Blanche Baker

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Blanche Baker
Blanche Baker.jpg
Blanche Baker in a 2007 performance of The Vietnamization of New Jersey
BornBlanche Garfein
(1956-12-20) December 20, 1956 (age 57)
New York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Bruce Van Dusen (m. 1983–2002)
Mark Magill (m. 2003)
ChildrenZane Van Dusen
Dara Van Dusen
Wynn Van Dusen
James Magill
 
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Blanche Baker
Blanche Baker.jpg
Blanche Baker in a 2007 performance of The Vietnamization of New Jersey
BornBlanche Garfein
(1956-12-20) December 20, 1956 (age 57)
New York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Bruce Van Dusen (m. 1983–2002)
Mark Magill (m. 2003)
ChildrenZane Van Dusen
Dara Van Dusen
Wynn Van Dusen
James Magill

Blanche Baker (born December 20, 1956) is an American actress.

Personal life[edit]

Born Blanche Garfein in New York City, she is the daughter of actress Carroll Baker and director Jack Garfein, a Czech Jew and a survivor of the Holocaust. She attended Wellesley College from 1974 until 1976.

Career[edit]

Television[edit]

Blanche Baker made her television debut playing the character Anna Weiss in the miniseries Holocaust. (Her father Jack Garfein was a Holocaust survivor who had been imprisoned in Auschwitz. She won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama Series in 1978 for her performance.

She has subsequently appeared in the TV movies Mary and Joseph: A Story of Faith (1979) as Mary, The Day the Bubble Burst (1982), The Awakening of Candra (1983) as Candra Torres, Embassy (1985), Nobody's Child (1986), and Taking Chance (2009). She also has appeared on many TV series.

Broadway[edit]

In 1980-81, she originated the lead role of a 12-year-old girl loved by a pedophile in Edward Albee's stage adaption of Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita. During out-of-town tryouts and in New York, the play was picketed by feminists, including Women Against Pornography, who were outraged by the theme of pedophilia.[1]

The troubled production opened on Broadway on March 19, 1981 after 31 previews and closed after only 12 performances.[2] Frank Rich of the New York Times gave the play a bad review, terming it "the kind of embarrassment that audiences do not quickly forget or forgive." Baker was mentioned by Rich in only one line. "In the title role, here a minor figure, the 24-year-old Miss Baker does a clever job of impersonating the downy nymphet; she deserves a more substantial stage vehicle soon."[3]

People Magazine called Albee's Lolita "Broadway's Bomb of the Year" in an April 16, 1981 story.[4] Baker was the real subject of the article, and People writer Mark Donovan said "the critics were almost unanimous on one point: Blanche Baker was an ingenue whose time had come," citing reviews of critics that had called her "Breathtaking" and "Beguiling."

However, despite the praise of critics, Baker has never appeared on Broadway again.

Film[edit]

Baker made her movie debut in the The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979). Other film appearances include Sixteen Candles (1984), Cold Feet (1984) and Taking Chance (2009).

Filmography[edit]

Film
YearTitleRoleNotes
1979French PostcardsLaura
1979Seduction of Joe Tynan, TheThe Seduction of Joe TynanJanet
1982Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, TheThe Tragedy of Romeo and JulietJuliet
1984Cold FeetLeslie Christo
1984Sixteen CandlesGinny
1986Raw DealAmy Kaminski
1988ShakedownGail Feinberger
1988Bum RapLisa DuSoir
1990Handmaid's Tale, TheThe Handmaid's TaleOfglen
1991Livin' LargeKate Penndragin
1994Dead FunnyBarbara
2006UnderdogsMarie
2006Rehearsal, TheThe RehearsalMarie
2007Girl Next Door, TheThe Girl Next DoorRuth Chandler
20083rd of JulyMrs. Shaw
2008Jersey JusticePolly O'Bannon
2012HypothermiaHellen Pelletier
Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
1979HolocaustAnna WeissPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
1979Mary and Joseph: A Story of FaithMary
1981Awakening of Candra, TheThe Awakening of CandraCandra Torres
1982Day the Bubble Burst, TheThe Day the Bubble BurstJoan Slezsak
1985Equalizer, TheThe EqualizerAllison WebsterEpisode: "Desperately"
1985EmbassyMegan Hillyer
1986Nobody's ChildShari
1987Spenser: For HireCarolyn TomlinsonEpisode: "Personal Demons"
1991Trials of Rosie O'Neill, TheThe Trials of Rosie O'NeillEpisode: "Domestic Silence"
1991Davis RulesEpisode: "Everybody Comes to Nick's"
1992In the Heat of the NightJenny SawyerEpisode: "Love, Honor & Obey"
1992Law & OrderLucy NevenEpisode: "Star Struck"
1994Clarissa Explains It AllChelsea ChipleyEpisode: "Janet and Clarissa, Inc."
2005Law & Order: Criminal IntentMiriam EnglesEpisode: "Diamond Dogs"
2013The Chris Gethard ShowHerselfEpisode: "#119: Scare the Shit Out of Bethany"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Devries, Hillary. "Protesters to picket 'Lolita'". Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Lolita". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Rich, Frank. "STAGE: ALBEE'S ADAPTATION OF 'LOLITA' OPENS". New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Donovan, Mark. "Lolita, Broadway's Bomb of the Year, Detonates Edward Albee, Bemuses Donald Sutherland and Illuminates a Lovely Survivor, Blanche Baker". Time-Life. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 

External links[edit]