Family & Companions
This tall, light-haired Canadian actress rose to prominence portraying two seminal female figures in TV-movie biographies in the mid-1970s. Clark won an Emmy as athlete Babe Didrickson Zaharias in a "Babe" (CBS, 1975) and earned praise and an Emmy nomination as aviation pioneer "Amelia Earhart" (NBC, 1976). Since the early 80s, Clark has often worked in tandem with her husband, former football star Alex Karras. The couple formed Georgian Bay Productions and went on to star alongside child actor Emmanuel Lewis in "Webster" (ABC, 1983-87, syndicated 1987-88). Clark played a socialite/consumer advocate/psychologist who becomes the adoptive mother of a young African American.
Clark studied acting in her native Canada and then at RADA in London, where she made her stage debut. Her film debut was in a decidedly supporting role in the soapy "Banning" (1967), but it earned her a contract at Universal. The actress subsequently played a married woman having an affair with Henry Fonda in "Madigan" (1968), a social worker who was the object of Clint Eastwood's lusting eyes in "Coogan's Bluff" (1968), an upper-crust physician working on the reservation in "Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here" (1970), and Mrs. Patroni, wife of Joe Patroni (George Kennedy) and a passenger on a flight being flown by stewardess Karen Black, in "Airport '75" (1974). In 1982, she returned to Canada to do an uproarious comic turn in Bob Clark's "Porky's," as a woman-for-hire who pretends she will sleep with a gaggle of teenaged boys who turns out to be part of a broader practical joke.
The small screen had proved to be a more enduring medium for Clark. She broke into American TV in 1967 on an episode of NBC's "Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre." As part of her Universal contract, she was frequently seen in the early 70s as a guest on studio-produced series, such as "Marcus Welby, M.D.." "Columbo" and "The Bold Ones," and movies, like "Something for a Lonely Man" (NBC). But it took her turns in "Babe" and "Amelia Earhart" to solidify her small screen stardom. She and Karras produced and starred in a handful of TV-movies, including "Jimmy B. and Andre" (CBS, 1980), a proto-"Webster" drama about a black youth taken in by a Caucasian man, and the romantic comedy "Maid in America" (CBS, 1982), with Karras as the hired help of busy lawyer Clark.
After "Webster" went off the air, Clark was less active for several years, but returned in full force in 1994, playing the mother of a young married woman lost in the snow in "Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story" (CBS) and co-starring in "Tonya and Nancy: The Inside Story" (NBC) about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. She also had a starring role as an obstetrician in the Canadian-produced "Butterbox Babies" (shown in the USA on A&E, 1996). That same year, Clark attempted a return to series TV making the ABC pilot "Toe Tags," about life in a morgue.
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Film acting debut in "Banning"
Made American TV debut in episode of "Bob Hope's Chrysler Theatre"
Made TV-movie debut, "Something for a Lonely Man"
Had breakthough role in TV biopic, "Babe"
Starred in TV-movie "Amelia Earhart"
Made producing debut, "Jimmy B and Andre" (CBS)
With her husband Alex Karras, co-starred in the ABC sitcom "Webster"
Returned to TV-movies in "Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story" and "Tonya and Nancy: The Inside Story"
Acted on stage in Los Angeles in "Appearances to the Contrary"