Blanche Baker Poster


Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (15)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (2)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameBlanche Garfein

Mini Bio (1)

Blanche Baker is an actress of stage, screen and television. Born Blanche Garfein in New York, her mother is actress Carroll Baker, who won a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Baby Doll (1956), several months after baby Blanche arrived. Her father is stage director Jack Garfein, who later went on to direct movies and teach acting.

After attending Wellesley College, she took her mother's surname and made her television debut in the miniseries Holocaust (1978), for which she won an Emmy Award. Baker made her movie debut in The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979), an A-List production featuring Alan Alda at the height of his popularity and another "Holocaust" co-star at the start of her career, Meryl Streep. She then appeared as the Holy Mother in the TV movie, Mary and Joseph: A Story of Faith (1979).

Then came "Lolita."

In 1980-81, the 24-year-old Baker originated the role of the preteen "nymphet" loved by a pedophile in Edward Albee's stage adaption of Nabokov's classic novel. The show was picketed during out-of-town tryouts and in New York by feminists outraged by the show's depiction of pedophilia. More importantly, the show was pilloried by outraged critics in its out-of-town tryouts, giving "Lolita" a bad word of mouth.

After 31 previews, the troubled production opened on Broadway on March 19, 1981 and closed after only 12 performances.

She never appeared on Broadway again, despite critics calling her performance "breathtaking" and "beguiling."

Blanche Baker has continued to work steadily in television and on the silver screen but has never again approached the heights she did in her early twenties.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (2)

Mark Magill (1 January 2003 - present) (1 child)
Bruce Van Dusen (1 October 1983 - 2002) (divorced) (3 children)

Trivia (15)

Daughter of actress Carroll Baker and director Jack Garfein
Studied at Wellesley College from 1974 - 1976.
Brother Herschel is a classical music composer.
Has 2 sons: Zane Van Dusen and James Magill
Daughters: Dara Van Dusen and Wynn Van Dusen (aka Wynnie).
At the WPA Theatre on March 28, 1987 Blanche played Shelby in the original stage production of Steel Magnolias.
In episode 207 of HGTV's Save My Bath (2006), Blanche and her daughter, Wynn Van Dusen (aka Wynnie), had their pink, industrial bath updated to 1920s Hollywood glam.
Stepdaughter of Donald Burton.
Was considered for the part of Maerose Prizzi in Prizzi's Honor (1985).
Was considered for the part of Nancy Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
Studied drama at Herbert Berghof HB Studio in Greenwich Village, New York City.
Blanche Baker won an Emmy for Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama Series for Holocaust (1978). Her father Jack Garfein was a real-life Holocaust survivor who had been interned in Auschwitz.
Went back to work as an actress and is starring in the independent film Jersey Justice (2014), currently shooting in Pennsylvania. [November 2005]
Began exhibiting sculptures in 1996 under her married name of Blanche Van Dusen, and continues to sculpt. [March 2002]
Of Jewish (on her father's side) and Polish (on her mother's side) descent.

Personal Quotes (1)

I did feel that I was in my mother's shadow and that I was always trying to prove myself. I think the truth is, it's you on the stage, it's you on the screen, in the end. There are more children of famous people that you haven't heard of...or they're in rehab and you've heard of them. So, it's a hard thing to overcome when you have a famous parent. And I think I was troubled by that. It was one of the reasons I needed to step back and come back now with this renewed appreciation. Forcing myself to start over again, which is a challenge and has been really interesting. I've been very fortunate, but I think that plays a part in it.

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