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Lynne Baggett Profile

Lynne Baggett
Lynne Baggett
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(Ruth Baggett)
10 May 24 is born in Wichita Falls, Texas. Her father, David L. Baggett, is in the oil business; her mother, Ruth Simmons, is a stenographer.
30 the Baggetts live in Dalhart, Texas
25 July 42 is discovered on her way to the Harris Department Store in Dallas, Texas, by Steven “Solly” Baiano, Warner Brothers’ chief talent scout
? is awarded a three-year contract by Warner Brothers
September 42 is the new find of Bob Taplinger
44 is voted “The Serpentine Lady” by the boys at Kelly Field
is voted “Triple-A-Girl” by the boys at Camp Haan. The A's stand for “adorable, amicable, and amorous.”
? favors White Shoulders perfume
May 44 looks for a pet at the Los Angeles animal shelter
is named "Cobra Girl" by Air Force lads at Kelly Field, Texas
October 44 she and director Jean Negulsco ice their romance
December 44 she and fellow starlets Dolores Moran and Joan Winfield tour the Hollywood nightspots with Captain Robert C. Wilson, named "Loneliest G. I." He won the title because his girl hadn't written to him since he entered the Army.
End 45 meets Austro-Hungarian-born producer Sam Spiegel during a screen test for The Stranger. He’s 19 years her senior.
End 46 gets a contract at Universal Studios
November 47 is an item with actor George Tobias
? moves in with Spiegel at his house on North Crescent Drive. Spiegel puts her mother on a monthly allowance.
? upon Spiegel’s proposal, she seeks the advice of writer Edward Chodorov. Spiegel’s close friends, director John Huston and his wife, actress Evelyn Keyes, have talked him into marrying.
10 April 48 marries Spiegel in Las Vegas. He’s 44; she’s 24. The Hustons are witnesses. Director Billy Wilder congratulates with a telegram sent to The Hollywood Reporter.
December 49 she and Spiegel strain at the leash over her return to the screen in Bright Leaf
Early 51 when Spiegel’s off to London for pre-production of The African Queen, she starts an affair with handsome young writer Irwin Shaw, even though he’s married
c. September 51 when Spiegel persuades her to go to Europe, she continues her affair in Paris. Marion, Shaw’s beautiful and territorial wife, knows all.
supports the truce between her husband and his financial partner for The African Queen, John Huston, when showing up at London’s chic Les Ambassadeurs nightclub, dripping in mink and diamonds. She declares that the wardrobe was purchased with her husband’s profits from the movie, profits still withheld from Huston.
? messes up her husband’s house on North Crescent Drive. Spiegel will later claim that she slashed all of his suits with a pair of scissors and even destroyed six Picassos.
52 she and Spiegel separate
c. 52 when Spiegel throws her out again, she starts a short-lived affair with John Huston. Huston treats her badly.
October 52 her husband files for divorce, charging that she committed adultery with various persons
becomes an Arthur Murray instructor
6 / 7 July 54 on her way home from a party given by British actor Arthur Treacher, the car she is driving slams into a station wagon filled with boys returning from summer camp. Four are injured; one, nine-year-old Los Angeles boy Joel Watnick, is killed. Lynne fails to report the accident, and after a two-day search she’s brought in for questioning by the police. Her car is traced to actor George Tobias. He tells the police he had loaned the car to Lynne the day of the crash. Witnesses say they saw a woman get out of the car after the crash, look at the boy and then drive off.
9 July 54 as Lynn Spiegel, she is arrested in Los Angeles. She says "I’m very sorry. I'm not permitted to talk on instructions from my attorney." Her car is found at a Tarzana automobile repair. Her $10,000 bail is reduced, and finally she is released on $5,250 bond.
Spiegel, who is staying at the Connaught Hotel in London, immediately arranges her $5,000 bail
10 July 54 is ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing on manslaughter and hit-and-run driving charges. Tobias and her attorney, Sam Barchas, are with her.
14 July 54 is named in a $50,700 civil damage suit filed by Joel's mother, Mrs. Lillian Watnick. Other defendants include Spiegel and Tobias.
