Entertainment & Arts

Judy Carne, star of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, dies aged 76

Judy Carne Image copyright Getty Images

British television actress Judy Carne - best known as the 'Sock It To Me' girl on hit 1960s show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - has died aged 76.

She found overnight fame on the sketch comedy series, and spent two years being doused with water every time she said the phrase "Sock it to me!".

Carne was also known for her tumultuous relationship with actor Burt Reynolds, to whom she was married from 1963-65.

The Northampton-born actress died on 3 September, reported The Telegraph.

Carne's other TV credits included appearances in The Man from Uncle, Juke Box Jury, sitcoms The Rag Trade and Fair Exchange, and the 1962 comedy film A Pair of Briefs.

The actress detailed her relationship with Reynolds in her 1985 autobiography Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside: The Bittersweet Saga of the Sock-It-To-Me Girl.

In the book she confessed to several affairs and also described her long struggle with drug addiction.

Image caption Carne appeared in BBC sketch show Marks in His Diary in 1980 - with David Jason, Alfred Marks and Hugh Thomas

When she and Reynolds met she said they "were immediately in love, so we immediately made love", but they divorced in 1966, with Carne claiming the actor had become abusive.

The actress - who was born Joyce Audrey Botterill on 27 April 1939 - was brought up in Kingsthorpe, Northamptonshire, where her parents ran a greengrocer's shop.

She was a popular figure during her time on Laugh-In, but quit the show in the middle of the third series - around the same time Goldie Hawn emerged as the show's female star - complaining that it had become "a bore".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Carne chatting to hairdresser Vidal Sassoon in 1961

Carne once described herself as "a 1960s flowerchild who has refused to grow up. Mature and responsible are words I don't understand," she said.

During her lifetime she talked of relationships with several well known figures including Vidal Sassoon, Stirling Moss, the actor Anthony Newley, Steve McQueen and Warren Beatty - as well as a "meaningful relationship with a woman for a year and a half".

She married again in 1970 to Robert Bergmann, but they split six months later.

While living in America in the late 1970s, Carne was charged with heroin possession and prescription forgery, but was acquitted of the heroin charge.

She moved back to Northampton in the 1980s where she was later said to have lived a quiet life with her two dogs in the village of Pitsford.

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