Carolyn Laurie Kane (born June 18, 1952) 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 touring 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.
Carolyn Laurie Kane
June 18, 1952
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Kane was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Joy, a jazz singer, teacher, dancer, and pianist, and Michael Kane. Her family is Jewish, and her grandparents emigrated from Russia, Austria, and Poland. Her parents divorced when she was 12 years old. She attended the Cherry Lawn School, a boarding school in Darien, Connecticut, until 1965. She studied theatre at HB Studio 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.
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. 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.
In 2020, Kane was part of the ensemble cast of the Amazon show Hunters, which includes Al Pacino and Logan Lerman.
Kane appeared in Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Last Detail (1973), Hester Street (1975), 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," and Flashback (1989) with Dennis Hopper. As well as a potential love interest for star Steve Martin's character in My Blue Heaven (1990).
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.
At the 48th Academy Awards, Kane was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film Hester Street.
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.
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. She ended her limited engagement on March 22, 2009. 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).
|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.|
|1973||The Last Detail||Young Whore|
|1975||Hester Street||Gitl||Nominated —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||The World's Greatest Lover||Annie Hickman|
|1978||The Mafu Cage||Cissy|
|1979||The Muppet Movie||Myth|
|1979||When a Stranger Calls||Jill Johnson|
|1981||The Games of Countess Dolingen||Louise Haines-Pearson|
|1982||Norman Loves Rose||Rose||Nominated —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 Johnson||Archival footage|
|1986||Jumpin' Jack Flash||Cynthia|
|1987||The Princess Bride||Valerie|
|1988||License to Drive||Mrs. Anderson|
|1988||Scrooged||Ghost of Christmas Present|
|1990||The Lemon Sisters||Franki D'Angelo|
|1990||Joe Versus the Volcano||Hairdresser||Cameo; credited as Lisa LeBlanc|
|1990||My Blue Heaven||Shaldeen|
|1991||Ted & Venus||Colette|
|1992||In the Soup||Barbara|
|1992||Baby on Board||Maria|
|1992||The Real Story of Here Comes the Bride||Margaret Mouse||Voice|
|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 Rex||Voice; direct-to-video|
|1996||The Pallbearer||Mrs. Thompson|
|1997||Gone Fishin'||Donna Waters|
|1997||Office Killer||Dorine Douglas|
|1998||The Tic Code||Miss Gimpole|
|1999||Man on the Moon||Herself/Simka Dahblitz|
|1999||The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald||Org's Mom||Voice; video short|
|2000||The Office Party||Linda||Short|
|2001||My First Mister||Mrs. Benson|
|2001||The Shrink Is In||Dr. Louise Rosenberg|
|2001||Tomorrow by Midnight||Officer Garfield|
|2002||Love in the Time of Money||Joey|
|2003||Cosmopolitan||Mrs. Shaw||Released theatrically in 2003|
Televised on Independent Lens on PBS in 2004
|2004||Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen||Miss Baggoli|
|2005||The Civilization of Maxwell Bright||Temple|
|2005||The Happy Elf||Gilda||Voice|
|2008||Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five||Sheep||Voice|
|2008||Four Christmases||Aunt Sarah||Uncredited|
|2010||The Bounty Hunter||Dawn|
|2010||My Girlfriend's Boyfriend||Barbara|
|2010||Pete Smalls Is Dead||Landlady|
|2011||The Key Man||Marsha|
|2012||Sleepwalk with Me||Linda Pandamiglio|
|2012||Should've Been Romeo||Ruth|
|2012||Thanks for Sharing||Roberta|
|2014||Emoticon ;)||Hannah Song|
|2018||The Sisters Brothers||Mrs. Sisters|
|2018||Ghost Light||Madeline Styne|
|2019||The Dead Don't Die||Mallory O'Brien|
|1974||We, the Woman||Susannah White||Television film|
