Judy Carne, the British actress who crossed the pond to make her name in American television during the 1960s and ’70s, died last Thursday following a bout of pneumonia. She was 76.
Judy Carne was born near Northampton, Northamptonshire, England, and trained at the Bush Davies Theatrical School for Girls at East Grinstead, according to Variety. In the early 1960s, she appeared on shows such as “Bonanza,” “Gunsmoke,” “12 O’Clock High,” “Gidget” and “The Patty Duke Show.” She married Burt Reynolds in 1963, and they divorced in 1965, according to the New York Times.
Her fame came in 1968 when she joined the ensemble cast of “Laugh-In.” On the show, Carne would declare “It’s sock-it-to-me time” and then be doused with water or some other bit of slapstick.
The phrase “sock it to me” became a meme of sorts in which celebrity guests, including a campaigning Richard Nixon, would make a cameo appearance and utter the phrase.
Carne acted on the show for two years. A second marriage, to TV producer Robert Bergmann in 1970, lasted less than a year. She battled drug addiction — including facing charges of heroin possession (of which she was later acquitted) and prescription forgery — which she detailed in her 1985 autobiography “Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside: The Bittersweet Saga of the Sock-It-To-Me Girl.”
After reconciling with Bergmann, the pair was involved in a car accident in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1978, in which Carne broke her neck. She then retired to England. She leaves no immediate survivors.