Carol Kane
Kane in 2018
Born (1952-06-18) June 18, 1952 (age 71)[1]
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Occupation(s)Actress, comedian
Years active1966–present

Carolyn Laurie Kane (born June 18, 1952[1]) is an American actress. She gained prominence for her role in Hester Street (1975), for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. She became known in the 1970s and 1980s in films such as Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Annie Hall (1977), The Princess Bride (1987) and Scrooged (1988).

Kane appeared on the television series Taxi in the early 1980s, as Simka Gravas, the wife of Latka, the character played by Andy Kaufman, winning two Emmy Awards for her work. She has played the character of Madame Morrible in the musical Wicked, both in touring productions and on Broadway from 2005 to 2014. From 2015 to 2020, she was a main cast member on the Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, in which she played Lillian Kaushtupper. She currently plays the recurring role of Pelia in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (2023–present).

Early life

Kane was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Joy, a jazz singer, teacher, dancer, and pianist, and Michael Kane.[2] Her family is Jewish, and her grandparents emigrated from Russia, Austria, and Poland.[3][4] Her parents divorced when she was 12 years old.[5] She attended the Cherry Lawn School, a boarding school in Darien, Connecticut, until 1965.[6][7] She studied theater at HB Studio[8] and also went to the Professional Children's School in New York City. Kane made her professional theater debut in a 1966 production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, starring Tammy Grimes.[9]



Kane portrayed Simka Dahblitz-Gravas, wife of Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman), on the American television series Taxi from 1981 to 1983. She received two Emmy Awards for her work in the series.[10]

In 1984, Kane appeared in episode 12, season 3 of Cheers as Amanda, an acquaintance of Diane Chambers from her time spent in a mental institution.

Kane was a regular on the 1986 series All Is Forgiven, a regular on the 1990–1991 series American Dreamer, guest-starred on a 1994 episode of Seinfeld, a 1996 episode of Ellen and had a supporting role in the short-lived sitcom Pearl.

In 1988, Kane appeared in the Cinemax Comedy Experiment Rap Master Ronnie: A Report Card alongside Jon Cryer and the Smothers Brothers.

In January 2009, she appeared in the television series Two and a Half Men as the mother of Alan Harper's receptionist.[11] In March 2010, Kane appeared in the television series Ugly Betty as Justin Suarez's acting teacher. In 2014, she had a recurring role in the TV series Gotham as Gertrude Kapelput, Oswald Cobblepot's (Penguin's) mother.[12]

In 2015, she was cast as Lillian Kaushtupper, the landlord to the title character of Netflix's series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.[13] She reprised the role in the television movie Kimmy vs the Reverend.

In 2020, Kane was part of the ensemble cast of the Amazon series Hunters; it also includes Al Pacino and Logan Lerman.

It was announced at Star Trek Day 2022 that Kane was joining the cast of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds as Chief Engineer Pelia.


Kane and Gene Wilder in a publicity photo for The World's Greatest Lover, 1977

Kane appeared in Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Last Detail (1973), Hester Street (1975), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Annie Hall (1977), The World's Greatest Lover (1977), When a Stranger Calls (1979), Norman Loves Rose (1982), Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), The Princess Bride (1987), Scrooged (1988), in which Variety called her "unquestionably [the] pic's comic highlight";[14] Flashback (1989), with Dennis Hopper; and as a potential love interest for Steve Martin's character in My Blue Heaven (1990).

In 1998, she played Mother Duck on the cartoon movie The First Snow of Winter. In 1999, she made a cameo in the Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon as her Taxi character.

Kane was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Hester Street (1975)

At the 48th Academy Awards, Kane was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film Hester Street.


She starred in the off-Broadway play Love, Loss, and What I Wore in February 2010.[15]

Kane made her West End debut in January 2011 in a major revival of Lillian Hellman's drama The Children's Hour at London's Comedy Theatre. She starred alongside Keira Knightley, Elisabeth Moss and Ellen Burstyn.[16]

In May 2012, Kane appeared on Broadway as Betty Chumley in a revival of the play Harvey.