17 July 54 in her preliminary hearing at Los Angeles Municipal Court, two witnesses testify that her wagon was travelling 40 to 50 mph. Her attorney, Grant B. Cooper, moves unsuccessfully for dismissal of the manslaughter count she faces in addition to a felony hit-and-run charge.
31 July 54 is arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court and ordered to return August 12 to enter a plea before Superior Judge Harold W. Schweitzer
18 August 54 fails in an attempt to get a felony hit-and-run charge against her reduced to a lesser charge
October 54 she and Cooper appear in court in Los Angeles. Her attorney says, "We will show that Miss Baggett did not intentionally leave the scene."
19 October 54 is convicted by a jury on a felony charge of hit-and-run driving but is acquitted of a second felony count of manslaughter. The first charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $6,000 fine. She claims she "blacked out" after the collision.
29 October 54 is acquitted of manslaughter and serves a 50-day sentence for hit-and-run
1 December 54 is sentenced to 60-days in county jail and is placed on three years probation. Her driver's license is revoked for one year. Superior Judge Mildred Lillie comments: "I cannot accept her story of a blackout and the jury couldn't believe it, either. She was extremely rational soon after the accident, and from then until she was arrested two days later she used every resource at her command to get her car repaired and to conceal her identity." Her mother, Ruth Simmons / Baggett, faints in the courtroom and has to be comforted by her daughter.
2 December 54 starts her 60-day sentence for hit-and-run driving at the Los Angeles County jail
20 January 55 is out of jail after 50 days - getting 10 days off for good behavior - and hugs her mother. "This was sort of my college. I learned so much about life." She spent her time in jail mopping floors, waiting on tables and washing dishes. Now she wants to return to the movies "if anyone will take me."
? has to pay almost $40,000 in litigation fees for a series of six civil suits, which are settled out of court
? Spiegel’s friends, Walter Reisch and Bill Blowitz, look for Lynne while Spiegel courts his third wife-to-be, beautiful 24-year-old Betty Benson
31 March 55 her divorce becomes final. A marital settlement is made at the court in Santa Monica. Lynne will receive $25,000 on the spot and $66,000 in the coming months. She says: "He said I made him nervous and he asked me to leave."
May 55 rides around Beverly Hills on a bicycle
7 June 59 takes an overdose of sleeping pills and is found in bed at her Beverly Hills home. Before losing consciousness, she called a telephone operator and asked for help. The police have to break down the locked door to rescue her. She is taken to a hospital where attendants say her condition is serious.
24 August 59 is found by a friend in her apartment. She claims she was trapped six days under her foldaway bed without food or water. She slipped and fell halfway under the bed, hurt her back, and couldn't move or reach her telephone. She suffered a small face cut and had to be rescued by firemen. She's kept in hospital for treatment on malnutrition.
? is partially paralyzed from drug addiction and diagnosed as a chronic depressed neurotic
22 / 23 March 60 as Lynne B. Spiegel, she is found dead at age 35 in her bed at her Hollywood apartment by Darlene Jones, her nurse. She is clad in a pink shorty nightgown and white panties. Released from a private sanitarium only six weeks ago and under a doctor's care for peripheral neuritis, she was paralyzed from her knees down and took an overdose of barbiturates. She had been dead about 12 hours. Darlene Jones tells police that the actress had asked her not to come to her Hollywood apartment until late Tuesday because "she wanted to get a lot of rest."
is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Glendale, Graceland section, Lot 992
Spiegel doesn’t attend the funeral. At first he refuses to pay for the service, but he finally picks up the bill.
Sources:
Sam Spiegel by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, The Lowell Sun, Reno Evening Gazette, The Charleroi Mail, The Mexia Weekly Herald, Nevada State Journal, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, The Daily Register, The News, Syracuse Herald-Journal, The Portsmouth Herald, The Valley News, Gazette and Bulletin, The Holland Evening Sentinel, Record-Eagle, Tri-City Herald, The Independent Record, Reno Evening Gazette, Indiana Evening Gazette, The Evening Banner, Statesville Record & Landmark, Ironwood Daily Globe, The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, Oakland Tribune, The Odessa American, Oshkosh Northwestern, The New York Times, www.Findagrave.com, www.Ancestry.com
Recommended Books:
Sam Spiegel by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni
Links:
Filmography