|1978||Visions||Episode: "Fans of the Kosko Show"|
|1978–1981||Great Performances||Eliza Southgate; Frances Loomis||Episodes: "Out of Our Father's House"; "The Girls in Their Summer Dresses and Other Stories"|
|1980||The Greatest Man in the World||April||Television film|
|1982||Laverne & Shirley||Olga||Episode: "Jinxed"|
|1983||An Invasion of Privacy||Ilene Cohen||Television film|
|1983||American Playhouse||Lavinia||Episode: "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" Fairy||Episode: "Sleeping Beauty"|
|1984||Burning Rage||Mary Harwood||Television film|
|1984||Cheers||Amanda Boyer||Episode: "A Ditch in Time"|
|1985||Tales from the Darkside||Anne MacColl||Episode: "Snip, Snip"|
|1985||Crazy Like a Fox||Episode: "Bum Tip"|
|1986||Tall Tales & Legends||Barbara||Episode: "Casey at the Bat"|
|1986||All is Forgiven||Nicolette Bingham||9 episodes|
|1987||Paul Reiser Out on a Whim||Fortune Teller||Television film|
|1988||Drop-Out Mother||Maxine||Television film|
|1988||Rap Master Ronnie: A Report Card||Television film|
|1989–1994||Sesame Street||Nina the Nice||Episode 2648: "Bob accompanies Oscar to Grouchytown"; archival footage|
|1990||Tales from the Crypt||Judy||Episode: "Judy, You're Not Yourself Today"|
|1990||Tiny Toon Adventures||Ollie (voice)||Episode: "A Quack in the Quarks"|
|1990–1991||American Dreamer||Lillian Abernathy||17 episodes|
|1992||Sibs||Sally||Episodes: "The Crash: Part 1", "The Crash: Part 2"|
|1991–1992||Brooklyn Bridge||Aunt Sylvia||5 episodes|
|1992||The Ray Bradbury Theater||Polly||Episode: "Tomorrow's Child"|
|1993||When a Stranger Calls Back||Jill Johnson||Television film|
|1993||TriBeCa||Amanda||Episode: "Stepping Back"|
|1993||Eligible Dentist||Television film|
|1994||Seinfeld||Corinne||Episode: "The Marine Biologist"|
|1994||Aladdin||Brawnhilda (voice)||Episodes: "Stinkerbelle", "Smells Like Trouble"|
|1994||Empty Nest||Shelby||Episode: "The Courtship of Carol's Father"|
|1995||A.J.'s Time Travelers||Emily Roebling||Episode: "Brooklyn Bridge"|
|1995||Dad, the Angel & Me||The Angel||Television film|
|1995||Napoleon||Spider (voice)||English version|
|1995||Freaky Friday||Leanne Futterman||Television film|
|1995||Chicago Hope||Marguerite Birch||Episode: "Stand"|
Nominated—Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (1986)
|1996||Ellen||Lily Penney||Episode: "A Penney Saved"|
|1996–1997||Pearl||Annie Caraldo||22 episodes|
|1997||Hey Arnold!||Emily Dickinson Trophy (voice)||Episode: "Freeze Frame/Phoebe Cheats"|
|1997||The Tony Danza Show||Simka Gravaas||Episode: "The Milk Run"|
|1997||Homicide: Life on the Street||Gwen Munch||Episode: "All Is Bright"|
|1997||Merry Christmas, George Bailey||Cousin Tilly/Mrs. Hatch||Television film|
|1998||The First Seven Years||Mrs. Feld||Television short|
|1998||Adventures from the Book of Virtues||The Beetle (voice)||Episode: "Patience"|
|1998||Noddy||Tooth Fairy||Episode: "The Tooth Fairy"|
|1999||Noah's Ark||Sarah||Television film|
|1999||Blue's Clues||Little Miss Muffet (voice)||Episode: "Blue's Big Treasure Hunt"|
|1999–2000||Beggars and Choosers||Lydia Luddin||3 episodes|
|2000||As Told by Ginger||Maude||Episodes: "I Spy a Witch"; "Carl and Maude"|
|2001||Family Guy||Carol (voice)||Episode: "Emission Impossible"|
|2002||That's Life||Gloria||Episode: "Baum's Thesis"|
|2002||The Grubbs||Sophie Grubb||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2003||Audrey's Rain||Missy Flanders||Television film|
|2004||Hope & Faith||Cornelia Rackett||Episode: "Faith Scare-Field"|
|2005||The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy||Mrs. Claus||Episode: "Billy and Mandy Save Christmas"|
|2006||The Year Without a Santa Claus||Mother Nature||Television film; cameo|
|2009||Two and a Half Men||Shelly||Episodes: "Thank God for Scoliosis"; "David Copperfield Slipped Me a Roofie"|
|2009, 2013||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Gwen Munch||Episodes: "Zebras", "Wonderland Story"|
|2009||Monk||Joy||Episode: "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man"|
