Caren Marsh Doll

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Caren Marsh Doll
Caren Marsh Doll.jpg
Caren Marsh Doll in April 2014
Caren Morris

(1919-04-06) April 6, 1919 (age 99)
Residence Palm Springs, California, U.S.
Education Hollywood High School
OccupationActress, dancer
Years active1937-1948 (actress); 1956-present (dancer, entertainer)
Bill Doll
(m. 1950;died 1979)
Children1 son

Caren Marsh Doll (born April 6, 1919), born as Caren Morris, and credited also as Caren Marsh, is an American stage and screen actress and dancer, specialising in modern dance and tap, who was Judy Garland's dance stand-in for The Wizard of Oz (1939) and a Ziegfeld Girl in 1941. Starting from 1937 and until 1948 she appeared in motion pictures with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film Studios, including a small uncredited part in Gone With The Wind , from 1956 she took a second career becoming a dance teacher. Her younger sister was television and film actress Dorothy Morris.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Tap dance tap dance

Tap dance is a type of dance characterized by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. The sound is made by shoes that have a metal "tap" on the heel and toe. There are several major variations on tap dance including: flamenco, rhythm (jazz) tap, classical tap, Broadway tap, and post-modern tap. Broadway tap is rooted in English theatrical tradition and often focuses on formations, choreography and generally less complex rhythms; it is widely performed in musical theatre. Rhythm tap focuses on musicality, and practitioners consider themselves to be a part of the jazz tradition. Classical tap has a similarly long tradition which marries European "classical" music with American foot drumming with a wide variation in full-body expression. Post-modern or contemporary tap has emerged over the last three decades to incorporate abstract expression, thematic narrative and technology.

Judy Garland American actress, singer and vaudevillian

Judy Garland was an American actress, singer, dancer, and vaudevillian. During a career that spanned 45 years, she attained international stardom as an actress in both musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist, and on the concert stage. Respected for her versatility, she received a juvenile Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Special Tony Award. Garland was the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for her live recording Judy at Carnegie Hall (1961).


The Wizard of Oz

Although not a credited cast member, she is one of a few known surviving personnel and youngest of the two to have worked on the MGM film The Wizard of Oz, the other being professional football star Ambrose Schindler, who served in a cameo role as a Winkie Guard and as a stunt double to Jack Haley portrayor of the Tinman. She has appeared at Wizard of Oz film festivals, conventions, and reunions.

Ambrose "Amblin' Amby" Schindler is a former American collegiate football player, coach, and on-field official. He played college football for the University of Southern California.

Jack Haley American stage, radio and film actor

John Joseph Haley Jr was an American vaudevillian, actor, radio host, comedian, singer and dancer best known for his portrayal of the Tin Man and his farmhand counterpart "Hickory" in the classic 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz.

Tin Woodman character from Oz series

The Tin Woodman, better known as either the Tin Man or (incorrectly) the Tin Woodsman, is a character in the fictional Land of Oz created by American author L. Frank Baum. Baum's Tin Woodman first appeared in his classic 1900 book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and reappeared in many other subsequent Oz books in the series. In late 19th-century America, men made out of various tin pieces were used in advertising and political cartoons. Baum, who was editing a magazine on decorating shop windows when he wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was reportedly inspired to invent the Tin Woodman by a figure he had built out of metal parts for a shop display.

Early life

She was born in Hollywood, California. Her father was a Hollywood stockbroker. She and her family were active in the Methodist church. In 1937 she graduated from Hollywood High School [1] and wanted to become an actress. Her parents did not approve of this choice and preferred she pursue a college education. They compromised by telling Caren that unless she could land an acting job she would be sent to school. [1]

Hollywood Neighborhood of Los Angeles in California, United States

Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California, notable as the home of the U.S. film industry including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people associated with it.

Hollywood High School

Hollywood High School is a four-year public secondary school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, located at the intersection of North Highland Avenue and West Sunset Boulevard in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California.

Film career

She auditioned for a role in Rosalie (1937), starring Nelson Eddy and Eleanor Powell but did not win the role. She later re-auditioned for that movie and got the part. [1] She was hired as Judy Garland's dance stand-in for The Wizard of Oz. [2] She was hired largely mostly because she was similar in height and build to Garland and even received her own pair of ruby slippers. [1] She served as a stand-in for Garland a second time with Ziegfeld Girl (1941). According to Marsh, when she wasn't filling in for Garland in The Wizard of Oz she would be across Hollywood at Selznick International Pictures working as an extra in Gone with the Wind (1939).

<i>Rosalie</i> (film) 1937 film by W. S. Van Dyke

Rosalie is a 1937 American film adaptation of the 1928 stage musical of the same name. The film was released in December 1937. The film follows the story of the musical, but replaces most of the Broadway score with new songs by Cole Porter. The story involves the romantic entanglements of a princess in disguise and a West Point cadet.

Nelson Eddy American musical film star, operatic baritone

Nelson Ackerman Eddy was an American singer and actor who appeared in 19 musical films during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as in opera and on the concert stage, radio, television, and in nightclubs. A classically trained baritone, he is best remembered for the eight films in which he costarred with soprano Jeanette MacDonald. He was one of the first "crossover" stars, a superstar appealing both to shrieking bobby soxers and opera purists, and in his heyday, he was the highest paid singer in the world.

