Whitney Blake stole the hearts of many with her incredible exploits in the entertainment industry. As an actress, director, and producer, she exhibited so much versatility and was of huge significance to the industry. Among her numerous works, Blake was quite notable for her role in the sitcom, Hazel.
As early as in the 60s she was a notable figure and also stood on a prestigious pedestal among her counterparts. After a successful and remarkable time in the industry, the actress and producer kissed the screens goodbye in 2002 after a battle with cancer. Here is everything you need to know about the legendary actress.
Whitney Blake’s Bio
She was born and named Nancy Ann Whitney on February 20, 1926, in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, California to her parents Martha Mae Whitney, her mother and Harry C. Whitney, her father. She is an alumnus of Pasadena City school. While in high school, Whitney Blake who was always inclined to the performing arts got herself involved in theatre. By the time she went into her career proper, she already had five years of experience in theatre. Whilst preparing herself for the big screens, Blake was involved in several works at the Pasadena Playhouse.
She starred first in Clare Boothe Luce’s production of The Women. After a remarkable portrayal in the amateur production, Whitney Blake caught the attention of agent Sid Gold who then linked her up with several producers. Blake made her on-screen debut in Medic, and then went on to land a lot of roles in TV series. Some of them include Circus Boy (1957), Cavalcade of America (1957), and many others. Blake’s first film came in the late 50s; she starred as Nancy Williams in My Gun Is Quick and was quite remarkable.
She then went on to make an appearance in the film -30-. The actress greeted the 60s with a lot of TV series which made her even more popular in the industry. One of her most remarkable appearances was in the sitcom Hazel where she played the role of Dorothy Baxter. Another notable series was The Legend of Jesse James. The 70s was even more challenging for the talented actress. But Blake embraced it all with so much grace and poise.
Life and Death of the Actress
In the 80s Whitney Blake gradually tilted her career to producing. After starring in the 80s drama titled A Face in the Crowd, she went on to produce the documentary Reno’s Kids: 87 Days + 11. She also co-created the series One Day at a Time with her husband Alan Mannings. As her relevance in the industry dwindled, she gradually withdrew from the screens allowing the younger generation to show what they have to offer the industry.
Whitney Blake died of cancer in 2002 at the age of 76. The actress had been diagnosed with Oesophageal cancer. She told her family about the dreadful ailment on her 76th birthday after a family dinner. Blake at the time had so much faith that she would fight the disease and come out victorious.
But unfortunately, after about seven months, she gave up the fight. In her last days, the pain had become unbearable for her and was also a challenging moment for her husband and children. It was September 28, 2002, and the once vibrant actress and producer gave up the ghost in her home in Edgartown, Massachusetts.
Whitney Blake’s Family – Spouse, Kids
Before her death, Whitney Blake was married three times. Her first marriage was to Tom Baxter in 1944. The couple had three children together. Their first son Richard Whitney Baxter was born in November 1944, the same year they tied the knot. In February 1946 they welcomed their second son, Brian Thomas Baxter. The following year, Whitney and Tom welcomed their only daughter and last child, actress Meredith Ann Baker. However, after six years of marriage, the couple went their separate ways.
Whitney Blake got married again in 1957 to Jack Fields. They were divorced in 1967 after 10 years together. Blake soon moved on the following year; her third and last marriage was with Alan Mannings in 1968. Mannings remained her husband until her death in 2002. Eight years after her death, Blake’s husband Mannings died of Oesophagal cancer, the same illness that took her life. The couple had no children together.