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Baby Daphne
Daphne's Castle


In the late 60s, early 70s, there was a witch named Baby Daphne who would show cartoons weekday mornings on either channel 5 or 13. Her gag was that every time she said the word "make-up" a giant powder puff would appear from off-screen and smack her in the face with baby powder. She may have only lasted a year and was probably one of the last of the LA independents. Anyone else remember her?

- Perry Shields


Baby Daphne? She was the best! She had this big black spider (stuffed of course) hanging down a few feet from the ceiling by a cord. It's name was "No name," and she'd slap it and it would fly back and forth and bob around going "bloop, bloop."

This was a very "campy" show. Baby Daphne also had horizontal striped sox and platform tennies.

- Jeffery S


I also watched the witch Baby Daphne for a short time - my mother put a stop to it after she witnessed Daphne giving some very bad advice.

A kid had written in asking Daphne what to do about a problem... it seemed the kid wasn't getting his way with his parents like he wanted. Baby Daphne told the kid - and all young T.V. viewers - that next time that kid's parents didn't let him have his way, he should scream and holler and stomp. In other words, throw a tantrum! My mother was watching this episode and was appalled that Daphne would lead young viewers astray with such bad advice, and I don't blame my mom! She rightfully didn't allow us to watch Daphne any more. At least Sheriff John had better sense!

- Kolette


I remember "Baby Daphne" very well. The woman's first real name was Patricia Blake .

Baby Daphne actually started off on the Mr. Wishbone Show - she was the one who put on all those animal costumes.

To the person who said that Baby Daphne actually advised his/her little brother to throw a tantrum, I must say that while that specific incident may be true, I do know that my mother was more upset with Baby Daphne's lessons on etiquette.

In these segments, she would very calmly illustrate what the proper form of behavior in a given situation should be. Then, after demonstrating extremely restrained and polite behavior, she'd say "THIS is what you DON'T do" - and then launch into a terribly funny, aggressive and almost Marx-Brothers-ian type of skit (i.e., if there was a stuffed dummy posed as a dowager, Baby Daphne would say "what are you looking at?", and then sock it or wrestle with it).Obviously, the kids remembered all the wrong stuff!!

The one thing that I never understood was her promotion for the musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie" starring Julie Andrews. When the film was first released, Baby Daphne would break during the show and advertise the film, then show the trailer. Although a family movie, this move was not a film for kids. And there were other films which she never promoted. Why? There must be a good reason but darned if I know.

- Bob Cruz


BABY DAPHNE was also broadcast locally in New York around 1968 and 1970, over Metromedia's WNEW Channel 5. WNEW-NY (now, WYNY FOX 5) had a LONG history of terrific kids shows, such as the locally produced programs featuring Sandy Becker and Soupy Sales and airing such syndicated fare as WINCHELL AND MAHONEY TIME. But that all unceremoniously ended, in 1968, when WNEW pulled the plug on Sandy Becker's show--the only live kids show left on the station (save for WONDERAMA, which had recently changed hosts from Sonny Fox, to Bob McAllister).

Now, those 1960's Channel 5 shows, (along with the shows of Chuck McCann, Officer Joe Bolton and Carol Corbett that were running, concurrently on WPIX/Channel 11) are generally regarded as the latter-day, hey-dey of New York kids TV. Why the programs were ever cancelled is a bit mysterious-- Especially, since, in '68 or '69, WNEW started experimenting with importing OTHER city's kids-shows: BABY DAPHNE and Philadelphia's PIXANNE.

Here's the funny part, and what prompted this note: Earlier today, I was glancing through a friend's collection of TV GUIDES-- (Now THERE'S a pasttime!) checking on old kids TV shows. In early 1970, there was a listing for a daily series, that I couldn't remember: DAPHNE'S CASTLE.

At some point, apparently, DAPHNE'S CASTLE was also shown on New York's WOR-TV, Channel 9 (today, "UPN 9"). (Intriguingly, back around 1966 or 1967, WPIX/Channel 11 had imported--but IN PERSON!--another Los Angeles kids-show personality: Beachcomber Bill (Bill Biery). Biery remained with the station beyond his kids-series' run, at least through the early '80s, as a staff announcer and news reader.) It would be fun to find out where Patricia Blake (the actress who played Baby Daphne, according to one internet source), and "Beachcomber Bill," are now!

