Caren Marsh Doll
|Caren Marsh Doll|
Caren Marsh Doll in April 2014
April 6, 1919
Hollywood, California, United States
|Residence||Palm Springs, California|
|Education||Hollywood High School|
|Occupation||Actress, Dancer, Socialite, Author|
1937-1956 (actress)1956-present (dancer, entertainer)
|Spouse(s)||Bill Doll (1950-present) 1 son|
Caren Marsh Doll, born Caren Morris (born April 6, 1919), is an American actress and dancer who was Judy Garland's stand-in for The Wizard of Oz (1939). For over two decades she appeared in motion pictures with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. She was the older sister of actress Dorothy Morris (1922 - 2011). She is considered to be one of the key cast survivors from The Wizard of Oz and currently appears at Wizard of Oz film festivals throughout the country.
She was born in Hollywood, California. She and her family were active in the Methodist church. In 1937 she graduated from Hollywood High School and wanted to become an actress. Her parents did not approve of this choice and preferred her to pursue a college education. They compromised by telling Caren that unless she could land an acting job she would be sent to school. She auditioned for a role in the Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald feature Rosalie (1937) but was declined. She re-auditioned for that movie and got the part. She was hired as Judy Garland's dance stand-in for The Wizard of Oz She was hired mostly because she was similar in height and build to Garland and even received her own pair of ruby slippers. She would also serve as a stand-in for Garland a second time with Ziegfeld Girl (1941).
Using the last name of Marsh, she began to appear in several musical features at MGM Studios and Warner Bros. in such films as Seven Sweethearts (1942), Best Foot Forward (1943), Hands Across The Border (1944) and Night and Day (1946). She did appear in speaking parts in films as Secrets of a Sorority Girl (1945) and Navajo Kid (1945). In 1947 she was named Miss Sky Lady of 1947 and began appearing in fewer films to focus on her new interest in dance.
Plane crash survival
On July 12, 1949 Marsh was one of 35 passengers on a Standard Air Lines flight. Halfway through the journey the plane crashed and Marsh was one of 14 people who survived. She was hospitalized at Ceders of Lebanon, better known today as Cedars Sinai, for several weeks and nearly had her left foot amputated. Her doctors told her that she would likely never dance again but after careful exercise she was able to heal and continue in her dancing.
She ended her acting days in 1956 after an appearance on The Gabby Hayes Show. Moving to Palm Springs, California in 1957 she married Bill Doll, a press agent to Mike Todd, and gave birth to one son. She served as the Grand Marshal of the 2011 Oz-Stravaganza Parade in Chittenango, New York. Her sister, Dorothy Morris, later became her neighbor when she retired in 1971 and lived next door to Caren until her death on November 20, 2011.
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. She is also an active member of The Palm Springs United Methodist Community Church.
In November 2007 she published her autobiography Hollywood's Babe in which she discusses her life in Hollywood and her love affair with "The Wizard of Oz".
- Kirst, Sean (2011-06-03). "Dorothy's stand-in: A miracle or two along the Yellow Brick Road". syracuse.com. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- Harrison, Scott (2011-01-27). "Crash survivor keeps dancing - Framework - Photos and Video - Visual Storytelling from the Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- Doll, Caren-Marsh Hollywood's Babe BearMedia Manor, November 1, 2007, page 279
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