Kane is also known for her portrayal of the evil headmistress Madame Morrible in the Broadway musical Wicked, whom she played in various productions from 2005 to 2014.

Kane made her Wicked debut on the 1st National Tour,[17] playing the role from March 9 through December 19, 2005. She then reprised the role in the Broadway production from January 10 through November 12, 2006.[18] She again played the role for the Los Angeles production which began performances on February 7, 2007.[19] She left the production on December 30, 2007, and later returned on August 26, 2008, until the production closed on January 11, 2009.[20]

She then transferred with the L.A. company, to play the role once again, in the San Francisco production which began performances January 27, 2009.[21] She ended her limited engagement on March 22, 2009.[22] Kane returned to the Broadway company of Wicked from July 1, 2013, through February 22, 2014 (a period that included the show's 10th anniversary).[23]



Year Title Role Notes
1971 Desperate Characters Young Girl Feature film
Carnal Knowledge Jennifer Feature film
1972 Wedding in White Jeannie Dougall Feature film
...and Hope to Die (aka. La course du lièvre à travers les champs) Feature film (scenes cut from finished film)[24]
1973 The Last Detail Young Whore Feature film
1975 Hester Street Gitl Feature film, Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Dog Day Afternoon Jenny Feature film
1976 Harry and Walter Go to New York Florence Feature film
1977 Annie Hall Allison Portchnik Feature film
Valentino Starlet Feature film
The World's Greatest Lover Annie Hickman Feature film
1978 The Mafu Cage Cissy Feature film
1979 The Muppet Movie Myth Feature film
When a Stranger Calls Jill Johnson Feature film
La Sabina Daisy
1981 The Games of Countess Dolingen Louise Haines-Pearson Feature film
Strong Medicine Feature film
1982 Pandemonium Candy Feature film
Norman Loves Rose Rose Feature film, Nominated — AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1983 Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? Customer at Cafe Feature film
1984 Over the Brooklyn Bridge Cheryl Feature film
Racing with the Moon Annie the Hooker Feature film
The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud Martha Bernays Feature film
Terror in the Aisles Jill Johnson (archival footage) Documentary film
1985 Transylvania 6-5000 Lupi Feature film
1986 Jumpin' Jack Flash Cynthia Feature film
1987 Ishtar Carol Feature film
The Princess Bride Valerie Feature film
1988 Sticky Fingers Kitty Feature film
License to Drive Mrs. Anderson Feature film
Scrooged Ghost of Christmas Present Feature film
1990 The Lemon Sisters Franki D'Angelo Feature film
Flashback Maggie Feature film
Joe Versus the Volcano Hairdresser cameo Feature film
My Blue Heaven Shaldeen Feature film
1991 Ted & Venus Colette Feature film
1992 In the Soup Barbara Feature film
Baby on Board Maria
The Real Story of Here Comes the Bride Margaret Mouse (voice) Feature film
1993 Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Carla Feature film
Addams Family Values Grandmama Feature film
1994 The Crazysitter Treva Van Arsdale
1995 Theodore Rex Molly Rex (voice) Direct-to-video film
1996 Big Bully Faith Feature film
American Strays Helen Feature film
Sunset Park Mona Feature film
The Pallbearer Mrs. Thompson Feature film
Trees Lounge Connie Feature film
1997 Gone Fishin' Donna Waters Feature film
Office Killer Dorine Douglas Feature film
1998 The Tic Code Miss Gimpole Feature film
1999 Jawbreaker Principal Sherwood Feature film
Man on the Moon Herself/Simka Dahblitz Feature film
The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald Org's mother (voice) Short film
2000 The Office Party Linda Short film
2001 D.C. Smalls Mother Short film
My First Mister Mrs. Benson Feature film
The Shrink Is In Dr. Louise Rosenberg Feature film
Tomorrow by Midnight Officer Garfield
2002 Love in the Time of Money Joey Feature film
2003 Cosmopolitan Mrs. Shaw Feature film
2004 Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen Miss Baggoli Feature film
2005 The Pacifier Helga Feature film
The Civilization of Maxwell Bright Temple Feature film
The Happy Elf Gilda (voice) Feature film
2008 Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five Sheep (voice) Feature film
Four Christmases Aunt Sarah (uncredited) Feature film
2010 The Bounty Hunter Dawn Feature film
My Girlfriend's Boyfriend Barbara Feature film
Pete Smalls Is Dead Landlady Feature film
2011 The Key Man Marsha
2012 Sleepwalk with Me Linda Pandamiglio Feature film
Should've Been Romeo Ruth
Thanks for Sharing Roberta Feature film
2013 Clutter Linda Bradford
2014 Emoticon ;) Hannah Song
2015 Ava's Possessions Talia
2018 The Sisters Brothers Mrs. Sisters Feature film
Ghost Light Madeline Styne Feature film
2019 The Dead Don't Die Mallory O'Brien
2022 iMordecai Fela
2023 Migration Erin (voice) Feature film


