Karen Black

Karen Black

Known for: Acting
Birthday: 1939-07-01
Deathday: 2013-08-08 (74 years old)

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Biography

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 studio and independent films in the 1970s, frequently portraying eccentric and offbeat characters, and established herself as a figure of New Hollywood. Her career spanned over 50 years and includes nearly 200 credits in both independent and mainstream films. Black received numerous accolades throughout her career, including two Golden Globe Awards, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

A native of suburban Chicago, Black studied theater at Northwestern University before dropping out and relocating to New York City. She performed on Broadway in 1965 before making her major film debut in Francis Ford Coppola's You're a Big Boy Now (1966). Black relocated to California and was cast as an LSD-tripping sex worker in Dennis Hopper's road film Easy Rider (1969). That led to a lead in the drama Five Easy Pieces (1970), in which she played a hopeless waitress, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. Black made her first major commercial picture with the disaster film Airport 1975 (1974), and her subsequent appearance as Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby (1974) won her a second Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.

Black starred as a glamorous country singer in Robert Altman's ensemble musical drama Nashville (1975), also writing and performing two songs for the soundtrack, for which she received a nomination for a Grammy Award. Her portrayal of an aspiring actress in John Schlesinger's drama The Day of the Locust (also 1975) earned her a third Golden Globe nomination, this time for Best Actress. Black subsequently took on four roles in Dan Curtis's anthology horror film Trilogy of Terror (1975), followed by Curtis's supernatural horror feature, Burnt Offerings (1976). The same year, she starred as a con artist in Alfred Hitchcock's final film, Family Plot.

In 1982, Black starred as a trans woman in the Robert Altman-directed Broadway debut of Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, a role she also reprised in Altman's subsequent film adaptation. She next starred in the comedy Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983), followed by Tobe Hooper's remake of Invaders from Mars (1986). For much of the late 1980s and 1990s, Black starred in a variety of arthouse, independent, and horror films, as well as writing her own screenplays. She had a leading role as a villainous mother in Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses (2003), which cemented her status as a cult horror icon. Black continued to star in low-profile films throughout the early 2000s, as well as working as a playwright before her death from ampullary cancer in 2013.

Filmography

All 193

Movies 170

TV Shows 23

Self 20

Writter 4

ArchiveFootage
Deadly Dolls: Deepest Cuts

Deadly Dolls: Deepest Cuts (2018)

Movie
Karen Black
Bottomless Pit

Bottomless Pit (2015)

Movie
Self (archive footage)
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015)

Movie
Justine
Wild in Blue

Wild in Blue (2014)

Movie
Self
Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia (2013)

Movie
Karla
She Loves Me Not

She Loves Me Not (2013)

Movie
Mrs. Allardyce
Ooga Booga

Ooga Booga (2013)

Movie
Motel Woman
Dark Blood

Dark Blood (2012)

Movie
Maria
Maria My Love

Maria My Love (2012)

Movie
The Donna
OowieWanna

OowieWanna (2012)

Movie
Mrs. Melnick
Mommy's Little Monster

Mommy's Little Monster (2012)

Movie
Tarot
Hawk Warrior of the Wheelzone

Hawk Warrior of the Wheelzone (2012)

Movie
Sean's Colleague
Letters from the Big Man

Letters from the Big Man (2011)

Movie
Ruth Boyd
Some Guy Who Kills People

Some Guy Who Kills People (2011)

Movie
6
Self
BBStory: An American Film Renaissance

BBStory: An American Film Renaissance (2010)

Movie
Rayette Dipesto
Soul Searching in 'Five Easy Pieces'

Soul Searching in 'Five Easy Pieces' (2010)

Movie
Self
Henry Jaglom Finds 'A Safe Place'

Henry Jaglom Finds 'A Safe Place' (2010)

Movie
May
Nothing Special

Nothing Special (2010)

Movie
Annabelle
Double Duty

Double Duty (2009)

Movie
Next Door Neighbor Lady
Stuck!

Stuck! (2009)

Movie
Aunt de la Chasse
Repo Chick

Repo Chick (2009)

Movie
Sheila Shivvers
Irene in Time

Irene in Time (2009)

Movie
Self
Wamego: Ultimatum

Wamego: Ultimatum (2009)

Movie
Self
No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos

No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos (2009)

Movie
Storyteller
A Single Woman

A Single Woman (2008)

Movie
Mrs. Martin
Watercolors

Watercolors (2008)

Movie
Mavis
Contamination

Contamination (2008)

Movie
Self
Wamego Strikes Back

Wamego Strikes Back (2007)

Movie
Luna
Hollywood Dreams

Hollywood Dreams (2007)

Movie
Barbara
One Long Night

One Long Night (2007)

