Reach For Your Dream
By Martha Crawford Cantarini
The Golden Boot Award is presented as a way to recognize the achievements of cowboy film heroes and heroines who had significant involvement in the
film and TV western.
Western Movies were made, shot in bits and pieces and carefully edited to blur the line between reality and fantasy. This may also be said of our lives.
Several years ago, I stood for a moment, stunned, looking at myself in the reflection of the glass doors to the luxury hotel. It was 2005 and I took a step closer only to feel my heart beat just a bit faster. "Is that really me?" I asked. To calm my nerves I thought of my life.
I followed my polo playing father from San Antonio, Texas to Hollywood, California where he became the darling of the movie colony. Horses were my life but it was not an easy era for women vying for a career with horses. A screen test at a major studio was a flop. I asked them for a job doubling Anne Baxter in her coming western. They agreed. I had to step out of a stereotype and reach for my dream!
I was thinking of my film career that brought me to this night as one of only three stunt girls in the 25 year history of the Golden Boot Awards to receive it for doubling the most glamorous stars of the day ie Jean Simmons, Eleanor Parker, Claudette Colbert, Linda Darnell, Rhonda Fleming, Shirley MacLaine, etc.
As the uniformed doorman slowly opened the glass doors, the reflection and the memories faded away. They would return as I walked down the red carpet with Debbie Reynolds, Mark Harmon and James Caan to have my personal boot presented by film legend Jean Simmons who I doubled in The Big Country.
So it began: the quest of a film career by a vain, young girl in the wide open spaces of Hollywood ended that day in a paradise designed by fate. My journey ended as a potential film starlet but another journey had just begun.