Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Goodbye Lynn Borden

The new Baxter family of Season Five.
I was sorry to hear of the death last week of actress Lynn Borden, who played Barbara Baxter in the fifth and final season of Hazel. 

Many Hazel fans, loyal to original co-stars Don DeFore and Whitney Blake, were displeased to see the long-running series change so much. Researching Shirley Booth: A Biography and Career Record, I learned more about what happened in 1965, when NBC canceled the show, and how it ultimately found its way to CBS that fall, with a largely different cast. Despite the backstage drama, I thought Lynn Borden made Barbara likable and sympathetic, and the revamped version of the show was still enjoyable. (She's pictured here with fellow newcomers Ray Fulmer and Julia Benjamin).

To learn more about Ms. Borden's life, pick up Eddie Lucas' book Close-Ups: Conversations with Our TV Favorites, which features a lengthy interview he did with Ms. Borden, and some fascinating reminiscences about Shirley Booth and Hazel.

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