Synopsis by Hal Erickson
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).
terminal-illness, track [track and field], athlete, battle [war], cancer, friendship, husband, life, sports