In 1970, Judy Carne was poised to return to series television when Sheldon Leonard agreed to make a pilot for a sitcom starring her as a journalist, tentatively called "Poor Judy." The series was never picked up and Carne's career as a television star was over for all intents and purposes.
Judy Carne played in a number of theatrical presentations before coming to the United States. Some of the best-known were starring turns in the musicals Chrysanthemum and The Boy Friend (replacing Julie Andrews). She also had a brief run of off-Broadway work after leaving television in the early 70s.
Carne caused a minor sensation in 1969 by removing her pants in response to the dress code of New York's "21 Club" that forbid admission of women wearing slacks. The incident was reported in Time magazine.
Though Carne lost out to Angela Lansbury for the lead in the 1971 Disney movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks, her vocals from the audition later appeared on a Disney album of songs from the film.
At the height of her fame, Judy Carne left Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In after two years because she felt she was unable to showcase her singing and dancing abilities in a more serious light.
Carne was one of a long string of women who had been romantically linked to actor Warren Beatty.
Carne was dismissed from Hollywood Squares in 1972 when she fell asleep during the taping of an episode.
Despite acrimony and ten years of silence, when Carne's ex-husband Burt Reynolds first guest-hosted The Tonight Show, he invited her to appear.
Judy Carne battled drug and alcohol addiction through the 1970s, beginning with marijuana and culminating with heroin. She resided in detox programs in California and Oklahoma and was arrested for possession at Gatwick Airport in London in 1978. Carne was sentenced to a term at a woman's correctional facility for the latter offense.
Judy Carne still does occasional interviews and appearances, but after a stormy life, lives quietly in her original home town of Northampton, England, UK.
After a serious automobile wreck in 1978, Carne was incapacitated and in traction for three months with a broken neck.
Growing up in England, Judy Carne was recognized as a talent at a very early age, training in dance at the Pitt-Draffen Academy and enrolling at the selective Bush-Davies Theatrical School when she was nine.
In an interview with Silver Screen in 1967, Pete Duel (Judy's co-star on Love on a Rooftop) said of Carne, "Judy's all woman with a big extra - she has compassion underneath."
Carne underwent a bitter and highly public divorce from Burt Reynolds after two years of marriage (1963-65) and was married even more briefly to producer Robert Bergman (1970-71). Some sources report that she married two more times.
Judy Carne profiled her fall from stardom in a 1984 biography titled Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside: The Bittersweet Saga of the Sock It To Me Girl.
Born Joyce Botterill, Carne took her stage name in two parts - a theatrical coach suggested that "Judy" was a more memorable first name and "Carne" comes from a character in the play Sister Bonaventure.
Judy Carne: (speaking on her relationship with Burt Reynolds) Actors and actresses shouldn't be together. Each is so involved in himself that there isn't room at the dinner table for the two of them.
Judy Carne: (on living alone after her first divorce) I have been high strung since I was a child and I don't sleep very well. I'm always hearing noises.