ends up as a gypsy dancer. I can’t remember what happens at the end of the film. I didn’t care for it very much but other Carroll Baker fans who have posted here on my guestbook and on the poll like this movie alot. I should probably rewatch it to reappraise this one. Many fans mention it as one of their favorites.
But Not For Me (1959) –
Carroll is an assistant to Clark Gable’s aging Broadway director. She is in love with him and he is oblivious to her. She also is an aspiring actress. When her career takes off and his career falters their relationship takes some melodramatic twists and turns. After the raunchy, exploitative Baby Doll this film seems downright quaint.
Something Wild (1960) –
A classic film. An ultra-realistic cinematic approach to disturbing topics. This is probably my favorite Carroll film next to Baby Doll. In this movie Carroll plays a young woman who is raped. The film follows the aftermath of this event on her life and personality. She leaves home, moves into a tenement in New York City, gets a job but has difficulty interacting with her co-workers or anyone for that matter. She is stopped from jumping off of a bridge from a man. She stays at his apartment and together they work through both of their problems. Carroll has so many great scenes in this unusual film. Her acting has never been better.
Bridge to the Sun (1961) –
Carroll marries a Japanese man and has to learn to accept life as his wife in Japanese society. An interesting look at cross-cultural and cross-racial marriage.
How the West Was Won (1962) –
Carroll plays a pioneer woman and sister to Debbie Reynolds. At the beginning of the movie she meets James Stewart and settles down to raise a family. In the middle of the film her son (played by George Peppard!) tells her that he wants to join the army. The end of the film follows Peppard’s story. Peppard and Baker starred in two movies together. In this film Carroll played his real mom. In The Carpetbaggers she played his stepmom and lover. Some interesting Oedipal complexes here…
Station Six-Sahara (1964) –
I finally got to see this movie recently. It’s a story of the sex-starved men at Station Six-Sahara and the events that follow after Carroll’s car crashes near their base. She doesn’t do much more than sit around looking seductive, but it seems to do the trick. The men will murder, lie and steal to be with Carroll.
The Carpetbaggers (1964) –
One of the most entertaining, trashy films ever made. This is pure fun. Carroll plays a Harlow-like character who is the stepmom to George Peppard’s Howard Hughes type character. She marries Alan Ladd, continues to chase Peppard, ends up in movies, jumps from a chandelier and becomes an alcoholic wreck. . So much melodrama, so camp – no wonder it’s now part of the Joan Collins film collection!!! Peppard and Baker have great chemistry.
Cheyenne Autumn (1964) –
Carroll plays a schoolteacher who joins up with the Cheyenne people after they are forced off of their lands by US troops. An interesting political western.
Harlow (1965) –
Carroll plays Harlow in the movie based on Irving Shulmann’s questionable (meaning, most of it was probably invented by the author) biography of Harlow. And although Carroll doesn’t quite physically resemble the real Harlow she makes for a decent 1960’s model of a Harlow look-a-like. This is a fun film and Carroll has some good dramatic moments. Any fan of Hollywood lore will enjoy this movie.
Sylvia (1965) –
This is a typical Carroll Baker film (meaning, good trashy fun!). Carroll plays a poor young woman whose home life leaves much to be desired heads out into the big, bad world to make a name for herself. Carroll encounters sadomasochists, drag queens, and other assorted unusual sorts of people on her journey. A very boring actor is the film’s narrator and he eventually meets up with Sylvia/Carroll.
Sweet Body of Deborah (1969) –
Ah yes, how I do love these 60’s euro-trash movies. This is a good mystery story with beautiful locales and costars. Carroll looks grea in the late 60’s modish fashions she sports in this film and as always her acting is entertaining. This is a hard film to find but I recommend it.
Hitler’s SS: A Portrait in Evil (1985) –
Here we have matronly Carroll as the mother of two brothers who go through hell in Nazi Germany. One son joins the SA, the other joins the SS. This is a fine made for TV movie which I highly recommend if you have a fascination with that period in history as I do.
The Game (1997) –
Carroll has a very supporting role in this Michael Douglas thriller as his housekeeper. Her total screen time may be 5 minutes total but she looks good and it’s enjoyable to see her in a modern film.
This is an unoffical page, my personal tribute to Carroll Baker as one of her many fans. This page was created in August 1999 and last updated April 11, 2014. Please visit my other pages!