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What’s New?Vintage Press InformationAn ’Ironside’ Title and Airdate ListingOriginal NBC Stills ArchiveVintage Magazine Features’Ironside’ CollectablesEditorials and Analytical FeaturesLinks
What’s New?Vintage Press InformationAn ’Ironside’ Title and Airdate ListingOriginal NBC Stills ArchiveVintage Magazine FeaturesIronside’ CollectablesEditorials and Analytical FeaturesLinks
 LOS ANGELES HERALD-EXAMINER  •  TV WEEKLYAugust 26, 1973  •  pp. 4-6 
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Elizabeth Baur
Ironside’s Only Girl

by Barbara Zuanich

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Elizabeth Baur quietly slipped into the only female role of NBC’s “Ironside” two years ago.
For Elizabeth it was the culmination of a family-oriented crusade.
For NBC it was a hard part to fill.
Emmy-award winner Barbara Anderson had left the show after four seasons to marry and eventually to raise a family. The network was concerned about choosing a replacement who would fit into the chemistry of “Ironside’s” cast and crew.
Initially, the search was for a person much like the blonde, blue-eyed, statuesque and sophisticated Miss Anderson. The studio interviewed 130 women and tested seven.
While Elizabeth Baur won, she was not exactly the type expected to emerge as San Francisco Police Officer Fran Belding. Elizabeth is brunette, petite (97 pounds, 5’4”), and has the vivaciousness of a college cheerleader.
“I’m not exactly the policewoman type,” says Elizabeth, “but I got the part simply because I was the best actress.”
Elizabeth’s ability to be candid helped her through an epidemic of tongue-wagging that followed her selection.
TV circles buzzed about her background.
Her father was a well-known casting director. Actresses who had been turned down for the “Ironside” part criticized Elizabeth’s selection. Elizabeth disputed the rumors then…and now.
“My father loved me, and he wanted the best for me, and part of the best was not being involved in show business,” says Elizabeth, “He’s seen the hurt that’s inherent in the industry. He humored me along for awhile, but because he thought I had absolutely no talent, he didn’t want me to have to go through rejection on a professional basis.”
Elizabeth now knows that the network had reversed its idea about Barbara Anderson’s replacement during auditions. Studio executives decided that a complete departure from the previous star would be better than having audiences comparing two women in appearance and personality.
Raymond Burr, Don Mitchell, Elizabeth Baur, and Don Galloway
(Clockwise from lower left) Raymond Burr, Don Mitchell, Elizabeth Baur, and Don Galloway—of NBC’s "Ironside."
“So it comes right down to being in the right place at the right time with the right talent. It really had nothing to do with my father,” she insists.
“My father actually discouraged me to the degree that it took great determination on my part to get myself enrolled in acting school.”
Father paid her way at Estelle Harmon’s workshop for one semester, but uttered a firm “no” when it was time to re-enroll. Elizabeth promptly made some phone calls, auditioned and was chosen for a commercial, and made enough money to continue her theatrical training.
“For a short term I wasn’t sure if I had talent. But one day, in one scene, everything clicked.”
Elizabeth’s father called Estelle Harmon to check on his daughter’s progress and was assured she was talented. But he was cautiously optimistic.
“I believe that talent will win out,” says a consistently optimistic Miss Baur.
Father might have opened some doors, but Elizabeth flatly refuses to admit that her career was made any easier because of him.
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