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Carol Kane

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Carol Kane
Carol Kane (2018) (cropped).jpg
Kane in 2018
Carolyn Laurie Kane

(1952-06-18) June 18, 1952 (age 68) [1]
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
OccupationActress, comedian
Years active1966–present

Carolyn Laurie Kane (born June 18, 1952) [1] is an American actress and comedian. She became known in the 1970s and 1980s in films such as Hester Street , for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, Annie Hall , and The Princess Bride . She appeared on the television series Taxi in the early 1980s, as Simka Gravas, the wife of Latka, the character played by Andy Kaufman, winning two Emmy Awards for her work. She has played the character of Madame Morrible in the musical Wicked , both in regional productions and on Broadway from 2005 to 2014. From 2015 to 2020, she was a main cast member on the Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt , in which she played Lillian Kaushtupper.


Early life

Kane was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Joy, a jazz singer, teacher, dancer, and pianist, and Michael Kane. [2] Her family is Jewish, and her grandparents emigrated from Russia, Austria, and Poland. [3] [4] Her parents divorced when she was 12 years old. [5] She attended the Cherry Lawn School, a boarding school in Darien, Connecticut, until 1965. [6] [7] She studied theatre at HB Studio [8] and also went to the Professional Children's School, in New York City, and made her professional theatre debut in a 1966 production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie , starring Tammy Grimes. [9]



Kane portrayed Simka Dahblitz-Gravas, wife of Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman), on the American television series Taxi from 1981 to 1983. She received two Emmy Awards for her work in the series. [10]

In 1984, Kane appeared in episode 12, season 3 of Cheers as Amanda, an acquaintance of Diane Chambers from her time spent in a mental institution.

Kane was a regular on the 1986 series All Is Forgiven, a regular on the 1990–1991 series American Dreamer , guest-starred on a 1994 episode of Seinfeld , a 1996 episode of Ellen and had a supporting role in the short-lived sitcom Pearl .

In 1988, Kane appeared in the Cinemax Comedy Experiment Rap Master Ronnie: A Report Card alongside Jon Cryer and the Smothers Brothers.

In January 2009, she appeared in the television series Two and a Half Men as the mother of Alan Harper's receptionist. [11] In March 2010, Kane appeared in the television series Ugly Betty as Justin Suarez's acting teacher. In 2014, she had a recurring role in the TV series Gotham as Gertrude Kapelput, Oswald Cobblepot's (Penguin's) mother. [12]

In 2015, she was cast as Lillian Kaushtupper, the landlord to the title character of Netflix's series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt . [13]

In 2020, Kane was part of the ensemble cast of the Amazon show Hunters , which includes Al Pacino and Logan Lerman.


Kane and Gene Wilder in a publicity photo for The World's Greatest Lover, 1977 Carol Kane Gene Wilder 1977.jpg
Kane and Gene Wilder in a publicity photo for The World's Greatest Lover , 1977

Kane appeared in The Last Detail (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Annie Hall (1977), The World's Greatest Lover (1977), When a Stranger Calls (1979), Norman Loves Rose (1982), Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), The Princess Bride (1987), Scrooged (1988), in which Variety called her "unquestionably [the] pic's comic highlight," [14] and Flashback (1989) with Dennis Hopper.

In 1998, she played Mother Duck on the cartoon movie The First Snow of Winter . In 1999, she made a cameo in the movie Man On The Moon as her character she played on Taxi .

Kane was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Hester Street (1975) Hester Street (1975 poster).jpg
Kane was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Hester Street (1975)

At the 48th Academy Awards, Kane was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film Hester Street . Kane also starred in the Addams Family remakes as grandma.


She starred in the off-Broadway play Love, Loss, and What I Wore in February 2010. [15]

Kane made her West End debut in January 2011 in a major revival of Lillian Hellman's drama The Children's Hour at London's Comedy Theatre. She starred alongside Keira Knightley, Elisabeth Moss and Ellen Burstyn. [16]

In May 2012, Kane appeared on Broadway as Betty Chumley in a revival of the play Harvey .


Kane is also known for her portrayal of the evil headmistress Madame Morrible in the Broadway musical Wicked , whom she played in various productions from 2005 to 2014.

