Brigid Bazlen

Lowest Rated: 85% King of Kings (1961)
Birthday: Jun 9, 1944
Birthplace: Not Available
Brigid Bazlen only ever made three movies, but because two of them -- King of Kings and How the West Was Won -- remain perennially popular early-'60s blockbusters, she is seen quite regularly in those parts by millions of viewers every year. Bazlen was dubbed "the next Elizabeth Taylor" when she was all of 15 years old, by which time she had nearly a decade under her belt as a professional actress. The daughter of Arthur Bazlen, a retail chain executive, and Maggie Daly, a newspaper columnist from Chicago, her aunts were the performing Daly Sisters, Maureen, Kay, and Sheila. Brigid Bazlen was first discovered at the age of seven, when she was seen by an executive from NBC while waiting for the school bus in front of her house. At the time, the network was in the process of casting a then-groundbreaking soap opera called Hawkins Falls, to be produced in Chicago, and this man asked to test her for the role of the daughter of the principal couple, played by Maurice Copeland and Bernadine Flynn. Her mother initially refused but later relented and allowed the girl to have a walk-on part -- she tested so well with the sponsors and audiences that she became a regular on the show for two seasons; on surviving kinescopes, even at that age, Bazlen looks hauntingly beautiful and beguiling in the role. After Hawkins Falls was cancelled two years later, Bazlen became the star of a children's program called The Blue Fairy, broadcast by WGN of Chicago, which won a Peabody Award in 1958. By that time, columnist Hedda Hopper had declared her "the Celtic Alice in Wonderland," and work was hers for the asking. Paddy Chayefsky wanted her for his Broadway play The Dybbuk of Woodlawn (which her mother declined) and Otto Preminger asked for her in a role in his planned shooting of Exodus, while Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein wanted her for a co-starring role with Mary Martin in a theatrical production, The Sound of Music. All of those offers were turned down by her mother, but the now-14-year-old Bazlen was cast by producer David Susskind in the live network drama Too Young to Go Steady. At five-foot-four and weighing 87 pounds, with haunting dark amber eyes, she was a precociously attractive teenager, which is how Bazlen came to enter into movies, at age 16, when she was cast as Salome in Samuel Bronston's production of King of Kings. The choice was probably not a wise one, for although there were some good elements in the movie, expecting the 16-year-old Bazlen to make a mark in a role as significant as that was absurd and her work was ridiculed in many critical circles (and in his memoirs by composer Miklos Rozsa, who had to score her dance sequence), along with many other aspects of the film. Bazlen's movie career seemed to sputter at that point, possibly also due to an ineffectual campaign by MGM to promote her as "the new American Bardot." In 1962, she was cast as the temptress daughter of river pirate Walter Brennan in How the West Was Won and that same year finally moved up to co-starring status, alongside Steve McQueen, in The Honeymoon Machine, a caper comedy. Bazlen never made another movie but frequently appeared on stage in Chicago until 1966, when she married singer Jean-Paul Vignon and gave up performing. The couple later divorced after having one child, Marguerite Vignon. Her mother later said that Bazlen had lost interest in acting as she grew older. The former actress died of cancer in 1989, several years after moving to Seattle, WA.

Highest Rated Movies



90% How the West Was Won Dora Hawkins 1963
85% King of Kings Salome 1961
No Score Yet The Honeymoon Machine Julie Fitch 1961


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