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Trained in music and dance, tiny-framed, pixie-like 'Judy Carne'
(qv) was born Joyce Botterill in Northampton, England in 1939, and
arrived in America on the eve of the mid-60s "British invasion".
She began unobtrusively in film and TV parts, but developed enough
as a light comedienne to win a regular role on a sitcom called
_"Baileys of Balboa, The" (1964)_ (qv), and then into her own
romantic comedy series _"Love on a Rooftop" (1966)_ (qv) opposite
the late 'Pete Duel' (qv). The latter series, though short-lived,
showcased Carne's appeal to maximum advantage. She found herself
embraced by America as a cute, pert-nosed Cockney lass with a Peter
Pan-like effervescence. It was no surprise when a couple of years
later she would soared to "flower power" stardom on the hip and
highly irreverent TV cult variety show _"Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In"
(1968)_ (qv), where she introduced the phrase "Sock it to me!" to
the American vernacular. As the plucky, mini-skirted (sometimes
bikini-clad) foil with the trendy brunet shag, she always seemed to
be on the receiving end of a slapstick prank, but the audiences
loved her for it. The show also made household names out of fellow
comrades 'Arte Johnson' (qv), 'Henry Gibson' (qv), 'Ruth Buzzi'
(qv), 'Jo Anne Worley' (qv), 'Lily Tomlin' (qv), and, notably,
'Goldie Hawn' (qv), who managed to out-perk even Judy and grab the
lion's share of attention. Judy proved herself a game sport for a
while, but suddenly left the series after only two seasons, tired
of the grind, the typecast, and disappointed at having her
singing/dancing skills undermined by the ever-present pratfalls she
was obliged to endure. It was a major career mistake. Her post
'Laugh-In' professional life was surprisingly brief with the
exception of a couple of mini-movies, a failed Las Vegas music act,
and the TV talk show circuit. Despite an innocent, bubbly, cheery
exterior, her private life was anything but. Her 1963 marriage to
rising star 'Burt Reynolds' (qv) was over within a couple of years.
The divorce was acrimonious, with nasty, below-the-belt accusations
from both sides making the tabloid sheets. A second marriage to TV
producer Robert Bergman in 1970 lasted even less than that. More
problematic, however, was Judy's escalating drug problem which
started with marijuana and hallucinogens and grew into a
full-fledged heroin addiction. Her career in shambles, she fell
quickly into the lifestyle of a junkie and living in squalor. For
the next decade, she literally dropped out of sight, with the
exception of drug possession arrests and a 1978 car crash that left
her with a broken neck, that made the papers. Her tell-all 1985
autobiography 'Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside' was
harrowing and heart-wrenching, with explicit details of her descent
into degradation, but it failed to bring back a long-disinterested
audience. She has not been heard of much since her book.
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