Edle Bakke, Longtime Script Supervisor and Disney Pioneer, Dies at 91

Edle Bakke - Publicity - P 2019
Courtesy of Lucile Bosche

She started out at the all-female Ink & Paint animation department at the studio and spent a decade on 'Gunsmoke.'

Edle Bakke, a veteran script supervisor at Disney whose credits included Being There, Tron, Gunsmoke and MacGyver, has died. She was 91.

Bakke died March 10 at her home in Oxnard, California, her niece, Lucile Bosche, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Born in Brooklyn in 1927, Bakke and her family moved to the Toluca Lake section of Los Angeles in 1941.

Soon after graduation from North Hollywood High School in 1945, the Walt Disney Co. hired her as a secretary in its Ink & Paint department, the all-female finishing school that completed hand-drawn animation projects at the studio.

She then worked for director Ward Kimball on "Man in Space," a groundbreaking 1955 installment of The Magical World of Disney series.

"I was assigned to take notes in shorthand of all the conferences on subjects like weightlessness, centrifugal force, rocket stages and orbital trajectories, all of which were Greek to me," Bakke wrote in 2006. "Since Walt never liked seeing someone taking notes, I was discreetly placed behind a tall screen where I jotted down everything being said, minus four-letter words that often crept into Walt's vocabulary. We didn't use tape recorders in those days, so I was very busy indeed."

She became the first person the studio trained to be a live-action script supervisor and kept track of things on Old Yeller (1957) and Toby Tyler or Ten Weeks With a Circus (1960) and on TV shows like Davy Crockett, Spin & Marty, The Hardy Boys, Zorro and The Mickey Mouse Club.

Bakke had a gig on Gunsmoke from 1961-70, worked on the movies Hatari! (1962), Escape to Witch Mountain (1975), Being There (1979), Tron (1982) and Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) and did MacGyver for a season before retiring in 1987.

In August 2017, she and her sister, Lucile (another Disney animation alum), were among those honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a celebration that recognized women at the forefront of film animation. Both are featured in Mindy Johnson's 2017 book, Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation.

Her sister and niece are among her survivors.