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Carol Lynley

by Tom Lisanti

Visit BearManor Media at BearManorMedia.com to purchase many great books on film & TV including my Talking Sixties Drive-In Movies and my upcoming book Carol Lynley: Her Film & TV Career in Thrillers, Fantasy & Suspense. Below are some of my social media posts touting Ms. Lynley:

In 1961, Carol Lynley appeared in 2 box office hits. First she was part of a stellar cast (Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, Dorothy Malone, and Joseph Cotten) making a cattle drive from Mexico to Texas in the Robert Aldrich-directed psychological western The Last Sunset from a script by Dalton Trumbo.

Carol Lynley’s 3rd film Blue Denim catapulted her to the top of the teen idol totem pole in 1959. Reprising her Broadway role, she played a knocked up high schooler who contemplates an abortion. Her wimpy but cute boyfriend (Brandon deWilde) is of no help but comes through to “save” her from the doctor per Hollywood standards. In the play she has the abortion. She decides to keep the baby but is banished to live with an aunt in another town accompanied by her indecisive boyfriend. Carol received critical raves for her poignant tender performance (she garnered her 2nd Golden Globe nomination) and the low-budget film was a big box office hit.

Carol Lynley’s first foray into fantasy was as Rapunzel on TV’s Shirley Temple’s Storybook in 1958. The lovely lass let down her hair but alas her prince was the not so charming Don dubbins. At least the wonderful pre-Bewitched Agnes Moorehead was around as the wicked witch hellbent on keeping the pair apart. 

Carol Lynley made her film debut in the Walt Disney feature The Light in the Forest in 1958. Set in colonial times, she has her first lady in peril role and received a Golden Globe nomination as an indentured service girl who is harassed by the patriarch of the family she works for and falls for James MacArthur as a white boy raised by Indians and recently returned to his rightful parents to his consternation.

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