Actress Tammy Blanchard — a 2001 Emmy winner as young Judy in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows — says her golden statuette still holds an honored place at home. "Right now, it's in my china closet in my dining room," the 27-year-old tells TV Guide Online. "That's pretty much where it's going to stay forever. My family likes to see it when they come over, so I just leave it out in the open."
Blanchard isn't resting on her laurels, however. This Sunday, she'll pull our heartstrings even more in When Angels Come to Town (9 pm/ET, CBS). Miss Tammy appears opposite Columbo's Peter Falk in the third jolly holiday film about an angel named Max and his mischievous miracles.
Surprisingly, Blanchard reveals she's got something of a crush on her 77-year-old leading man. "He's the most handsome man in the world," she declares, "so good-looking in person." On the set, Falk's youthful antics made Blanchard, well, blanch. "There's a scene where he plays a woman," she chuckles. "He was sitting outside with his legs open, and I could see right up his dress! I told him, and he started laughing hysterically. I just ran away."
Now before you go thinking she's weird, we should point out that the actress's Falk fascination comes from a totally wholesome place. "Peter was one of my dad's favorite actors," she shares. "About three days after my dad died, I had a dream that he was at a party, wearing a tux. He saluted me and disappeared." Eerily enough, it turns out Falk has a similar send-off at the end of Angels. "I really felt like that was my dad telling me that he's here, watching over me and that he's OK."
Next up, Blanchard plans to costar with Leonardo DiCaprio in The Good Shepherd, directed by Robert De Niro. She plays a deaf girl who encounters Leo at two important moments in his life. Like Garland, this character's another ordinary girl who does something extraordinary. It's a persona that Blanchard seems to embody easily. "Actors act with their hearts, and whatever's in there, that's what you use," she says thoughtfully. "It's a blessing when a role comes along that fits your personality."