The film industry has existed for a long time and since its inception, many people have gone through the annals of its halls of fame, proving their worthiness and skills with their performance in movies and TV shows. Amanda Blake movies and television shows feature performances by the actress that display her skillset and explain why she was one of the faces of American television shows for close to twenty years.
This actress was born Beverly Louise Neill in New York on the 20th of February, 1929, right on the heels of the stock market crash of 1930 that led to The Great Depression. She spent some part of her childhood in Buffalo, New York, as the only child of her parents – Jesse and Louise, before the family relocated to California. The actress got into acting when she was at Pomona College, but most of the work she did as an actress then was for community service and not primarily for her degree. By 1950, she got her debut in film and two years after, in 1952, she started to act in television shows which made up the bulk of her acting career. Consequently, it was difficult for her to snag roles in movies but she was still able to sneak in some performances in films.
This actress died in 1989, at the age of sixty. When her death certificate was released, it appeared that she died from her liver failing, as well as having hepatitis which negated the rumor that she had died of HIV. By the time she died, Baker had raked performances in more than twenty television shows and had built a legacy for her work. This article ex-rays ten Amanda Blake movies and television shows ranked from the very best to the worst.
10 Amanda Blake Movies and TV Shows: Best To Worst Filmography
In the biggest role of her acting career, Amanda Blake appeared as Kitty Russell, owner/proprietress of a local salon whose red hair was her very distinctive feature, in the Western drama series, Gunsmoke. This show initially began as a radio serial with voice actors representing the different characters until 1955 when the television show was made.
Kitty Russell was voiced by Georgia Ellis in the radio version and by the time the first TV episode aired, Gunsmoke became the second western television show made for adults in the history of television shows in America. The show is considered as an epic tale of the earliest British immigrants in America and its success was hugely reliant on the longevity it enjoyed on television, having been aired for close to ten years. For her role on the show, which she began playing when she was just nineteen, Blake earned the title of a young Greer Garson, who was one of the biggest film stars of the 40s.
As earlier mentioned, Amanda Blake had fewer roles in movies than she did on television shows. Regardless of this, she was still able to deliver brilliant performances in films. Most of the roles she played in movies were supporting characters but this did not stop her from shining through. In the 1953 film Lili, Blake played the character of Peach Lips, which is one of the much smaller roles in the film. This does not undermine the fact that her performance was an important part of the hugely successful film.
This Amanda Blake movie follows the life of a naïve girl who learns to grow up after experiencing many unscrupulous events at the hands of opportunistic people. The film was nominated for many awards and was a huge success at the box office.
A Star Is Born
In yet another minor role, Amanda Blake is Susan Etting. Although this is one of her lesser-known roles, A Star is Born is a very big part of Hollywood and it is considered one of the most successful films of all time. This 1954 film is a remake of the original 1937 film and two more remakes have since come after it. The story is about a rising young female musician who is given a chance at fame by an older star whose career is failing due to his alcoholism. All the remakes have altered different aspects of the film but the general story remains the same and it has been speculated to be based on a true-life story. The film in all its versions has been successful, both commercially and critically.
In this Amanda Blake movie, she portrayed the character of Susan Clarke, the niece of Pop Hodges, a fishing store owner whose business is used as a front for gold smuggling. Her uncle’s actions are not known by her and in the course of her relationship with Mike Sloan, a deep-sea diver, she learns of her uncle’s smuggling business. Blake was cast alongside Cameron Mitchell, who plays Sloan and Carl Benton Reid, her uncle Pop Hodges. With a score of 5 on IMBD, this is one of her averagely performing films.
Stars in My Crown
Cast in her first acting role in a film and a western at that, Amanda Blake played the of Faith Radmore Samuels, a local schoolteacher in the town of Walesburg and also the love interest/fiancée of the town’s doctor, Dr. Daniel Kalbert Harris, Jr. She is the reason why her fiancée and the town’s preacher, Josiah, reconcile when the latter prays for her and she recovers. Stars in My Crown was made with more than $1 million but managed to make more than $2 million from box office sales and critics particularly liked the film.
Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard
Amanda Blake had her first major role in this movie which tells the story of an investigator from London’s Scotland Yard teaming up with the head of the counterspy division in America to stop a terrorist attack. The terrorists have revealed the secrets of a missile reservation that could kill millions if launched. Blake plays the secretary at the reservation that helps them in their investigation. There is no information on how much the film made at the box office or how much was used to make it, but it has a rating of 5.3/10 on IMBD.
The Edge of the Night
Blake’s television career was one that featured many brilliant performances. In this 1894 CBS mystery television show, The Edge of the Night, she put up another noteworthy performance as Dr. Juliana Stanhower, even though it was just a guest-starring role. The show had 28 seasons and aired from April 1956 to December 1984. The show which was produced by Procter & Gamble premiered on the 2nd of April 1956 and ran until November 28th, 1975, before moving to ABC where it was aired from 1st December 1975 to 28th December 1984.
The Glass Slipper
The Glass Slipper is one of the many remakes of the Cinderella story and in the case of this 1955 adaptation, it is a musical. Amanda Blake appeared as Birdena, one of the step-sisters of the major character, Ella (played by Leslie Caron) and as expected, she put up an amazing performance in her portrayal of the wicked stepsister. According to MGM records, the film raked in $1,363,000 both in the United States and Canada and made $1,589,000 somewhere else, resulting in a loss of $387,000. This happens to be one of the last films Amanda Blake appeared in before she passed on.
In this 1988 drama film, Amanda Blake once more played a supporting character as one of the acquaintances of Lenny and Linda Brown, a young couple who, although poor, do everything within their power to make some money. Unfortunately, when they eventually become financially successful, they lose all their money to a change in tax laws which takes them down a spiral of cocaine addiction that subsequently ruins their lives. The husband is played by James Woods while Sean Young is Linda the wife. The reactions that critics had towards the film was mostly mixed with some applauding it for its handling of the subject of addiction while some felt the film made a number of errors. It was not successful at box office sales either.
Miss Robin Crusoe
In 1954, Blake was cast to play Robin Crusoe in a film that is an adaptation of the Daniel Defoe novel, Robinson Crusoe. The plot of the film is exactly the same as the story in the novel but it instead has the two main characters – Robinson Crusoe and Friday been played by women. Just like it happened in the novel, Robin is marooned on an inhabited island. After she witnesses some people kill one of their prisoners, she rescues the other prisoner, names her Friday because that is the day of her rescue and proceeds to teach her English. By the time the film gets close to the end, it takes a turn for the unexpected as Robin meets another shipwrecked person, this time a man, who she has sex with and falls in love with. Her outstanding portrayal of her character notwithstanding, this film was not loved by a lot of critics and its box office figures are not known.