Carolyn Blaine, known as “C.B.” by many of her friends, was a savvy arranger of social events who radiated Southern charm and an easy grace. Whether she was planning a gala in Atlanta, Hollywood or Monaco, her celebrity clients trusted her to conjure up a delightful experience, and she did not disappoint.
Blaine, 65, died Sept. 30 at her Atlanta residence of heart failure. Her graveside service is 2 p.m. Sunday at Arlington Cemetery. Cremation Society of Georgia is in charge of arrangements.
A native of Atlanta, Blaine was an honor student at Westminster School and, according to a friend, Peggy Ballard of Atlanta, Blaine considered herself “a Buckhead girl” all her life.
Blaine, a University of Georgia graduate, learned to love travel during a two-month tour of Europe. Joining Osborne Travel Service in Atlanta, she divided her time between lining up clients for luxury and student trips to Europe, Asia or the South Pacific and acting as a guide overseas.
In 1972, an airliner carrying her and her clients overshot the runway while landing in Tahiti and had to be evacuated because the plane had caught fire. Her sister, Helen Heyd of Atlanta, said Blaine was the last passenger to exit after checking to make sure all her clients were safe outside and after rescuing a satchel containing their travel documents.
“That’s just the way Carolyn was,” Heyd said. “She stayed cool during a crisis.”
Heyd said her sister prized orderliness, adding that Blaine arranged her clothes closets as meticulously as she planned celebrity events.
In 1986 Blaine moved to California and was “always on the go” during the Hollywood phase of her career, according to a friend, Bill Leonard of Rancho Mirage, Calif.
He said she became a personal assistant of Los Angeles Dodger star Steve Garvey and arranged social and publicity events for him and charity affairs for the Dodger organization. She networked with other personal assistants and got to know movie stars who employed them, becoming a regular presence at Academy Awards ceremonies. She went on to coordinate Elizabeth Taylor’s 65th birthday gala and several Emmy award nights.
During this period she also worked for Prince Albert II of Monaco, staging a succession of annual events in Monte Carlo — both the World Music Awards and a pro-celebrity tennis and golf tournament.
Leonard said Blaine, given her engaging personality and her aptitude for trivia, crossword puzzles and word play, was chosen to be a contestant on numerous TV game shows, including Wheel of Fortune, To Tell the Truth and Match Game.
Another friend, Sheri Jensen of Beverly Hills, Calif., said Blaine’s soft Southern accent was an asset in her work. “I think a lot of men fell for C.B. just listening to her over the phone,” she said.
Audra Blaine Walters of Savannah, a niece, said Blaine was the most glamorous person she knew when she was growing up.
“Aunt C.B. was always dressed and coiffed perfectly, and she smelled simply amazing,” Walters added. “She taught me how to arch my eyebrows and brush them so they would look less like a hairy wildebeest and more like a well-polished woman.”
In 1998, Blaine resettled in Atlanta to help look after her elderly mother. Still, she continued her celebrity event management work, most notably arranging Jane Fonda’s movie premieres in Atlanta for five successive years and a celebration marking the 70th anniversary of the March of Dimes.
Surviving in addition to her sister is a brother, Belford Christy “Chris” Blaine Jr. of Savannah.
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