Year Title Role Notes
1974 We, the Woman Susannah White Television film
1978 Visions Episode: "Fans of the Kosko Show"
1978–1981 Great Performances Eliza Southgate; Frances Loomis Episodes: "Out of Our Father's House"; "The Girls in Their Summer Dresses and Other Stories"
1980 The Greatest Man in the World April Television film
1980–1983 Taxi Simka Dahblitz-Gravas 17 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1982)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Variety or Music Series (1983)
Medallion Award (2007)[a]
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film (1983)
Nominated — TV Land Award for Most Wonderful Wedding (2006)[b]
1982 Laverne & Shirley Olga Episode: "Jinxed"
1983 An Invasion of Privacy Ilene Cohen Television film
American Playhouse Lavinia Episode: "Keeping On"
Faerie Tale Theatre The "Good" Fairy Episode: "Sleeping Beauty"
1984 Burning Rage Mary Harwood Television film
Cheers Amanda Boyer Episode: "A Ditch in Time"
1985 Tales from the Darkside Anne MacColl Episode: "Snip, Snip"
Crazy Like a Fox Episode: "Bum Tip"
1986 Tall Tales & Legends Barbara Episode: "Casey at the Bat"
All Is Forgiven Nicolette Bingham 9 episodes
1987 Paul Reiser Out on a Whim Fortune Teller Television film
1988 Drop-Out Mother Maxine Television film
Rap Master Ronnie: A Report Card Television film
1989–1994 Sesame Street Nina the Nice Episode 2648: "Bob accompanies Oscar to Grouchytown"; archival footage
1990 Tales from the Crypt Judy Episode: "Judy, You're Not Yourself Today"
Tiny Toon Adventures Ollie (voice) Episode: "A Quack in the Quarks"
1990–1991 American Dreamer Lillian Abernathy 17 episodes
1991–1992 Brooklyn Bridge Aunt Sylvia 5 episodes
1992 Sibs Sally Episodes: "The Crash: Part 1", "The Crash: Part 2"
The Ray Bradbury Theater Polly Episode: "Tomorrow's Child"
1993 When a Stranger Calls Back Jill Johnson Television film
TriBeCa Amanda Episode: "Stepping Back"
Eligible Dentist Television film
1994 Seinfeld Corinne Episode: "The Marine Biologist"
Aladdin Brawnhilda (voice) Episodes: "Stinkerbelle", "Smells Like Trouble"
Empty Nest Shelby Episode: "The Courtship of Carol's Father"
1995 A.J.'s Time Travelers Emily Roebling Episode: "Brooklyn Bridge"
Dad, the Angel & Me The Angel Television film
Napoleon Spider (voice) English version
Freaky Friday Leanne Futterman Television film
1996 Chicago Hope Marguerite Birch Episode: "Stand"
Nominated – Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (1996)
Ellen Lily Penney Episode: "A Penney Saved"
1996–1997 Pearl Annie Caraldo 22 episodes
1997 Hey Arnold! Emily Dickinson Trophy (voice) Episode: "Freeze Frame/Phoebe Cheats"
The Tony Danza Show Simka Gravaas Episode: "The Milk Run"
Homicide: Life on the Street Gwen Munch Episode: "All Is Bright"
Merry Christmas, George Bailey Cousin Tilly/Mrs. Hatch Television film
1998 The First Seven Years Mrs. Feld Television short
