This is Babe Didrikson Zaharias' story, from her early Texas tomboy days to her Gold Medal triumphs at the 1932 Olympics, her remarkable career as a champion golfer to her fulfilling marriage to wrestler George Zaharias.
Ask sports fans to choose the greatest athletes of the 20th century and one name is sure to pop up on the list: Babe Didrikson Zaharias. This is Babe's story, from her early Texas tomboy days to her Gold Medal triumphs at the 1932 Olympics, from her remarkable career as a champion golfer to her fulfilling marriage to wrestler George Zaharias to the final battle with the only thing tougher than she was.
Susan Clark won an Emmy for her bravura work as Babe and former football great Alex Karras plays the love of her life. Their on-screen romance led to even greater things than an outstanding movie: Karras and Clark became Mr. and Mrs. in 1980. And Clark wasn't alone on the awards podium: Jerry Goldsmith won the third of his career five Emmys for his celebratory and moving score.
Susan Clark won an Emmy for her performance as legendary woman athlete Babe Didrickson (1916-1956). The film starts in Port Arthur, Texas, with teenaged Babe depriving herself of a social life in order to excel at track and field. Her well-honed skills and fierce competitive spirit win Babe a slot at the Los Angeles-based 1932 Olympics. Able to excel in practically any sport, Babe becomes a pro golfer, tennis player and billiard champ. In 1940, she meets and marries roughhewn ex-wrestler George Zaharias (played by Alex Karras, Clark's real-life future husband), who becomes her mentor and manager. Despite the anticipated career and personal conflicts, George stays by Babe's side for the next sixteen years, ultimately buoying her spirits during her three-year ordeal with terminal cancer. BABE was adapted by Emmy nominee Joanna Lee from Babe Didrickson Zaharias' autobiography THIS LIFE I'VE LED. Footnote: for a glance at the real Babe Zaharias in action on the golf links, see the Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn vehicle PAT AND MIKE (52).
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