Born Karolina Piekarski in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on May 28, 1931, gorgeous actress Carroll Baker aspired to a career in show business from an early age. After graduating from high school, Baker enrolled in college but soon dropped out to try her hand in show business. She landed a job as a magician's assistant and worked her way to New York, where she appeared in early TV commercials and performed as a dancer. She attended the famed Actors Studio in New York, where she met her first husband. The union was short lived, but Baker found roles in the Broadway productions of Escapade and All Summer Long. She also made guest appearances in New-York based television shows in the early to mid 1950s. Director Elia Kazan saw her performance on Broadway and cast Baker as the title character in his film Baby Doll (1956; with Karl Malden and Eli Wallach). Although her performance in the film should have made Baker a star overnight, Baby Doll was condemned by the Legion of Decency, and many theaters canceled showings of the film, which seriously damaged its box office take.

Carroll Baker

Early 1960s MGM portrait of actress Carroll Baker

Baker's marriage to screenwriter and acting coach Jack Garfein in 1955 and the birth of her son and daughter interrupted her film career, yet through the mid 1960s she starred in several high-profile films, including Giant (1956; with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean), How the West Was Won (1962; with Henry Fonda), and The Carpetbaggers (1964; with George Peppard and Alan Ladd).

the films of carroll baker

But Not for Me (1959)

Clark Gable, Lee J. Cobb, and Carroll BakerCarroll Baker and Barry Coe

LEFT: With Clark Gable and Lee J. Cobb in the Paramount comedy But Not for Me. RIGHT: With love interest Barry Coe

Bridge to the Sun (1961)

James Shigeta and Carroll Baker

From the MGM drama Bridge to the Sun with James Shigeta

Something Wild (1961)

Ralph Meeker and Carroll BakerRalph Meeker and Carroll Baker

A well-meaning but misguided Ralph Meeker tries to help Baker, as rape victim Mary Ann Robinson, in the potboiler Something Wild

Harlow (1965)

Carroll Baker

Baker as Jean Harlow in the Paramount biopic Harlow

Mister Moses (1965)

Robert Mitchum and Carroll Baker

With Robert Mitchum in the adeventure Mister Moses

Sylvia (1965)

George Maharis and Carroll BakerCarroll Baker

From the Paramount drama Sylvia. LEFT: On the set with George Maharis. RIGHT: Baker as the title character

Paranoia (1969)

Carroll Baker

Barker portrays Kathryn West in the Italian erotic thriller Paranoia. Also pictured is Colette Descombes

The Devil Has Seven Faces (1971)

Carroll Baker

From the Italian thriller The Devil Has Seven Faces

Bad (1977)

Carroll Baker

From the entertaining black comedy Andy Warhol's Bad, one of the better films from Warhol's factory. Shelley Winters and Vivian Vance turned down the part of Hazel before it was offered to Carroll Baker

Star 80 (1983)

Carroll Baker and Eric Roberts

Baker as the mother of Dorothy Stratton in Bob Fosse's Star 80. Also pictured is Eric Roberts

carroll baker today

When Baker and her husband Jack Garfein parted ways in 1969, she found herself nearly broke and with two children to support. To make matters worse, when her film Harlow underperformed at the box office, her relationship with Paramount Studios deteriorated. With nothing in Hollywood on the horizon, Baker headed for Italy, where she found many lucrative film roles in the Italian cinema, including Paranoia (1969; with Lou Castel) and The Devil Has Seven Faces (1971; with Stephen Boyd). She remained in Europe through the 1970s making thrillers but returned to the spotlight in the 1980s in such films as The Watcher in the Woods (1980; with Bette Davis and David McCallum) and Star 80 (1983; with Mariel Hemingway and Eric Roberts). Baker enjoyed a career resurgence in the 1980s and 1990s in a number of prime character roles. When her third husband, actor Donald Burton, fell ill with emphysema in the late 1990s, Baker retired from acting to care for her husband. Now a widow, Baker remains retired. The mother of a son and daughter with Jack Garfein, Baker's daughter is actress Blanche Baker, who is best known for her performance in Sixteen Candles (1984; with Molly Ringwald).

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carroll baker trailers

Watch the trailer for Carroll Baker's 1956 feature Baby Doll and the 1969 thriller Paranoia


