| The Montreal Gazette TV Times||May 5, 1973 pp. 24-25 |
Ambition rides high
by Penny P. Anderson
Elizabeth Baur wants to be a star. The shapely brunette who is about to commence her third season as Officer Fran Belding on NBCs Ironside admits her goal without reluctance or shame.
Every actor or actress who goes into this business wants to be a star. They might say they act only for the money or the personal satisfaction, but deep down inside, its the idea of stardom that keeps us all going.
|She is familiar with the motivations of most actors and actresses not only from her own experience before the cameras but from years of growing up under the wing of her prominent casting-director father, Jack Baur.|
So well acquainted with the disappointments and frustrations of Hollywoods ingenues was father Baur that he did everything in his power to prevent his daughter from becoming an actress.
But the will of a young girl, who had as a child fancied herself a movieland cowgirl, won out over the will of a concerned father.
Today, Elizabeth rides the modern-day range as the feminine side-kick to Robert Ironside and his trusty 20th Century posse.
Each progressive season since she joined the show has seen Fran Belding become more and more to the liking of Elizabeth Baur.
We had a problem the first year, she explains on a Spring afternoon at Hollywoods Brown Derby restaurant.
Barbara Anderson had been on the series for four years. Everyone was used to her, liked her and she was a smash hit.
When I came to the show after she left, I was expected to step into her shoes, to be another Barbara Anderson. They dressed me like Barbara, even wanted me to wear my hair like she did.
There were other less obvious but equally stifling reminders of Lizs popular predecessor. Id get a script from time to time with Barbaras character written into it but with her name crossed out and mine pencilled in above it.
Elizabeths strong will once again came into play, and the attractive actress has finally managed to mold the image of Fran Belding into her own individual characterization.
During the two years in which she has been with the production, she has persuaded the studio to let her chestnut hair grow long, and to permit Elizabeth to tailor her wardrobe to her own tastes. Today, Fran Belding fits the five-foot-four-inch tall actress like a glove.
Opposition in her career has been a way of life for Elizabeth, from the time she was a youngster pleadingfor acting lessons.
My family finally agreed to let me attend Estelle Harmons classes, figuring I was only going through a phase and would quickly grow out of it. I guess they figured a few classes with Estelle would prove I didnt really have talent.
The famed tutor, however, brought surprising news to the Baurs. Elizabeth was alive with acting ability and if given the opportunity, had a good chance at success.
The news, promising as it was, still did not dissuade the Baurs from their reluctance to give their daughter a chance at stardom. Jack Baur had seen too many would-be starlets suffer the humiliation of professional rejection.
My parents told me I could go to college, but they wouldnt pay for any more acting lessons, Elizabeth recalls.
With persistence in her blood, she sought the help of an agent friend who landed a television commercial for her, enabling her to pay for her own acting lessons.
Still, the struggle was not yet ended. When Elizabeth agreed to audition with an actor friend seeking admittance to the Twentieth Century Fox Talent School, the friend lost the bid, but Elizabeth won it. However, at the time, her father was casting director for the studio complex and he again put his foot down.
His veto, however, was overriden by studio head Darryl Zanuck who happened to set (sic) in on the audition and was impressed by Elizabeths ability.
Since those difficult days, the elder Baur has accepted his daughters chosen field. And, hes as proud as any father could be over her success.
He was only concerned about me because he loved me, Elizabeth explains. Hed seen so many actresses come and go and had seen how badly some of them suffered. He just didnt want me to be hurt.
Since her days as a professional TV actress began, Elizabeth has been a familiar face on the small screen. For two years, she appeared regularly on the Lancer series, and although she had hoped for the chance to see her childhood dreams of being a cowgirl materialize in that western format, they never did.
I took riding, roping lessons for a whole year from an ex-rodeo champion. I could drive buckboards, rope steers the whole thing.
But I was on a horse only twice in the entire two years of Lancer.
Even for a successful TV actress, the disappointments and frustrations are never too far away, Elizabeth attests.
Still, she likes her profession, and plans to stay with it even after Ironside leaves the air. And, that wont happen for at least two more years according to contract, Elizabeth reports.
After that? There are so many areas Ive had no experience in at all, says the fifth generation Californian, stage and good movies. Ive only appeared in one film, Boston Strangler, and that wasnt anything to shout about. Id love to do a good one.
With the help of a strong will, and a lot of talent, there seems no doubt that Elizabeth Baur will reach her goal of stardom.
Thats really what were all striving for, she reminds with a smile.
|© 1973 Penny Anderson |