Movie
Renee
Ghost Writer

Ghost Writer (2007)

Movie
Jennifer
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (2007)

TV Show
5
Kate
Read You Like a Book

Read You Like a Book (2006)

Movie
Self
Wanderlust

Wanderlust (2006)

Movie
Mrs. Leider
Whitepaddy

Whitepaddy (2006)

Movie
Marianne Brown
America Brown

America Brown (2005)

Movie
Sandra / Eleanor
Firecracker

Firecracker (2005)

Movie
Agrippina
Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula

Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula (2005)

Movie
Molly
Dr. Rage

Dr. Rage (2005)

Movie
Self
WAMEGO: Making Movies Anywhere

WAMEGO: Making Movies Anywhere (2004)

Movie
Chantelle
Paris

Paris (2003)

Movie
Mrs. Buttleman
Harold Buttleman: Daredevil Stuntman

Harold Buttleman: Daredevil Stuntman (2003)

Movie
Mother Firefly
House of 1000 Corpses

House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

Movie
5.26
Self
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003)

Movie
Aunt Nelly
Curse Of The Forty-Niner

Curse Of The Forty-Niner (2002)

Movie
('Los Vampirios Moronious' short)
Best of Tromadance Film Festival: Volume 1

Best of Tromadance Film Festival: Volume 1 (2002)

Movie
Dirty Dick
Teknolust

Teknolust (2002)

Movie
Mrs. Melnick
A Light in the Darkness

A Light in the Darkness (2002)

Movie
Vera Morgan
Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001)

TV Show
7.5
Mrs. Springle
The Donor

The Donor (2001)

Movie
Self
Plotting 'Family Plot'

Plotting 'Family Plot' (2001)

Movie
Martha la Magnifica
Soulkeeper

Soulkeeper (2001)

Movie
Bambi LeBleau
Gypsy 83

Gypsy 83 (2001)

Movie
Herself
The Independent

The Independent (2000)

Movie
Summer / Griffith's Aunt
Red Dirt

Red Dirt (2000)

Movie
Writer
The Invention of Dr. Morel

The Invention of Dr. Morel (2000)

Movie
Lucy Romano
Fallen Arches

Fallen Arches (2000)

Movie
Mrs. Mary Happ
Oliver Twisted

Oliver Twisted (2000)

Movie
Herself
Easy Rider: Shaking the Cage

Easy Rider: Shaking the Cage (1999)

Movie
6
The Underground Comedy Movie

The Underground Comedy Movie (1999)

Movie
Aunt Eloise
Mascara

Mascara (1999)

Movie
Lady Byron / Mother Coer
Conceiving Ada

Conceiving Ada (1999)

Movie
Ma
Paradise Cove

Paradise Cove (1999)

Movie
Writer
Charades

Charades (1998)

Movie
The Mother
Bury the Evidence

Bury the Evidence (1998)

Movie
Social Worker
Angel Blue

Angel Blue (1998)

Movie
Whip Lady
I Woke Up Early the Day I Died

I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998)

Movie
Courtney Whitmer
Invisible Dad

Invisible Dad (1998)

Movie
High Priestess
Light Speed

Light Speed (1998)

Movie
Writer
Malaika

Malaika (1998)

Movie
Writer
Men

Men (1997)

Movie
The Hunger

The Hunger (1997)

TV Show
6
Self
Who Is Henry Jaglom?

Who Is Henry Jaglom? (1997)

Movie
Dr. Gabrielle Kessler
Stir

Stir (1997)

Movie
Actress
Modern Rhapsody

Modern Rhapsody (1997)

Movie
Paige
Greater Than a Tiger

Greater Than a Tiger (1997)

Movie
June Rhodes
Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996)

Movie
5.03
Rose Van Horn
Dogtown

Dogtown (1996)

Movie
E! True Hollywood Story

E! True Hollywood Story (1996)

TV Show
Millicent
Crimetime

Crimetime (1996)

Movie
Rose Walsh
Cries of Silence

Cries of Silence (1996)

Movie
Evelyn
The Wacky Adventures of Dr. Boris and Nurse Shirley

The Wacky Adventures of Dr. Boris and Nurse Shirley (1995)

Movie
Nehor
Plan 10 from Outer Space

Plan 10 from Outer Space (1995)

Movie
Bertha
Starstruck

Starstruck (1995)

Movie
Ro-Kell
Dinosaur Valley Girls

Dinosaur Valley Girls (1995)

Movie
Interviewee
Born to Be Wild: The Story of 'Easy Rider'

Born to Be Wild: The Story of 'Easy Rider' (1995)

Movie
The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black: Teather Penumbra

The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black: Teather Penumbra (1994)

Movie
Fertile La Toyah Video Magazine #2: The Kinky Issue!