Another Woman's Husband (2000) with Gail O'Grady, Lisa Rinna, Sally Kirkland, and Charlotte Rae
Nowhere to Go (1998) with Scott Caan
Heart Full of Rain (1997) with Rick Schroder and Richard Crenna
The Game (1997) with Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, and Peter Donat
North Shore Fish (1997) with Mercedes Ruehl, Peter Riegert, and Tony Danza
Skeletons (1997) with Ron Silver, James Coburn, Christopher Plummer, Dee Wallace, Kathleen Noone, David Graf, and Paul Bartel
Rag and Bone (1997) with Dean Cain
Just Your Luck (1996) with Sean Patrick Flanery and Virginia Madsen
Witness Run (1996) with Ethan Wayne
Dalva (1996) with Farrah Fawcett and Powers Boothe
In the Flesh (1995) with Marco Leonardi
A Kiss to Die For (1993) with Tim Matheson and Mimi Rogers
Men Don't Tell (1993) with Peter Strauss and Judith Light
Judgment Day: The John List Story (1993) with Robert Blake, Beverly D'Angelo, David Caruso, and Melinda Dillon
Cyber Eden (1992) with Christopher Lee
Gipsy Angel (1992)
Blonde Fist (1991)
Kindergarten Cop (1990) with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Linda Hunt, and Cathy Moriarty
Ironweed (1987) with Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Michael O'Keefe, Fred Gwynne, Tom Waits, and Nathan Lane
On Fire (1987) with Woody Strode, Louisa Abernathy, and John Forsythe
Native Son (1986) with Victor Love, Matt Dillon, Elizabeth McGovern, Geraldine Page, and Oprah Winfrey
What Mad Pursuit? (1985)
Hitler's S.S.: Portrait in Evil (1985) with John Shea, David Warner, Jose Ferrer, and Tony Randall
The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud (1984) with Bud Cort, Carol Kane, Klaus Kinski, Marisa Berenson, and Dick Shawn
Red Monarch (1983)
Star 80 (1983) with Mariel Hemingway, Eric Roberts, and Roger Rees
The Watcher in the Woods (1980) with Bette Davis, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Kyle Richards, and David McCallum
Bloodbath (1979) with Dennis Hopper
The World Is Full of Married Men (1979) with Anthony Franciosa Cyclone (1978) with Arthur Kennedy and Lionel Stander
Andy Warhol's Bad (1977) with Susan Tyrrell, Gordon Oas-Heim, and Perry King
Bait (1976)
La moglie di mio padre (1976) with Adolfo Celi
As of Tomorrow (1976) with Curd Jurgens and Arthur Kennedy
La moglie vergine (1975)
Private Lessons (1975)
The Body (1974)
The Flower with the Deadly Sting (1973)
Baba Yaga (1973) with George Eastman
Silent Horror (1972)
The Devil Has Seven Faces (1971) with Stephen Boyd and Daniele Vargas
Captain Apache (1971) with Lee Van Cleef and Stuart Whitman
Death at the Deep End of the Swimming Pool (1971)
A Quiet Place to Kill (1970) with Jean Sorel
Così dolce... così perversa (1969) with Erika Blanc, Horst Frank, and Helga Line
Paranoia (1969) with Lou Castel
The Sweet Body of Deborah (1968) with Jean Sorel
Her Harem (1967)
Jack of Diamonds (1967) with George Hamilton, Joseph Cotten, Maurice Evans, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Lilli Palmer
Harlow (1965) with Red Buttons, Raf Vallone, Angela Lansbury, Peter Lawford, Mike Connors, Martin Balsam, and Leslie Nielsen
Mister Moses (1965) with Robert Mitchum
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
Sylvia (1965) with George Maharis, Joanne Dru, Peter Lawford, Viveca Lindfors, Edmond O'Brien, Aldo Ray, Ann Sothern, Lloyd Bochner, and Nancy Kovack
Cheyenne Autumn (1964) with Richard Widmark, Karl Malden, Sal Mineo, Dolores del Rio, Ricardo Montalban, Gilbert Roland, Arthur Kennedy, Patrick Wayne, John Carradine, and George O'Brien
The Carpetbaggers (1964) with George Peppard, Alan Ladd, Robert Cummings, Martha Hyer, Elizabeth Ashley, Lew Ayres, Martin Balsam, Ralph Taeger, Leif Erickson, and Arthur Franz
Station Six-Sahara (1962) with Denholm Elliott
How the West Was Won (1962) with Lee J. Cobb, Henry Fonda, Carolyn Jones, Karl Malden, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart, Russ Tamblyn, Eli Wallach, John Wayne, and Richard Widmark
Something Wild (1961) with Ralph Meeker, Mildred Dunnock, Jean Stapleton, and Doris Roberts
Bridge to the Sun (1961) with James Shigeta
The Miracle (1959) with Roger Moore, Walter Slezak, and Vittorio Gassman
But Not for Me (1959) with Clark Gable, Lilli Palmer, Lee J. Cobb, and Barry Coe
The Big Country (1958) with Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston, Burl Ives, Charles Bickford, and Chuck Connors
Baby Doll (1956) with Karl Malden, Eli Wallach, and Mildred Dunnock
Giant (1956) with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Jane Withers, Chill Wills, Mercedes McCambridge, Dennis Hopper, and Sal Mineo
Easy to Love (1953) with Esther Williams, Van Johnson, Tony Martin, and John Bromfield

The Lyon's Den, episode The Quantum Theory, originally aired 2003
Roswell, episode Leaving Normal, originally aired October 27, 1999
Chicago Hope, episode Informed Consent, originally aired March 13, 1995
L.A. Law, episode How Much Is That Bentley in the Window, originally aired October 23, 1993
L.A. Law, episode Leap of Faith, originally aired October 14, 1993
L.A. Law, episode Book of Renovation, Chapter 1, originally aired October 7, 1993
Murder, She Wrote, episode Love's Deadly Desire, originally aired May 16, 1993
Davis Rules, episode Everybody Comes to Nick's, originally aired March 25, 1992
P.S.I. Luv U, episode The Honeymooners, originally aired September 28, 1991
Tales from the Crypt, episode The Trap, originally aired June 15, 1991
Grand, episode The Well, originally aired December 27, 1990
Grand, episode Wolf Boy, originally aired December 20, 1990
Grand, episode The Mother Load, originally aired December 13, 1990
Sharing Time, episode Oceans Apart, originally aired May 20, 1984
Thriller, episode The Next Victim, originally aired April 17, 1976
Armchair Theatre, episode The Paradise Suite, originally aired February 24, 1963
Danger, episode Season for Murder, originally aired March 29, 1955
The Web, episode The Treadmill, originally aired July 11, 1954

carroll baker film now showing

Watch Carroll Baker's 1971 thriller The Fourth Victim
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This page premiered July 14, 2010.
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