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TIMES PAST

Star gets a leg up on publicity

December 13, 2006

Dec. 13, 1952: Actress Anne Baxter, filming a scene for her upcoming movie "The Blue Gardenia," based on the infamous Black Dahlia murder case, accidentally fell.

"Character actor Raymond Burr was chasing Miss Baxter when she slipped and fell across a divan, injuring her legs," The Times reported. The actress was taken to Cedars of Lebanon Hospital on Fountain Avenue where "she posed her legs," the newspaper said, "for Hollywood's luckiest cameraman -- the hospital's X-ray technician."

Fans wanting some leg art of Baxter were in for a disappointment, though, as the paper noted that "the photos won't be for publication."

Meanwhile, as Baxter recuperated from sprained ankles, "her husband, actor John Hodiak, took on the role of both mother and father to the couple's 11-month-old daughter, Katrina."

The movie, whose direction by Fritz Lang and performances by Baxter, Richard Conte and Ann Sothern set it apart from "routine murder thrillers," nevertheless received a lukewarm review from The Times movie critic on its May 27, 1953, premiere. It is "so good much of the way," he wrote, "that you can almost stand for a banal and quite-to-be-expected climax."

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