|2010||Ugly Betty||Lena Korvinka||Episode: "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||Cloris||Episode: "It's Back"|
|2013||Anger Management||Carol||Episode: "Charlie and His New Friend with Benefits"|
|2014–2016||Gotham||Gertrud Kapelput||Recurring guest; 10 episodes|
|2015–2020||Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt||Lillian Kaushtupper||Main role; 42 episodes|
|2016||Crowded||Linda||Episode: "Given to Fly"|
|2017–2019||OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes||Ginger (voice)||2 episodes|
|2017||Halt and Catch Fire||Denise||Episode: "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||Marilyn Chilson (voice)||Episode: "Summer Vacation"|
|2019||Los Espookys||Bianca Nova||4 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 Markowitz||10 episodes|
|2020||Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs the Reverend||Lillian Kaushtupper/Fiona||Television film|
|1972||Ring Around the Bathtub||Esme Train||Broadway; Martin Beck Theatre|
|1978||The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds||Tillie||Broadway; Biltmore Theatre|
|2003||The Exonerated||Sunny Jacobs||Touring||Replacement|
|2004||Sly Fox||Miss Fancy||Broadway; Ethel Barrymore Theatre||Replacement|
|2006; 2013||Broadway; Gershwin Theatre||Replacement|
|2012||Harvey||Betty Chumley||Broadway; Studio 54|
|1985||"This is My Night"||Chaka Khan|
Awards and nominations
|1976||Academy Awards||Academy Award for Best Actress||Hester Street||Nominated|
|1978||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actress In A Play||The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds||Nominated|
|1982||AACTA Awards||AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role||Norman Loves Rose||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series||Taxi||Won|
|1983||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Variety or Music Series||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV||Nominated|
|1996||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series||Chicago Hope||Nominated|
|2006||TV Land Award||Most Wonderful Wedding||Taxi||Nominated (shared with Andy Kaufman)|
|2007||Medallion Award||Won (Shared with Danny DeVito, Jeff Conaway, Tony Danza, Judd Hirsch, James L. Brooks and Randall Carver)|
- "Carol Kane movies, photos, movie reviews, filmography, and biography - AllMovie". AllMovie. All Media Network. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- filmreference.com. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
- "Carol Kane Unofficial Fan Page" at the Wayback Machine
- "Hunters: Carol Kane Discusses Getting Intense and Her Diverse Roles". February 28, 2020.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Cherry Lawn School, Class of 1965" CherryLawnSchool.org. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
- "Cherry Lawn School Photo Of The Month, October 1999" CherryLawnSchool.org. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
- HB Studio Alumni
- "Carol Kane Biography" YahooMovies. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
- Lacher, Irene (May 11, 2002). "Moving a Step Beyond". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- Two and a Half Men: Thank God for Scoliosis Season 6" TV.com. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
- IMDb.com Gotham: "Spirit of the Goat" (episode); retrieved October 28, 2014.
- 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.
- "Scrooged" Variety (requires registration). Retrieved August 27, 2011.
- BWW News Desk." 'Love, Loss And What I Wore' Welcomes Comedic New Cast; Janeane Garofalo, Carol Kane & More Bow 2/3" broadwayworld.com, December 10, 2009.
- Shenton, Mark.Ellen Burstyn and Carol Kane Join Cast of West End's Children's Hour Archived October 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Playbill.com, November 19, 2010.
- Dan Bacalzo (December 16, 2008). "Garrison, Kane, Kassebaum, Wicks Set for San Francisco Wicked".
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- webmaster. "KET - NODDY - The Tooth Fairy". Archived from the original on November 5, 2013.