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. She rose to prominence for her work in various independent films in the 1970s. She received numerous accolades throughout her career, including three Golden Globe Award nominations, two of which she won, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
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.
==Karen Black== Actress - 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.
==Karen Black== Actress - ===Born=== July 1, 1939 in Park Ridge, Illinois, USA
===Died=== August 8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California, USA (ampullary cancer)
===Birth Name=== Karen Blanche Ziegler
===Height=== 5' 7½" (1.71 m)
===Mini Bio (1)=== Karen Black was born [[Karen Blanche Ziegler]] in Park Ridge, Illinois, to Elsie Mary (Reif), who wrote children's books, and Norman Arthur Ziegler, an engineer and businessman. She was of Norwegian (from her paternal grandmother), German, and Bohemian (Czech) descent. Karen entered Northwestern University at 15 and left two years later. She studied under Lee Strasberg in New York and worked in a number of off-Broadway roles. She made a critically acclaimed debut on Broadway in 1965 in "The Playroom". Her first big film role was in You're a Big Boy Now (1966), directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Shortly after wards, she appeared as Marcia in the TV series The Second Hundred Years (1967).
===The film that made her a star=== was Easy Rider (1969), where she worked with Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, and a supporting actor named Jack Nicholson. She appeared with Nicholson again the next year when they starred in Five Easy Pieces (1970), which garnered an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe for Karen. Her roles mainly consisted of waitresses, hookers and women on the edge. Some of her later films were disappointments at the box office, but she did receive another Golden Globe for The Great Gatsby (1974). One role for which she is well remembered is that of the jewel thief in Alfred Hitchcock's last film, Family Plot (1976). Another is as the woman terrorized in her apartment by a murderous Zuni doll come to life in the well received TV movie Trilogy of Terror (1975). After a number of forgettable movies, she again won rave reviews for her role in Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982). Since then, her film career has been busy, but the quality of the films has been uneven.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana
[[Stephen Eckelberry]] (27 September 1987 - 8 August 2013) ( her death) ( 1 child)
[[L.M. Kit Carson]] (4 July 1975 - 28 June 1983) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
[[Robert Burton]] (18 April 1973 - 23 October 1974) ( divorced)
[[Charles Black]] (1960 - ?) ( divorced)
Mother of Hunter Carson with L.M. Kit Carson.
Godmother of Dylan McKnight. His mother, Lee Purcell, is the godmother of Karen's children, Hunter Carson and Celine Eckelberry.
Is the highest ranked actress on the "Oracle of Bacon" website (and 21st overall), which uses the IMDB database to determine which actors can be linked by the highest number of other actors in the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" trivia game.
Has a cult glam-punk band named after her. Called The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, Kembra Pfahler is the American performance artist and singer/rock musician who fronts it. She is known for the often sexual nature of her pieces.
She and her husband, Stephen Eckelberry, are active in the Church of Scientology.
Guitarist Abby Normal featured a song, titled "Scream Karen Black", on his solo project album, "Midnight Creature Feature Picture Show".
She adopted a daughter, Celine Eckelberry (born 1987), with her husband Stephen Eckelberry.
Wrote the songs "Memphis" and "Rolling Stone" which she performed in character as country singer Connie White in the movie Nashville (1975). As a result she was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Series.
Launched her career as a playwright in May 2007 with the opening of "Missouri Waltz" in Los Angeles; Black starred in the play as well. The piece is conceived as a play with music, rather than a musical.
Made her Broadway debut in 1965's "The Playroom", which ran less than a month. She received great reviews, however, and nominated for a Drama Circle Critics Award for Best Actress.
Attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, for two years before moving to New York, where she studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actor's Studio and appeared in a number of Off-Broadway productions.