Adventures from the Book of Virtues The Beetle (voice) Episode: "Patience"
Noddy Tooth Fairy Episode: "The Tooth Fairy"[25]
1999 Noah's Ark Sarah Television film
Blue's Clues Little Miss Muffet (voice) Episode: "Blue's Big Treasure Hunt"
1999–2000 Beggars and Choosers Lydia Luddin 3 episodes
2000 As Told by Ginger Maude Episodes: "I Spy a Witch"; "Carl and Maude"
2001 Family Guy Carol (voice) Episode: "Emission Impossible"
2002 That's Life Gloria Episode: "Baum's Thesis"
The Grubbs Sophie Grubb Episode: "Pilot"
2003 Audrey's Rain Missy Flanders Television film
2004 Hope & Faith Cornelia Rackett Episode: "Faith Scare-Field"
2005 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Mrs. Claus Episode: "Billy and Mandy Save Christmas"
2006 The Year Without a Santa Claus Mother Nature Television film; cameo
2009 Two and a Half Men Shelly Episodes: "Thank God for Scoliosis"; "David Copperfield Slipped Me a Roofie"
Monk Joy Episode: "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man"
2009, 2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Gwen Munch Episodes: "Zebras", "Wonderland Story"
2010 Ugly Betty Lena Korvinka Episode: "All the World's a Stage"
2011 Dora the Explorer Grandma Troll (voice) Episode: "The Grumpy Old Troll Gets Married"
2011–2012 Jake and the Never Land Pirates Sea Witch (voice) 2 episodes
2011–2014 Phineas and Ferb Nana Shapiro (voice) 2 episodes
2013 Girls Cloris Episode: "It's Back"
Anger Management Carol Episode: "Charlie and His New Friend with Benefits"
2014–2016 Gotham Gertrud Kapelput Recurring guest; 10 episodes
2015–2020 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Lillian Kaushtupper Main role; 42 episodes (seasons 1-4 and Kimmy vs the Reverend)
2016 Crowded Linda Episode: "Given to Fly"
2017 Halt and Catch Fire Denise Episode: "Ten of Swords"
Star vs. the Forces of Evil Dr. Jelly Goodwell (voice) Episode: "Princess Turdina/Starfari"
2017–2019 OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes Ginger (voice) 2 episodes
2018 Pinkalicious & Peterrific Edna (voice) 3 episodes
Animals Chompy (voice) 2 episodes
2018–2021 F Is for Family Marilyn Chilson (voice) 5 episodes
Vampirina Madame Spook (voice) 2 episodes
2018–2019 Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure Madam Canardist (voice) 3 episodes
2019 Los Espookys Bianca Nova 4 episodes
Bubble Guppies The Sea Witch (voice) Episode: "The New Guppy"
Big Mouth The Menopause Banshee (voice) Episode: "Florida"
Summer Camp Island Barb Junior (voice) Episode: "The Great Elf Invention Convention"
2020–2023 Hunters Mindy Markowitz 18 episodes
2022 Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience Grand-Mah (voice) Television film
The Simpsons Blythe (voice) Episode: "Step Brother from the Same Planet"
2023 Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Pelia Recurring