Kane made her Wicked debut on the 1st National Tour, playing the role from March 9 through December 19, 2005. She then reprised the role in the Broadway production from January 10 through November 12, 2006. She again played the role for the Los Angeles production which began performances on February 7, 2007. She left the production on December 30, 2007, and later returned from August 26, 2008, until the production closed on January 11, 2009.

She then transferred with the L.A. company, to play the role once again, in the San Francisco production which began performances January 27, 2009. [17] She ended her limited engagement on March 22, 2009. [18] Kane returned to the Broadway company of Wicked from July 1, 2013, through February 22, 2014 (a period that included the show's 10th anniversary). [19]


1971 Carnal Knowledge Jennifer
1971 Desperate Characters Young Girl
1972 Wedding in White Jeannie Dougall
1972...and Hope to Die (a.k.a. La course du lièvre à travers les champs)Her scenes were cut from the finished film. [20]
1973 The Last Detail Young Whore
1975 Hester Street GitlNominated Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (1976)
1975 Dog Day Afternoon Jenny
1976 Harry and Walter Go to New York Florence
1977 Annie Hall Allison
1977 Valentino Starlet
1977 The World's Greatest Lover Annie Hickman
1978 The Mafu Cage Cissy
1979 The Muppet Movie Myth
1979 When a Stranger Calls Jill Johnson
1979La SabinaDaisy
1981 The Games of Countess Dolingen Louise Haines-Pearson
1981 Strong Medicine
1982 Pandemonium Candy
1982 Norman Loves Rose RoseNominated AFI Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1983 Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? Customer at Cafe
1984 Over the Brooklyn Bridge Cheryl
1984 Racing with the Moon Annie the Hooker
1984 The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud Martha Bernays
1984 Terror in the Aisles Jill JohnsonArchival footage
1985 Transylvania 6-5000 Lupi
1986 Jumpin' Jack Flash Cynthia
1987 Ishtar Carol
1987 The Princess Bride Valerie
1988 Sticky Fingers Kitty
1988 License to Drive Mrs. Anderson
1988 Scrooged Ghost of Christmas Present
1990 The Lemon Sisters Franki D'Angelo
1990 Flashback Maggie
1990 Joe Versus the Volcano HairdresserCameo; credited as Lisa LeBlanc
1990 My Blue Heaven Shaldeen
1991 Ted & Venus Colette
1992 In the Soup Barbara
1992Baby on BoardMaria
1992The Real Story of Here Comes the BrideMargaret MouseVoice
1993 When a Stranger Calls Back Jill Johnson
1993 Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Carla
1993 Addams Family Values Granny Frump
1994 The Crazysitter Treva Van Arsdale
1995 Theodore Rex Molly RexVoice; direct-to-video
1996 Big Bully Faith
1996 Sunset Park Mona
1996 The Pallbearer Mrs. Thompson
1996 Trees Lounge Connie
1996 American Strays Helen
1997 Gone Fishin' Donna Waters
1997 Office Killer Dorine Douglas
1998 The Tic Code Miss Gimpole
1999 Jawbreaker Principal Sherwood
1999 Man on the Moon Herself/Simka Dahblitz
1999 The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald Org's MomVoice; video short
2000The Office PartyLindaShort
2001D.C. SmallsMomShort
2001 My First Mister Mrs. Benson
2001 The Shrink Is In Dr. Louise Rosenberg
2001Tomorrow by MidnightOfficer Garfield
2002 Love in the Time of Money Joey
2003 Cosmopolitan Mrs. ShawReleased theatrically in 2003
Televised on Independent Lens on PBS in 2004
2004 Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen Miss Baggoli
2005 The Pacifier Helga
2005 The Civilization of Maxwell Bright Temple
2005 The Happy Elf GildaVoice
2008Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious FiveSheepVoice
2008 Four Christmases Aunt SarahUncredited
2010 The Bounty Hunter Dawn
2010 My Girlfriend's Boyfriend Barbara
2010 Pete Smalls Is Dead Landlady
2011The Key ManMarsha
2012 Sleepwalk with Me Linda Pandamiglio
2012Should've Been RomeoRuth
2012 Thanks for Sharing Roberta
2013 Clutter Linda Bradford
2014 Emoticon ;) Hannah Song
2015 Ava's Possessions Talia
2018 The Sisters Brothers Mrs. Sisters
2018 Ghost Light Madeline Styne
2019 The Dead Don't Die Mallory O'Brien
1974We, the WomanSusannah WhiteTelevision film
1978 Visions Episode: "Fans of the Kosko Show"
1978–1981 Great Performances Eliza Southgate; Frances LoomisEpisodes: "Out of Our Father's House"; "The Girls in Their Summer Dresses and Other Stories"
1980The Greatest Man in the WorldAprilTelevision film
1982 Laverne & Shirley OlgaEpisode: "Jinxed"
1983An Invasion of PrivacyIlene CohenTelevision film
1983 American Playhouse LaviniaEpisode: "Keeping On"
1980–1983 Taxi Simka Dahblitz-Gravas 17 episodes
Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1982)
Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Variety or Music Series
Medallion Award (2007; shared with Danny DeVito, Jeff Conaway, Tony Danza, Judd Hirsch, James L. Brooks and Randall Carver)
Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV (1983)
Nominated TV Land Award for Most Wonderful Wedding (2006; shared with Andy Kaufman)
1983 Faerie Tale Theatre The "Good" FairyEpisode: "Sleeping Beauty"
1984Burning RageMary HarwoodTelevision film
1984 Cheers Amanda BoyerEpisode: "A Ditch in Time"
1985 Tales from the Darkside Anne MacCollEpisode: "Snip, Snip"
1985 Crazy Like a Fox Episode: "Bum Tip"
1986 Tall Tales & Legends BarbaraEpisode: "Casey at the Bat"
1986All is ForgivenNicolette Bingham9 episodes
1987Paul Reiser Out on a WhimFortune TellerTelevision film
1988Drop-Out MotherMaxineTelevision film
1988Rap Master Ronnie: A Report CardTelevision film
1989–1994 Sesame Street Nina the NiceEpisode 2648: "Bob accompanies Oscar to Grouchytown"; archival footage
1990 Tales from the Crypt JudyEpisode: "Judy, You're Not Yourself Today"
1990 Tiny Toon Adventures Ollie (voice)Episode: "A Quack in the Quarks"
1990–1991 American Dreamer Lillian Abernathy17 episodes
1992 Sibs SallyEpisodes: "The Crash: Part 1", "The Crash: Part 2"
1991–1992 Brooklyn Bridge Aunt Sylvia5 episodes
1992 The Ray Bradbury Theater PollyEpisode: "Tomorrow's Child"
1993 When a Stranger Calls Back Jill JohnsonTelevision film
1993 TriBeCa AmandaEpisode: "Stepping Back"
1993Eligible DentistTelevision film
1994 Seinfeld CorinneEpisode: "The Marine Biologist"
1994 Aladdin Brawnhilda (voice)Episodes: "Stinkerbelle", "Smells Like Trouble"
1994 Empty Nest ShelbyEpisode: "The Courtship of Carol's Father"
1995 A.J.'s Time Travelers Emily RoeblingEpisode: "Brooklyn Bridge"
1995Dad, the Angel & MeThe AngelTelevision film
1995 Napoleon Spider (voice)English version
1995 Freaky Friday Leanne FuttermanTelevision film
1995 Chicago Hope Marguerite BirchEpisode: "Stand"
Nominated—Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (1986)
1996 Ellen Lily PenneyEpisode: "A Penney Saved"
1996–1997 Pearl Annie Caraldo22 episodes
1997 Hey Arnold! Emily Dickinson Trophy (voice)Episode: "Freeze Frame/Phoebe Cheats"
1997 The Tony Danza Show Simka GravaasEpisode: "The Milk Run"
1997 Homicide: Life on the Street Gwen MunchEpisode: "All Is Bright"
1997 Merry Christmas, George Bailey Cousin Tilly/Mrs. HatchTelevision film
1998The First Seven YearsMrs. FeldTelevision short
1998 Adventures from the Book of Virtues The Beetle (voice)Episode: "Patience"
1998 Noddy Tooth FairyEpisode: "The Tooth Fairy" [21]
1999 Noah's Ark SarahTelevision film
1999 Blue's Clues Little Miss Muffet (voice)Episode: "Blue's Big Treasure Hunt"
1999–2000 Beggars and Choosers Lydia Luddin3 episodes
2000 As Told by Ginger MaudeEpisodes: "I Spy a Witch"; "Carl and Maude"
2001 Family Guy Carol (voice)Episode: "Emission Impossible"
2002 That's Life GloriaEpisode: "Baum's Thesis"
2002 The Grubbs Sophie GrubbEpisode: "Pilot"
2003Audrey's RainMissy FlandersTelevision film
2004 Hope & Faith Cornelia RackettEpisode: "Faith Scare-Field"
2005 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Mrs. ClausEpisode: "Billy and Mandy Save Christmas"
2006 The Year Without a Santa Claus Mother NatureTelevision film; cameo
2009 Two and a Half Men ShellyEpisodes: "Thank God for Scoliosis"; "David Copperfield Slipped Me a Roofie"
2009, 2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Gwen MunchEpisodes: "Zebras", "Wonderland Story"
2009 Monk JoyEpisode: "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man"
2010 Ugly Betty Lena KorvinkaEpisode: "All the World's a Stage"
2011–2014 Phineas and Ferb Nana Shapiro (voice)2 episodes
2011 Dora the Explorer Grandma Troll (voice)Episode: "The Grumpy Old Troll Gets Married"
2011–2012 Jake and the Never Land Pirates Sea Witch (voice)2 episodes
2013 Girls ClorisEpisode: "It's Back"
2013 Anger Management CarolEpisode: "Charlie and His New Friend with Benefits"
2014–2016 Gotham Gertrud KapelputRecurring guest; 10 episodes
2015–2020 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Lillian Kaushtupper/FionaMain role; 42 episodes/Fiona in “Kimmy VS The Reverend”
2016 Crowded LindaEpisode: "Given to Fly"
2017–2019 OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes Ginger (voice)2 episodes
2017 Halt and Catch Fire DeniseEpisode: "Ten of Swords"
2017 Star vs. the Forces of Evil Dr. Jelly Goodwell (voice)Episode: "Princess Turdina/Starfari"
2018 Pinkalicious & Peterrific Edna (voice)3 episodes
2018–2019 Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure Madam Canardist (voice)3 episodes
2018 Vampirina Madame Spook (voice)Episode: "Countess Vee/Frights Camera Action"
2018 Animals Chompy (voice)2 episodes
2018 F Is for Family Sue's Mother (voice)Episode: "Summer Vacation"
2019 Los Espookys Bianca Nova4 episodes
2019 Bubble Guppies The Sea Witch (voice)Episode: "The New Guppy"
2019 Big Mouth The Menopause Banshee (voice)Episode: "Florida"
2019 Summer Camp Island Barb Junior (voice)Episode: "The Great Elf Invention Convention"
2020 Hunters Mindy Markowitz10 episodes

