Brown - Dark
Park Ridge, Illinois, USA
Claim to Fame
Trilogy of Terror, Five Easy Pieces
Profile Bio Text
Karen Black (born July 1, 1939) is an Academy Award-nominated and two-time Golden Globe-winning American actress, screenwriter, singer and songwriter. She is noted for films such as Five Easy Pieces, The Great Gatsby and Nashville in a career that has spanned five decades. Black was born Karen Blanche Ziegler in Park Ridge, Illinois, the daughter of Elsie (née Reif), a writer of several prize-winning children`s novels, and Norman A. Ziegler. Her paternal grandfather was Arthur Ziegler, a classical musician and the first violinist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Her sister is actress Gail Brown. She attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, for two years, having commenced university studies in 1954, at the age of fifteen. She then moved to New York, where she appeared in a number of Off-Broadway productions. Her first major theatrical and film successes occurred nearly a decade later.
Northwestern University (attended)
Full Name at Birth
Karen Blanche Ziegler
Actor/Actress, Writer, Soundtrack
Has Detailed Data (New)
Karen Blanche Black (née Ziegler; July 1, 1939 – August 8, 2013) was an American actress, screenwriter, singer and songwriter. A native of Illinois, Black studied acting in New York City and performed on Broadway before making her major film debut in Francis Ford Coppola's You're a Big Boy Now (1966).
Actress, screenwriter, singer, songwriter
Norman A. Ziegler
Elsie (née Reif)
Gail Brown (actress)
Arthur Ziegler (paternal grandfather) (a classical musician and the first violinist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
Has Detailed Data (76)
Music Profile Complete
Place of Death
Los Angeles, California, USA
Cause of Death
Wiki Bio Text
Karen Blanche Black (née Ziegler; July 1, 1939 – August 8, 2013) was an American actress, screenwriter, singer and songwriter. She is known for her appearances in such films as Easy Rider (1969), Five Easy Pieces (1970), The Great Gatsby and Airport 1975 (both 1974), The Day of the Locust and Nashville (both 1975), Alfred Hitchcock's final film Family Plot (1976), and Capricorn One (1978). Over the course of her career, she won two Golden Globe Awards (out of three nominations), and an Academy Award nomination in 1971 for Best Supporting Actress.
Biography by Sandra Brennan [-]
Though her career of the late '80s and early '90s might indicate otherwise, Karen Black is one of Hollywood's finest actresses and has appeared in a number of well-wrought dramas. Born Karen Ziegler, she began her professional acting career after graduating from Northwestern University. After appearing in a few revues off-Broadway, Black enrolled in the Actor's Studio to study under Lee Strasberg. She made her film debut as a teenage artist's model in exploitation filmmaker Herschel Gordon Lewis' The Prime Time (1960).
In 1965, Black appeared on Broadway in The Playroom which only ran for a month, but did garner her a nomination for a New York Critic's Circle award. She then appeared in Francis Ford Coppola's You're a Big Boy Now (1967). She next appeared in Hard Contact (1969), but did not become well known until her convincing portrayal of a spaced-out LSD-taking hooker in the box-office sleeper Easy Rider (1969). The following year, Black won further acclaim for playing a goodhearted but somewhat dim-witted waitress in Five Easy Pieces. The role earned her a Best Supporting Actress award from the New York Film Critics and an Oscar nomination. With this auspicious beginning, Black went on to appear in a number of major Hollywood features during the '70s. Some of her most notable performances can be found in such films as Jack Nicholson's directorial debut Drive He Said (1971), The Great Gatsby (1974), The Day of the Locust (1975), and Robert Altman's Nashville (1975), where she got to show off her singing ability. In 1975, she also played four roles in the chilling television thriller Trilogy of Terror.
In the decades to come, Black would move from sensational starlet to bankable actress, appearing in several projects per year. As the 90's, 2000's, and 2010's rolled out, Black wouldn't slow down in the least, appearing memorably in everything from Zoe Clarke-Williams' Men to House of 1000 Corpses.