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Carroll Baker Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: May 28, 1931
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001
  • Birth Name: Karolina Piekarski

The daughter of a traveling salesman, actress Carroll Baker joined a dance company after one year of college, then worked as a magician's assistant. After a brief marriage to a furrier, she went to Hollywood to act, but was unable to get anything more than a bit role (in 1953's [[Feature~V15205~Easy to Love~easytolove]]) and so left for New York. At first finding work only in commercials (plus a walk-on in the Broadway play Escapade), in 1954 she enrolled at the Actors Studio; there she met director [[Performer~P118946~Jack Garfein~jackgarfein]], whom she married the following year (they were divorced in 1969). After her appearance in a few TV dramas and Robert Anderson's play All Summer Long (1955), she was noticed by Warner scouts and subsequently cast in [[Performer~P18134~James Dean's~jamesdean]] vehicle [[Feature~V19706~Giant~giant]] (1956). Her success continued that same year when her role as the thumb-sucking wife in [[Feature~V3571~Baby Doll~babydoll]] (1956) earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She also delivered an exemplary lead performance in director Irving Rapper's The Miracle (1959). With the success of [[Performer~P50065~Marilyn Monroe~marilynmonroe]], Hollywood started looking for other Monroe "types" and producers began grooming [[Performer~P3435~Baker~oxbaker]] for the role, as is evident from her work in such films as [[Feature~V8346~The Carpetbaggers~thecarpetbaggers]] (1964); in 1965, she played the doomed title role in the film [[Feature~V21594~Harlow~harlow]], another attempt to cast her in the Monroe mold. However, she never caught on with American audiences; in the late 60s, she moved to Italy and began appearing in Italian productions. In 1977 she made her London stage debut in W. Somerset Maugham's Rain, then made a few Hollywood and UK pictures in the late 70s and 80s, as well as putting in a "camp" appearance in [[Feature~V60581~Andy Warhol's Bad~andywarholsbad]] (1977) and a more straightlaced role as the mother of Dorothy Stratten in Star 80. ~ Rovi

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