Carroll Baker, 'Baby Doll's Scandalous Star: Her Rise And Fall

By Cyn Felthousen-Post
Left: Carroll Baker as depicted on the lurid poster for 'Baby Doll.' Right: Baker in character in the title role of 'Sylvia.' Sources: IMPAwards.com; Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Even today, the image of Carroll Baker sucking her thumb on the poster for Baby Doll (1956) seems a little wrong. The controversy hurt the film's box office, but brought Baker, who appeared in Giant in the same year, into the limelight. She won the Golden Globe as "New Star of the Year" in 1957, and for a decade was a sex symbol who shared top billing with some of the biggest male stars. Baker's Hollywood run came to a sudden end in the late '60s, and she took her talent to Europe for a time. She returned to the U.S. and resumed her acting career in the '80s, and today is underappreciated icon.