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Cara Williams: The Redhead Hollywood Can’t Handle

Meet a beauty with a whim of iron

Two of best actresses in Hollywood are Brooklyn-born redheads with tempers as fiery as their hair. One of them, Oscar-winning Susan Hayward, learned to control her emotional explosions and became rich and famous as a result.

The other, Cara Williams, is equally talented and equally beautiful. She might easily have become a reigning queen like Susan. Only Cara is a sex bomb with an awfully short fuse.

“Why do I flare up?” Cara asks, repeating an interviewer’s question. “I don’t know. It’s my natural reaction when someone rubs me the wrong way. I wish I had a nickel for every fight I’ve had since I came to Hollywood 17 years ago. Then I could retire.”

In an industry here girls are taught never to say no to a producer or director, the INSIDE STORY is that Cara is definitely unique. She has walked out on some of the mightiest movie moguls— and on parts that other actresses would have swapped body and soul to obtain.

Now 32, she has battled her way through two stormy marriages and scores of verbal duels with the top guns of Movieland. Because she never pulls punches, most Hollywood rahjahs would rather tangle with a tarantula than risk Cara’s wrath. Consequently, they reserve the choicest roles for dolls who are easier to handle.

“Cara would be a top star,” a famous director says, “If only she’d learn to button her lip.”

She inherited her flaming hair and disposition to match from her father, a newspaperman on the old Brooklyn Eagle. Her dad wrote a column on marriage and family life— but didn’t take his own advice. When Cara was a baby, her parents separated.

Her mother Florence Williams, obtained a job as manicurist in a barber shop next to Brooklyn’s famous Albee Theater. The theater manager and his wife were crazy about the pretty tot and frequently served as baby sitters while Flo was at work.

They would sometimes tie Cara to a seat in the back row of the movie house and leave her to watch the flicks. She learned to recognize all the famous movie stars almost before she could walk or talk.

Her favorite game was imitating the actors and the actresses she saw on the screen. By the time she had reached kindergarten, she was an expert mimic and her impersonations were the talk of the neighborhood.

“Cara would only have to see an actress once,” a Brooklyn neighbor recalls, “and she would have her voice and mannerisms down pat. If you closed your eyes during one of Cara’s acts, you would swear it was the actress herself talking.”

Flo wrote a Hollywood columnist about Cara’s talent. She asked for advice on whether she should try to get the little girl into the movies. The columnist replied with three little words: “Stay in Brooklyn.”
—from “Cara Williams: The Redhead Hollywood Can’t Handle,” by Ernest Frankheimer, INSIDE STORY, November 1961

Caz Dolowicz was born on Sands Street in 1923 and first saw The Ox-Bow Incident with Henry Morgan and others at the Albee Theater in 1943. More than anything in October 1961, fresh off his second divorce, Caz wanted to play horsey with Pete and Gladys.

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