Eleanor Powell Dancer, actress

Eleanor Torrey Powell was an American dancer and actress. Best remembered for her solo tap numbers in musical films in the 1930s and 1940s, Powell began studying ballet aged six and began dancing at nightclubs in Atlantic City before she was a teenager. From the age of sixteen, she began studying tap and started appearing in musical revues on Broadway, before making her Hollywood debut as a featured dancer in the movie George White's Scandals (1935).

In film credited under her maiden name Caren Marsh she appeared in films such as That Night in Rio (1941 ), Hands Across the Border (1944), [2] Wild Harvest (1947), [3] Girl Crazy (1943), Best Foot Forward (1943), [4] Seven Sweethearts (1942), and Night and Day (1946). She did appear in speaking parts in films as Secrets of a Sorority Girl (1945) and Navajo Kid (1945).

<i>That Night in Rio</i> 1941 film by Irving Cummings

That Night in Rio is a 1941 Technicolor American musical comedy film directed by Irving Cummings and starring Alice Faye, Don Ameche and Carmen Miranda. It is one of several film adaptations of a play called The Red Cat by Rudolf Lothar and Hans Adler. Others are Folies Bergère de Paris (1935) and On the Riviera (1951).

<i>Hands Across the Border</i> 1944 film by Joseph Kane

Hands Across the Border is a 1944 American film directed by Joseph Kane and starring Roy Rogers.

<i>Wild Harvest</i> 1947 film by Tay Garnett

Wild Harvest is a 1947 film directed by Tay Garnett. It stars Alan Ladd and Dorothy Lamour.

In 1947, she was named Miss Sky Lady of 1947 [5] and began appearing in fewer films to focus on her new interest in dance. After appearing in an airshow as Miss Sky Lady, she took flight instruction classes, learned to fly and later dropped leaflets of her acting profile on various movie studios in Hollywood. [3] She made also an appearance on The Gabby Hayes Show in 1956, after which she become a dance instructor.

Dance dance as a performing art

Dance is a performing art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture. Dance can be categorized and described by its choreography, by its repertoire of movements, or by its historical period or place of origin.

<i>The Gabby Hayes Show</i> US television program

The Gabby Hayes Show is a general purpose western television series in which the film star and Roy Rogers confidant, George "Gabby" Hayes (1885–1969), narrated each episode, showed clips from old westerns, or told tall tales for a primarily children's audience. The first Hayes program ran on NBC at 5:15 p.m. Eastern for fifteen minutes three times per week and preceded the puppet series, Howdy Doody. It aired from December 11, 1950, to January 1, 1954. The second version was a half-hour broadcast on Saturday mornings, carried for only thirteen weeks from May 12 to July 14, 1956, on ABC.

1949 Plane crash survival

On July 12, 1949, Marsh was aboard Standard Air Lines Flight 897R, when the C-46E crashed. [6] The flight had left Albuquerque, New Mexico at 4:43 am. While on approach to the Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank, California at 7:40 am, the twin engine plane, flying too low, hooked a wingtip on a hill and crashed near Chatsworth, California, and Marsh was one of the 13 people who survived. Marsh was pulled from the wreckage by another passenger named Judy Frost. [7] Marsh was hospitalized at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital for several weeks, and nearly had her left foot amputated. [5] Marsh's doctors told her that she would likely never dance again, but after careful exercise she was able to heal and continue in her dancing. [5]

Personal life

She moved to Palm Springs, California, in 1957 and married Bill Doll, (died 1979) a press agent to theatre and film producer Mike Todd. The Dolls [8] had one son. Her sister actress Dorothy Morris, became her neighbor when Marsh retired in 1971. The sisters lived next door to each other until Dorothy's death on November 20, 2011.

Autobiography and 'Oz' festivals

In November 2007, Marsh published her autobiography, Hollywood's Babe, in which she discussed her life in Hollywood, and her love affair with "The Wizard of Oz". In 2011 she served as the Grand Marshal of the Oz-Stravaganza Parade in Chittenango, New York. [5]

Dance instructor

Once a month on the first Monday, Marsh volunteers as a dance therapy instructor at the Palm Springs Stroke Activity Center where the styles taught range from themes like ballroom dancing, country, Hawaiian, and belly dancing. [5] She is an active member of The Palm Springs United Methodist Community Church. [9]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 Kirst, Sean. "Dorothy's stand-in: A miracle or two along the Yellow Brick Road". Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  2. 1 2 "Handprint Ceremony Slated Friday". The Times. 2007-09-13. p. 172. Retrieved 2017-11-06 via
  3. 1 2 Gunson, Victor (1948). "Don't Try to Crash Film Studio Gates, Just Fly Over Them If You're Seeking Screen Chance--Caren Marsh's Recipe". The Journal News. p. 2. Retrieved 2017-11-06 via
  4. Phillips, Brent (2014-10-24). Charles Walters: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance. University Press of Kentucky. p. 65. ISBN   9780813147239.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Harrison, Scott (2011-01-27). "Crash survivor keeps dancing" . Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  6. Kondo, Annette (1999-08-02). "Memories of Survival". Los Angeles Times. ISSN   0458-3035 . Retrieved 2017-11-06.
  7. "Movie Starlet Relates How Woman Saved Life in Crash". The Dispatch. 1949-07-13. p. 20. Retrieved 2017-11-06 via
  8. "Bill Doll, Press Agent; Handled Mike Todd, Other Famous Figures". 3 March 1979. Retrieved 7 June 2018 via
  9. Doll, Caren-Marsh Hollywood's Babe BearMedia Manor, November 1, 2007, page 279