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  2. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  3. "Carol Kane Unofficial Fan Page" at the Wayback Machine
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Cherry Lawn School, Class of 1965" Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  7. "Cherry Lawn School Photo Of The Month, October 1999" Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  8. HB Studio Alumni
  9. "Carol Kane Biography" YahooMovies. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  10. Lacher, Irene (May 11, 2002). "Moving a Step Beyond". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  11. Two and a Half Men: Thank God for Scoliosis Season 6" Retrieved August 27, 2011.
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  13. Havey, Max (March 20, 2015). "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a great addition to Netflix lineup | Vox Magazine". Vox Magazine. Columbia Missourian . Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  14. "Scrooged" Variety (requires registration). Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  15. BWW News Desk." 'Love, Loss And What I Wore' Welcomes Comedic New Cast; Janeane Garofalo, Carol Kane & More Bow 2/3", December 10, 2009.
  16. Shenton, Mark.Ellen Burstyn and Carol Kane Join Cast of West End's Children's Hour Archived October 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, November 19, 2010.
  17. Dan Bacalzo (December 16, 2008). "Garrison, Kane, Kassebaum, Wicks Set for San Francisco Wicked".
  18. Andrew Gans (March 2, 2009). "Academy Award Winner Duke to Join Cast of San Fran's Wicked". Archived from the original on January 5, 2014.
  19. "Broadway's Wicked Will Welcome Carol Kane and Michael Wartella". June 21, 2013. Archived from the original on August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  20. Becker, Frawley (2004). And The Stars Spoke Back: A Dialogue Coach Remembers Hollywood Players Of The Sixties In Paris. Scarecrow Press. pp. 188, 199. ISBN   978-0-8108-5157-3.
  21. webmaster. "KET - NODDY - The Tooth Fairy". Archived from the original on November 5, 2013.