The second daughter of Norman and Elsie Ziegler, her mother, who went by her maiden name of Elsie Reif, was a writer of several prize-winning children's novels; her paternal grandfather was Arthur Ziegler, a classical musician and the first violinist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Was married to actor Robert Burton at the time they filmed the cult TV-movie Trilogy of Terror (1975). Ms. Black initially turned the role down but eventually accepted when Robert was selected for a lead role in one of the three segments. Karen plays a college English teacher and he plays an obsessed student who stalks her. The couple was already divorced (after less than two years) by the time the TV-movie premiered in March of 1975.
Considers Kris Kristofferson to be the most attractive male star she has ever worked with. She especially liked his voice.
Diagnosed with ampullary cancer in November 2010 and had a third of her pancreas immediately removed. Though declared cancer-free in 2011, had relapsed and underwent two operations in 2012.
She is of German, Bohemian (Czech), and Norwegian descent.
Sister of Gail Brown and Peter Ziegler.
Her mother lived to be 97, so it was quite shocking that Karen only made it to 74.
For her work in The Great Gatsby (1974), she's one of only 4 actresses to win the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a motion picture without receiving an Oscar nomination for the same performance. The other 3 are, in chronological order: Katy Jurado in High Noon (1952), Hermione Gingold in Gigi (1958) and Katharine Ross in Voyage of the Damned (1976).
Lee Purcell, Rick Overton, Tanna Frederick, Karyn Rachtman, Lainie Kazan, Paul Sorvino, Julia Garcia Combs, Juliette Lewis, Russell Brown, Alan Cumming, older sister Gail Brown and widower Stephen Eckelberry all delivered eulogies at her memorial service.
Studied ballet from ages 6 to 17.
Turned down the female lead in Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971) that went to Suzanne Pleshette.
Her role in Easy Rider (1969) was originally offered to Lana Wood.
Turned down Valerie Perrine's role in W.C. Fields and Me (1976).
Was considered for the role of Muriel Pritchett in The Accidental Tourist (1988), which earned an Oscar for its eventual star Geena Davis.
Once had a relationship with Peter Kastner.
Engaged to Peter Rachtman (1971-1972).
Engaged to Michael Raeburn in 1981.
===Personal Quotes (11)===
My God, there aren't any more movie stars, which is terrific with me, it's very healthy. A lot of love now occurs in the business, people helping each other to do good work, getting high on each other's success. Isn't that great?
[on the craft of acting] That's really what acting is: you imagine things, then you respond naturally to what you've imagined.
Every time you do a part you try to find out what it would really be like to be that person, no matter who she is.
[re Bob Rafelson, director of Five Easy Pieces (1970) and her character in it] Rafelson thought I might be too complex for Rayette, but I told him I'm essentially simple, that really everybody is essentially simple, that we are all just beings who, uh, be. Certainly Rayette can just be. dig her, she's not dumb, she's just not into thinking. I didn't have to know anybody like her to play her. I mean, I'm like her, in ways. Rayette enjoys things as she sees them, she doesn't have to add significances. She can just love the dog, love the cat. See? There are many things she does not know, but that's cool; she doesn't intrude on anybody else's trip. And she's going to survive. Do you understand me?
[on Alfred Hitchcock] We'd do limericks together. One day he pulled up his shirt to show me his belly-button - which he didn't have. He'd had an operation and when they sewed him up they took it away. His belly-button was gone!
I have to say Linda Kandel, Mascara (1999)'s director, is genius. Her aesthetics are remarkably high. I enjoyed my role immensely. I believe that when this new century closes, Linda Kandell will be honored as one of the best
I think self-conscious acting is quite hideous. I hate it.
I'm terribly good with the English language. My verbal IQ is genius and when I went to college I didn't have to take English at all.
[re nude scenes] I was not into being naked. I mean, not really. You have to really love your body.
I like things to continue, you know? Some people like to start things. Some people, like policeman, they like to end things ('Stop! Stop!'). I like everything to continue. Almost....forever.
I don't see why you should put chemicals into a body. Bodies are brilliant, they're gonna survive. Don't interrupt them with these horrible chemicals!