Judy Carne, a sprightly British actress and comedian who rocketed to pop culture fame as the “sock it to me” girl on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” a landmark of television zaniness. It was an ensemble comedy show composed of brief bits of slapstick antics and verbal nonsense tumbling over one another in furious succession. It ran on NBC from 1968 to 1973 and is the forerunner of Saturday Night Live.
Often racy in content — well, racy for the time — the show featured attractive women (Ms. Carne and Goldie Hawn among them) in miniskirts and other revealing costumes and jokes about sex, drugs and politics that tested network censors. It was enormously popular, in part because of Ms. Carne and the running gag that became a national meme: “sock it to me,”
Ms. Carne was trained in dance and theater and reportedly took the name Judy at the suggestion of a teacher while her surname Carne came from a character in a play by the English playwright Charlotte Hastings .
She was the daughter of a London fruit merchant, and born Joyce Botterill on April 27, 1939 in Northhampton, Northhamptonshire, England. She also died in Northampton, England at 76. The probable cause was pneumonia, said a friend, Jon Barrett, who said Ms. Carne had been in the hospital for several days and that the official death certificate was not yet available.”
She married Burt Reynolds in 1963 and they were divorced in 1965, writing in her auto bio “Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside,” that he was was abusive, but she confessed to a myriad love affairs with name brand actors and others, and she acknowledged her drug abuse, including an addiction to heroin.
A second marriage, to Robert Bergmann (sometimes spelled Bergman) in 1970, lasted less than a year, though he figured importantly later in her life for in 1978 automobile accident, when she was spending time again with her former husband Mr. Bergmann, their car went off the road in Bucks County,and she broke her neck.
“I lost sight of myself in the last few years,” she told People magazine during her recuperation. “My whole life has been extremes. It took me near death to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
She added: “I guess this is the ultimate sock-it-to-me.” She leaves behind no survivors.