Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Judy Carne R.I.P.

Judy Carne, best known as one of the regulars on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, died September 3 2015 at the age of 76. The cause was pneumonia.

Judy Carne was born Joyce Botterill on April 27 1939 in Northampton, Northamptonshire. She grew up in Kingsthorpe, Northamptonshire. She took an interest in acting and dancing while she was still a little girl. She trained at the Bush Davies Theatrical School for Girls at East Grinstead. Miss Carne made her debut on the West End in 1957 in For Amusement Only. She made her television debut in the production The First Day of Spring. In the late Fifties she was a panellist on Juke Box Jury.

Judy Carne began the Sixties with a guest appearance on Danger Man in 1961. That same year she had a recurring role on the sitcom The Rag Trade. She made her film debut in A Pair of Briefs in 1962 and that same year guest starred on The Cheaters. Miss Carne migrated to the United States and was cast as the lead in the short lived sitcom Fair Exchange. On the show, which ran from 1962 to 1963 on CBS, she played Heather Finch, an English exchange student to the United States. During the 1966-1967 season she starred in the sitcom Love on a Rooftop, playing one half of a newlywed couple opposite Peter Deuel. It was in 1968 that Judy Carne began her run on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. A frequent schtick on the show was for Miss Carne to say, "Sock it to me!", only to be doused with water, knocked over, or be subjected to some other form of humiliation. She left the show in 1970, saying that it had become boring.

During the Sixties Miss Carne also guest starred on such shows as Bonanza, Dr. Kildare, Gidget, The Farmer's Daughter, Gunsmoke, I Dream of Jeannie, The Patty Duke Show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Big Valley, and Run for Your Life. She appeared on such talk shows, variety shows, and game shows as The Joey Bishop Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Hollywood Squares, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. She appeared in the film The Americanization of Emily (1964).

Her career slowed considerably after she left Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. In the Seventies she guest starred on such shows as Alias Smith and Jones; Cade's County; Love, American StyleIronside; QBVII; Get Christie Love!; and Police Woman. She appeared in the film All the Right Noises (1971). In the Eighties she appeared in the film Out of Order (1981) and guest starred on the show On the Line. Her autobiography Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside: The Bittersweet Saga of the Sock-It-To-Me Girl was published in 1985.

Judy Carne was a very talented actress whose career was sadly ended by her own personal demons. She was particularly gifted when it came to comedy. She had perfect timing and could deliver lines as good as any experienced comic. And as ably proven on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, she was very good at slapstick. She was a very talented performer, so much so that one only wishes she had more of a career.

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