Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Summer/Fall 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 209 of 315

The young Army officer was empathetic with his bride's desire to be an actor, but at that time, it wasn't possible—or practical—to be a military wife and to perform onstage. Their daughter Barbara was born in Fort Riley, Kansas. "Then, the Army in all its wisdom sent my father to school to learn Chinese," Babcock says with a laugh, "and then posted him to Japan. I spoke Japanese before I spoke English." Her father also competed in dressage and steeplechase in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. Mother and daughter returned to Carmel just before Pearl Harbor. Her father was interned by the Japanese for nine months and was released in a prisoner exchange with Japanese diplomats in Washington, DC. "Not many people know Carmel the way I did. This was a very different place then," Babcock recalls. "It was working stores. Grocery, drug, hard- ware. The people that owned those businesses lived here. They didn't have to drive all the way from Salinas to work here as they do now. Back in the beginning you could rent a lot for just $1.00 a year and you could build anything you wanted because there weren't any codes." Noting that Carmel was originally an artists' colony that attracted a pioneering breed, "When you have those kinds of adventurous people living in a community it colors the atmosphere," she muses. "It was very exhilarating to live here then." But Babcock had even more exciting things in mind for her life. "Originally, I wanted to be an explorer, to travel to Africa, South America and discover places that had never been walked on by humans before," she says. "But I realize there was no way to make a living at that. I was also interest- ed in working with animals — wild animals, not domestic." Later in life, she fulfilled both those early desires, venturing to South Africa, Kenya and Peru many times on scientific expeditions. In fact, she was on one of those adventures in Africa, tracking a group of 50 elephants that had been relocated to a more fertile environment, when she got word about the Emmy nomination for her work on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. "I went back to LA for the 208 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 A military child, Babcock spent her early years in Japan. People Magazine named her one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world in 1994. Photos: Courtesy of Barbara Babcock

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Carmel Magazine - Carmel Magazine, Summer/Fall 2018