Year Title Role Venue Notes
1972 Ring Around the Bathtub Esme Train Broadway; Martin Beck Theatre
1978 The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds Tillie Broadway; Biltmore Theatre
1987 A Woman of Mystery Un Named Woman Los Angeles; Court Theatre Directed by John Cassavetes
2003 The Exonerated Sunny Jacobs Touring Replacement
2004 Sly Fox Miss Fancy Broadway; Ethel Barrymore Theatre Replacement
2005; 2007;
2008; 2009
Wicked Madame Morrible Touring
2006; 2013 Broadway; Gershwin Theatre Replacement
2012 Harvey Betty Chumley Broadway; Studio 54

Music videos

Year Title Artist(s)
1985 "This is My Night" Chaka Khan

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
1976 Academy Awards Best Actress Hester Street Nominated
1978 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds Nominated
1982 AACTA Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role Norman Loves Rose Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Taxi Won
1983 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Variety or Music Series Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
1996 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Chicago Hope Nominated
2006 TV Land Award Most Wonderful Wedding Taxi Nominated[c]
2007 Medallion Award Won[d]



  1. ^ a b "Carol Kane movies, photos, movie reviews, filmography, and biography - AllMovie". AllMovie. All Media Network. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  2. ^ Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  3. ^ ""Carol Kane Unofficial Fan Page" at the Wayback Machine". Archived from the original on March 20, 2007.
  4. ^ "Hunters: Carol Kane Discusses Getting Intense and Her Diverse Roles". February 28, 2020.
  5. ^ "File Not Found". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
  6. ^ "Cherry Lawn School, Class of 1965" Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  7. ^ "Cherry Lawn School Photo Of The Month, October 1999" Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  8. ^ "HB Studio Alumni".
  9. ^ "Carol Kane Biography" YahooMovies. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  10. ^ Lacher, Irene (May 11, 2002). "Moving a Step Beyond". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  11. ^ Two and a Half Men: Thank God for Scoliosis Season 6" Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  12. ^ Gotham: "Spirit of the Goat" (episode); retrieved October 28, 2014.
  13. ^ Havey, Max (March 20, 2015). "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a great addition to Netflix lineup | Vox Magazine". Vox Magazine. Columbia Missourian. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  14. ^ "Scrooged" Variety (requires registration). Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  15. ^ BWW News Desk." 'Love, Loss And What I Wore' Welcomes Comedic New Cast; Janeane Garofalo, Carol Kane & More Bow 2/3", December 10, 2009.
  16. ^ Shenton, Mark.Ellen Burstyn and Carol Kane Join Cast of West End's Children's Hour Archived October 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, November 19, 2010.
  17. ^ Gans, Andrew (March 8, 2005). "'High Flying Adored': Wicked Tour Launches in Toronto March 8". Playbill. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  18. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Quadruple Play: Wicked Welcomes Espinosa, Kane, Williams and Candler Jan. 10 Playbill, January 10, 2006
  19. ^ Gans, Andrew (February 21, 2007). "Wicked Officially Opens in Los Angeles Feb. 21". Playbill. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  20. ^ Gans, Andrew (January 11, 2009). "Wicked Ends Lengthy Los Angeles Run Jan. 11". Playbill. Archived from the original on September 9, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  21. ^ Dan Bacalzo (December 16, 2008). "Garrison, Kane, Kassebaum, Wicks Set for San Francisco Wicked".
  22. ^ Andrew Gans (March 2, 2009). "Academy Award Winner Duke to Join Cast of San Fran's Wicked". Archived from the original on January 5, 2014.
  23. ^ "Broadway's Wicked Will Welcome Carol Kane and Michael Wartella". June 21, 2013. Archived from the original on August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  24. ^ Becker, Frawley (2004). And The Stars Spoke Back: A Dialogue Coach Remembers Hollywood Players Of The Sixties In Paris. Scarecrow Press. pp. 188, 199. ISBN 978-0-8108-5157-3.
  25. ^ webmaster. "KET - NODDY - The Tooth Fairy". Archived from the original on November 5, 2013.