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Birth name Karolina PiekarskiNationality USABirth 28 may 1931Carroll Baker (born May 28, 1931) is an American film, stage, and television actress. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Baker's range of roles from naive ingenues to brash and flamboyant women established her as both a serious dramatic actress and a blonde bombshell. While performing on Broadway in 1954, she was recruited by director Elia Kazan to play the lead in Tennessee Williams's Baby Doll (1956). Her role in the film as a sexually-repressed Southern bride lent Baker overnight notoriety and earned her BAFTA and Academy Award nominations for Best Actress, as well as a Golden Globe award for Most Promising Newcomer that year.
(92 years) at Johnstown (USA
Other notable early roles included Giant (1956) and But Not for Me (1959), as well as westerns such as The Big Country (1958), How the West Was Won (1962), and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). In the mid-1960s, Baker became an established sex symbol for her roles in The Carpetbaggers (1964), Sylvia (1965), and Harlow (1965). She relocated to Italy in 1966 amidst a legal battle over her contract with Paramount Pictures, and spent the following ten years starring in hard-edged horror and giallo thrillers, including Umberto Lenzi's Paranoia (1969) and Knife of Ice (1972), before re-emerging for American audiences as a character actress in Andy Warhol's cult film Bad (1977).
Baker worked prominently in television throughout the 1980s and 1990s, appearing on the series Murder, She Wrote; L.A. Law, and Roswell, and had supporting roles in the films Ironweed (1987), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and The Game (1997). She formally retired from acting in 2002. In addition to acting, Baker is also the author of three books.
Baker has been married three times; she first married Louie Ritter in 1953, but the marriage ended within a year, after which she enrolled at the Actors Studio in New York City. Baker alleged that Ritter had raped her when she was still a virgin in the early stages of their relationship. Her second was to director Jack Garfein, a Holocaust survivor she met at the Studio and for whom she converted to Judaism (having been raised a Catholic). They had one daughter, Blanche Baker (born 1956), also an actress; and a son, Herschel Garfein, (born 1958) who is a composer and faculty member at the Steinhardt School of Music at New York University. Garfein and Baker divorced in 1969.
Baker married her third husband, British theater actor Donald Burton, on March 10, 1978, and resided in Hampstead, London, in the 1980s. The couple remained together until Burton's death from emphysema at their home in Cathedral City, California, on December 8, 2007.
After leaving Hollywood in the mid-1960s, Baker travelled with Bob Hope's Christmas USO troupe entertaining soldiers in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, an experience which she described as reformative: "In the hospitals I held the hands of damaged young men, and I realized that my pain was not exclusive: that in this world there was suffering much more terrible than mine."
Baker resided mainly in New York City and Los Angeles throughout the 1950s and 1960s before relocating to Rome, Italy to pursue her career there. Baker was mainly based in California throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. She currently resides in New York City.
In February 2014, she served as maid of honor at longtime friend and former actor Patrick Suraci's wedding to his partner, Tony Perkins, in New York.