Fertile La Toyah Video Magazine #2: The Kinky Issue! (1994)

Movie
Actress
Too Bad About Jack

Too Bad About Jack (1994)

Movie
Carla
Bound and Gagged: A Love Story

Bound and Gagged: A Love Story (1993)

Movie
Self
Tales of the City

Tales of the City (1993)

TV Show
Moon Over Miami

Moon Over Miami (1993)

TV Show
Tarot
Legend of The Roller Blade Seven

Legend of The Roller Blade Seven (1993)

Movie
Maria Vandermeer
The Trust

The Trust (1993)

Movie
Tarot
Return of the Roller Blade Seven

Return of the Roller Blade Seven (1993)

Movie
Auntie Lee
Auntie Lee's Meat Pies

Auntie Lee's Meat Pies (1992)

Movie
Mrs. Elliot
The Double 0 Kid

The Double 0 Kid (1992)

Movie
Tiffany Powers
Judgement

Judgement (1992)

Movie
Michelle
Tuesday Never Comes

Tuesday Never Comes (1992)

Movie
Karen Black
The Player

The Player (1992)

Movie
4.71
Insp. Wilson
Dead Girls Don't Tango

Dead Girls Don't Tango (1992)

Movie
Mrs. Sorrel
Final Judgement

Final Judgement (1992)

Movie
Kim Martino
Quiet Fire

Quiet Fire (1991)

Movie
Tarot
The Roller Blade Seven

The Roller Blade Seven (1991)

Movie
Karen Thompson
Children of the Night

Children of the Night (1991)

Movie
Blanche
Caged Fear

Caged Fear (1991)

Movie
Barrett
The Killers Edge

The Killers Edge (1991)

Movie
Miss Kuchenbacker
Ralph S. Mouse

Ralph S. Mouse (1991)

Movie
Rula
Rubin & Ed

Rubin & Ed (1991)

Movie
Susan Gordon
Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror (1990)

Movie
Sally Rich
Club Fed

Club Fed (1990)

Movie
Dr. Julia Harcourt
Haunting Fear

Haunting Fear (1990)

Movie
Rita
Night Angel

Night Angel (1990)

Movie
Sybil Lullmer
The Children

The Children (1990)

Movie
Homeroom Teacher
Zapped Again!

Zapped Again! (1990)

Movie
6
Mrs. Granger
Twisted Justice

Twisted Justice (1990)

Movie
Joan Caldwell
Fatal Encounter

Fatal Encounter (1990)

Movie
Mrs. Trowbridge
Overexposed

Overexposed (1990)

Movie
Ella Purdy
Evil Spirits

Evil Spirits (1990)

Movie
Belle
Homer and Eddie

Homer and Eddie (1989)

Movie
Ruth
Out of the Dark

Out of the Dark (1988)

Movie
Zelma Putnam
Dixie Lanes

Dixie Lanes (1988)

Movie
Mom
The Invisible Kid

The Invisible Kid (1988)

Movie
6
Martha Gelhorn
The Legendary Life of Ernest Hemingway

The Legendary Life of Ernest Hemingway (1988)

Movie
Laura Lawrence
Hostage

Hostage (1987)

Movie
Sea Witch
The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid (1987)

Movie
Ellen Jarvis
It's Alive III: Island of the Alive

It's Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987)

Movie
4.64
Linda Magnusson
Invaders from Mars

Invaders from Mars (1986)

Movie
7
Gloria
Flight of the Spruce Goose

Flight of the Spruce Goose (1986)

Movie
Karin
Cut and Run

Cut and Run (1985)

Movie
Martin's Day

Martin's Day (1985)

Movie
Janus
Eternal Evil

Eternal Evil (1985)

Movie
4
Rachel
Savage Dawn

Savage Dawn (1985)

Movie
Gladys Fitzpatrick
Bad Manners

Bad Manners (1984)

Movie
Dr. Sylvia Dunn
Murder, She Wrote

Murder, She Wrote (1984)

TV Show
7
E/R

E/R (1984)

TV Show
Miami Vice

Miami Vice (1984)

TV Show
7
Kay Mason
The Hitchhiker

The Hitchhiker (1983)

TV Show
5
Zee
Can She Bake A Cherry Pie?