- Best, James H. (Jim) Burns


SADLY, PATRICIA BLAKE
PASSED AWAY A FEW YEARS AGO,
BUT WE HEARD FROM HER DAUGHTER:

Hello, My name is Kathleen Blake and I am the daughter of Patricia Blake who was Baby Daphne from 1967 to 1970 on KTTV in Los Angeles.

In the early fifties she had her own children's show in San Francisco called Princess Pat (for which she one an Emmy for Best Actress and Best Childrens Show). We then moved down to Los Angeles around 1953 and she moved her Princess show there and it was on KTTV as The Princess. It might be fun for her fans to see the photos of when she was younger and was a beautiful princess, those shows were very popular. She won many awards for those programs. She wrote all the stories she told, made her own costumes, etc., as she did with Baby Daphne. Actually, my sister found more newspaper reviews, etc. that our mother had saved, on her Princess shows than on her Baby Daphne shows.

Just for the record, she was never on the Mr. Wishbone Show as the person in animal costumes as someone else has written. But Jim Trudeau (Mr. Wishbone) and my mother were friends and I remember they did some writing together through the years.

After talking to my sister, she reminded me that my mother was on Mr. Wishbone's show - but only her voice. She was a character that she created called, MLF (Mysterious Little Friend) who lived in a beautiful little house. MLF would read the funny papers with Mr. Wishbone. Later, MLF was a character on Daphne's Cartoon Castle when she began that show; along with No Name Spider, Magic in the Air, Itsy Bitsy Pot, Mr. Makeup Man and other characters. Baby Daphne would talk to her viewers, addressing them as Witch-Watchers.

She wrote, produced, directed and did all the acting on Baby Daphne. I worked for her for about three years and I can tell you she was very dedicated and worked very hard. I answered (or gave to her to answer) her fan mail, which was hundreds of letters weekly. She had big fan clubs of college students... the biggest at USC. Her level of humor was very sophisticated and in all the skits she wrote she tried to write an underlying message of right human relations, as well as very funny comedy.

She never talked down to children; she knew they were smart and realize her skits were just pretend. The people that wrote on this page that she gave 'bad' advice to kids do not understand that those were not real kids letters, merely comedy bits she wrote.

My mother passed away in 1999 and my sister is in the process of sending all of her old kineoscopes and videos and costumes of both The Princess, Princess Pat, and Baby Daphne to the Museum of Radio and Television Artists (I think that is the right name of it) in New York and Los Angeles, where folks can go in and view her old shows.

My mother loved entertaining children very much. Patricia Blake also did many television and radio commercials in her career, some movie dubbing and when younger much theatre, including Shakespeare. She was a wonderful actress and a loving mother and a good friend to many. We miss her very much.

- Sincerely, Kathleen Blake


It is so wonderful that you are remembering all these truly talented and special people. Thank you for putting in the time. It especial means alot to me because my Grandmother was Patricia Blake (Baby Daphne). She was a very special lady and I am glad she is being remembered.

I was very blessed to have a grandmother like Patricia Blake! As a young, awkward girl she always made me feel like a princess.

I would visit her in Agoura CA and she would dress me up in all her numerous costumes. She had rooms devoted just to wonderful costumes, wigs and all things glamorous. Everything from Scarlet O'Hara dresses to evening gowns to psychedelic witch outfits. A dream for any little girl who wanted to play dress-up.

She would cover me in her rhinestones and tell me how beautiful I was. That was a priceless gift to the ugly duckling I was. She was so vibrant and full of childlike excitement about life. I was such a serious little girl and she helped me laugh and remember to embrace the wonders around me.

My mother Kathleen used to joke and say I should have been Patricia's daughter. The way we used to disappear for hours chatting away about all the glittery things in the world. Perhaps that's why I have never stopped wanting to play dress-up.

My grandmother made me feel like I could do anything I set out to do. Perhaps that is why I am a performer as well. Both my grandmother and my mother loved to sing. I guess that is where the passion stems from and why I am a musician today.

I thank Patricia for that with all my heart. My Aunt Gayle came to see me perform when I was playing in Hollywood. After the show she came up with tears in her eyes and told me I sounded so much like my grandmother. I think that was the best compliment I have ever received.

When Patricia passed away it broke my heart. I never really got to know her as a mature woman nor share my music with her. I hope she knows that she sent me on a wonderful path. I think of her often. I feel her in my heart and miss her everyday.

- Adara Blake

 

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