The Blue Fairy – Chicago, IL

The Blue Fairy was the enchanted hostess of the “The Blue Fairy,” a daily prime time children’s series broadcast from 1958-1959 on WGN-TV in Chicago on Monday nights (7:30pm–8:00pm). The series was one of the earliest children’s shows to be produced in color.

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Played by 13-year-old Brigid Bazlen, The Blue Fairy lived in the Blue Forest and dressed in a blue satin gown, wore a diamond tiara and carried a magic silver wand in her hand.

At the beginning of each program, Bazlen, suspended by wires, would fly across the TV screen and say “I’m the Blue Fairy. I’ll grant you a wish to make all your dreams come true.”

Then using an over-sized mushroom as her makeshift forest throne, The Blue Fairy visited with the subjects of her forest domain, including Tugnacious R. Jones, Myrtle Flower, and an old nasally-voiced wizard. The puppets on the show were designed by George Nelle and writer-director Don Kane and manipulated by Rufus Rose Marionettes.

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The program was nominated for a Peabody Award in 1958 for being the top children’s program in the country, although it only aired locally in Chicago on Channel 9.

After winning the award, the program gained national attention. Critic Hedda Hopper called Bazlen “the Celtic Alice in Wonderland.” And comedian Ernie Kovacs parodied the program by dressing in a gown and wig and flying across a stage only to crash into a wall.

Brigid Daly Bazlen (June 9, 1944 – May 25, 1989) was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Her father was Arthur Bazlen, a retail chain executive, and her mother was Maggie Daly, a newspaper columnist with Chicago’s American (Chicago Today & Chicago Tribune).

Her first TV role was as Nellie Corey,  an adopted daughter on the groundbreaking Chicago-based soap opera HAWKINS FALLS, POPULATION 6200 that ran from 1950-55. She became a regular on the show for two seasons.

While she was still appearing as THE BLUE FAIRY, Bazlen starred in the 1959 summer TV series TOO YOUNG TO GO STEADY about the romantic adventures of Pamela Blake, a pretty teenager who was struggling to make the transition from tomboy to young lady.

When Bazlen was 15 years old, she was dubbed “the next Elizabeth Taylor.” Shortly after, while under contract with Metro-Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), she was promoted as “the new American Bardot.”

Her movie career consisted of three films:

  • She played Salome, Herod’s sensuous stepdaughter in the biblical epic “King of Kings” (1961).
  • Julie Fitch, opposite Steve McQueen in the casino caper “The Honeymoon Machine” (1961).
  • Dora Hawkins, the daughter of a river pirate who stabs fur trapper Linus Rawlings (James Stewart) and pushes him into a pit in the western adventure “How the West Was Won” (1962).

Bazlen returned to acting briefly in the early 1970s in Chicago dinner theater plays which included “Nobody Loves An Albatross” as Jean Hart playing opposite Gig Young, “Under The Yum Yum Tree ” and “Once More With Feeling.”

In 1972, she took up the role of Mary Anderson in the NBC daytime TV drama DAYS OF OUR LIVES and as Nurse Radford on the NBC TV series BRIGHT PROMISE. After that, she retired from acting.

In 1989, Brigid Bazlen died in Bellevue, Washington from cancer at the age of 44.

NOTE: In children’s literature, the Blue Fairy changed the wooden puppet Pinocchio into a real live boy in the 1883 story “The Adventures of Pinocchio” written by Carlo Collodi.

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The Blue Fairy
c/o Channel 9
WGN-TV
Chicago, IL

The Blue Fairy (Website)

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About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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