Can She Bake A Cherry Pie? (1983)

Movie
Joanne
Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)

Movie
Sea Witch
Faerie Tale Theatre

Faerie Tale Theatre (1982)

TV Show
Karen Black (uncredited)
The Last Horror Film

The Last Horror Film (1982)

Movie
Amy
Miss Right

Miss Right (1982)

Movie
Mary Turner
The Grass Is Singing

The Grass Is Singing (1981)

Movie
Valentine Colby
Separate Ways

Separate Ways (1981)

Movie
Emilienne d'Alençon
Chanel Solitaire

Chanel Solitaire (1981)

Movie
Investigator Evelyn Carter
Police Story: Confessions of a Lady Cop

Police Story: Confessions of a Lady Cop (1980)

Movie
Helen
Where the Ladies Go

Where the Ladies Go (1980)

Movie
Rose Vanda-Buchanan
Power

Power (1980)

Movie
Kate Neville
Killer Fish

Killer Fish (1979)

Movie
Ernestina Crawford
Mr. Horn

Mr. Horn (1979)

Movie
Paula Herbert
The Last Word

The Last Word (1979)

Movie
Clarisse Saunders
The Squeeze

The Squeeze (1978)

Movie
Maya
In Praise Of Older Women

In Praise Of Older Women (1978)

Movie
Anne
Because He's My Friend

Because He's My Friend (1978)

Movie
Judy Drinkwater
Capricorn One

Capricorn One (1977)

Movie
4.72
Miriam Oliver / Sandy
The Strange Possession of Mrs. Oliver

The Strange Possession of Mrs. Oliver (1977)

Movie
Marian Rolf
Burnt Offerings

Burnt Offerings (1976)

Movie
6
Fran
Family Plot

Family Plot (1976)

Movie
Susan Winters
Crime and Passion

Crime and Passion (1976)

Movie
Self - Host / Catherine the Great / Various / Self - Host / Mona Lisa / Various
Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live (1975)

TV Show
6.36
Connie White
Nashville

Nashville (1975)

Movie
2
Faye
The Day of the Locust

The Day of the Locust (1975)

Movie
Julie / Millicent / Therese
Trilogy of Terror

Trilogy of Terror (1975)

Movie
10
Nancy Pryor
Airport 1975

Airport 1975 (1974)

Movie
5.13
Gloria
Law and Disorder

Law and Disorder (1974)

Movie
Myrtle Wilson
The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby (1974)

Movie
Daisy
Rhinoceros

Rhinoceros (1974)

Movie
Bett Harrow
The Outfit

The Outfit (1973)

Movie
Elizabeth Lucy
The Pyx

The Pyx (1973)

Movie
6
Laura
Little Laura and Big John

Little Laura and Big John (1973)

Movie
Police Story

Police Story (1973)

TV Show
Barbara Sanders
Ghost Story

Ghost Story (1972)

TV Show
Mary Jane Reid (The Monkey)
Portnoy's Complaint

Portnoy's Complaint (1972)

Movie
Sue
Cisco Pike

Cisco Pike (1972)

Movie
Parm
Born to Win

Born to Win (1971)

Movie
Jenny Simms
A Gunfight

A Gunfight (1971)

Movie
Olive
Drive, He Said

Drive, He Said (1971)

Movie
Rayette Dipesto
Five Easy Pieces

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

Movie
5.69
Karen
Easy Rider

Easy Rider (1969)

Movie
6
Ellen
Hard Contract

Hard Contract (1969)

Movie
2
Adam-12

Adam-12 (1968)

TV Show
7.5
Monica Garrison
The Name of the Game

The Name of the Game (1968)

TV Show
Mannix

Mannix (1967)

TV Show
6.38
Self - Guest / Various Characters
The Carol Burnett Show

The Carol Burnett Show (1967)

TV Show
5.33
Judd for the Defense

Judd for the Defense (1967)

TV Show
Claudia Stone
The Invaders

The Invaders (1967)

TV Show
6
Amy Partlett
You're a Big Boy Now

You're a Big Boy Now (1966)

Movie
Lorraine Chapman
The F.B.I.

The F.B.I. (1965)

TV Show
Carla
The Big Valley

The Big Valley (1965)

TV Show
6.2
Jennifer Palmer
Run for Your Life

Run for Your Life (1965)

TV Show
Betty
The Prime Time

The Prime Time (1960)

Movie
Mrs. Tender
New York Crossing

New York Crossing

Movie

Ratings

Average 5.23
Based on 771 Thousand movie and tv ratings over time
1960
1981
1992
1983
2018
Karen BlackKaren BlackKaren BlackKaren BlackKaren Black

Information

Known for
Acting

Gender
Female

Birthday
1939-07-01

Deathday
2013-08-08 (74 years old)

Birth name
Karen Blanche Ziegler

Place of birth
Park Ridge, United States of America

Religion
Scientology

Relationships
Stephen Eckelberry (1987-01-01 - 2013-01-01), L. M. Kit Carson (1975-01-01 - 1983-01-01)

Children
Hunter Carson

Siblings
Gail Brown

Citizenships
United States of America

Also known as
カレン・ブラック


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Karen Black
Karen Black
Filmography
Information
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