Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Summer/Fall 2018

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CARMEL T H R O U G H T H E E Y E S O F BARBARA BABCOCK A Long Love Affair with the Village by the Sea B Y M I C H A E L C H AT F I E L D I f you should chance to meet Barbara Babcock on the streets of Carmel, chances are good that you would be struck with a strong sense of déjà vu, a surety that you had met this woman before, that her face is familiar. And you'd be correct: you most likely have seen her in one of the hundreds of roles she's played on television and in motion pictures. Babcock debuted on the small screen in 1963 as Dwyane Hickman's girlfriend in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and she took her final bow on televi- sion in 2004 on CBS' Judging Amy. In the interim, the actress, described by People Magazine as possessing a "willowy, light-as-air loveliness," worked on dozens of the most popular television shows of the medium's history including: Mission Impossible, four episodes of the original Star Trek, Hogan's Heroes,Mannix, The Streets of San Francisco, Golden Girls, Taxi, Frazier, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress), half a dozen episodes of Murder, She Wrote and the project she considers her most professionally fulfilling, Hill Street Blues (for which she took home the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress). Of course, the movies came calling as well, offering roles in such films as fellow-Carmelite Clint Eastwood's Space Cowboys, in which she played the part of his character's wife. Though by necessity she spent most of her working years in Los Angeles, Babcock has deep roots in Carmel. "My mother, Jadwiga Noskow- iak, was born in Chile, came to the U.S. at the age of nine, and at seventeen, already a classically trained singer, took a summer course at the Golden Bough Theater and stayed on after the course ended," she says. "After a rehearsal at midnight, she could walk home alone along the beach and not worry about a thing. No one locked their doors. She loved it here." The young actress landed the lead in Romeo and Juliet at the Forest Theater. "My father had just graduated from West Point and was studying Chinese at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey," Babcock says. "He had a friend who did the theater's lighting, so he got to watch the show from the lighting booth. His friend said, 'since you're seeing the show for free, you might as well help. See that woman in white? Just follow her with the spotlight.' At the end of the show, my father turned to his friend and said, 'that's the woman I'm going to marry.'" Soon after, Jadwiga Noskowiak became Mrs. Conrad Stanton Babcock, Jr. Actress Barbara Babcock has lifelong Carmel connections to Carmel. She now calls it home. 206 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 8 Photo: Kelli Uldall

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