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The baby wrangler

The baby wrangler -- Yvonne Van Orden casts kids for movies and TV

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The baby wrangler

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Yvonne Van Orden sneezes loudly. ''I just got back from Chicago, where I saw over 800 babies, and I think all of them had colds,'' she says apologetically. Van Orden is a professional baby wrangler — she rounded up the toddlers for Look Who's Talking Too — and the sniffles are an occupational hazard. An ex-photographer's assistant, the 37-year-old Van Orden has been casting and handling babies for TV commercials (Pampers, Huggies) and feature films (Raising Arizona) for 14 years. For Look Who's Talking Too she ogled more than 1,400 babies before casting the movie's three kids. ''The major responsibility of this whole shoot was on my shoulders,'' she says, ''which can give you real heartburn, because you never know what kids are going to do.''

Van Orden says 3-year-old Lorne Sussman, who plays Mikey, was an angel, but by the end of the 10-week shoot, ''he was burned out.'' Fortunately, the boy remained fascinated with the process of filmmaking. ''I would promise him he could clap with the clapper or turn the camera on and off,'' she says. ''You can call it bribery — but I call it getting through a movie!''

Originally posted Dec 21, 1990 Published in issue #45 Dec 21, 1990 Order article reprints
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