Carrie Snodgress
Snodgress in 1970
Caroline Louise Snodgress

(1945-10-27)October 27, 1945
DiedApril 1, 2004(2004-04-01) (aged 58)
EducationNorthern Illinois University
Art Institute of Chicago
Years active1969–2004

Caroline Louise Snodgress (October 27, 1945 – April 1, 2004)[1] was an American actress. She is best remembered for her role in the film Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award as well as winning two Golden Globes and two Laurel Awards.

Life and career

Born in Barrington, Illinois, Snodgress attended Maine Township High School East in Park Ridge, then Northern Illinois University before leaving to pursue acting. She trained for the stage at the Goodman School of Drama at the Art Institute of Chicago (later DePaul University). After some minor TV appearances, her film debut was an uncredited appearance in Easy Rider in 1969 followed by a credit in 1970 for Rabbit, Run.[2] Her next film, Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970), earned her a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actress and two Golden Globe wins, as Best Actress in a Comedy or a Musical[3] and New Star of the Year - Actress.[4]

She left acting soon after to live with musician Neil Young and care for their son Zeke, who was born with mild cerebral palsy.[5] She returned to acting in 1978 in The Fury.[6]

According to Sylvester Stallone, the first actress considered for the role of Adrian in Rocky was Snodgress. At the time, Harvey Keitel was tapped to play the brother due to the original idea for each to be Irish as a contrast to the main character. However, Snodgress declined due to the money.[7] Rocky director John G. Avildsen cast Snodgress in two of his later films: A Night in Heaven and 8 Seconds.

Neil Young's song "A Man Needs a Maid" was inspired by Snodgress, featuring the lyric "I fell in love with the actress / she was playing a part that I could understand."[8] The songs "Heart of Gold", "Harvest" and "Out on the Weekend" from Young's Harvest album[9] and "Motion Pictures" from On the Beach are also inspired by their relationship. She and Young split in 1974, and his song "Already One" bookends their relationship. Later she and musician and film score composer Jack Nitzsche became lovers. Nitzsche had previously worked with Young on several albums. In 1979, Nitzsche was charged with threatening to kill her after he barged into her home and beat her with a handgun. He pled guilty to threatening her, was fined, and placed on three years' probation.[10][11]

Her off-Broadway debut came as a replacement in 1981 with A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking. She also appeared in All the Way Home, Oh! What a Lovely War!, Caesar and Cleopatra, Tartuffe, The Balcony and The Boor (all at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago); and Curse of the Starving Class at the Tiffany Theatre (in Los Angeles). Other films include Murphy's Law, White Man's Burden, Pale Rider and Blue Sky. She also worked extensively in television.[12]

In her final film, Katja von Garnier's Iron Jawed Angels (2004) about American women's suffrage movement during the 1910s, Snodgress portrayed the mother of Alice Paul,[13] played by Hilary Swank.


While waiting for a liver transplant, Snodgress was hospitalized in Los Angeles, where she died of heart failure on April 1, 2004, at age 58.[14][10]



Year Title Role Notes
1969 Easy Rider Woman in Commune Uncredited
1970 Diary of a Mad Housewife Bettina "Tina" Balser Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actress
Laurel Award for Best Dramatic Performance, Female
Laurel Award for Star of Tomorrow, Female
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress (5th place)
Nominated-Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated-BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
1970 Rabbit, Run Janice Angstrom
1972 Journey Through the Past appears as herself in semi-documentary
1978 The Fury Hester
1980 The Attic Louise Elmore
1982 Homework Dr. Delingua
1982 Trick or Treats Joan O'Keefe Adams
1983 A Night in Heaven Mrs. Johnson
1985 Pale Rider Sarah Wheeler
1985 Rainy Day Friends Margot
1986 Murphy's Law Joan Freeman
1988 Blueberry Hill Becca Dane
1989 Chill Factor Amy Carlisle
1990 Across the Tracks Rosemary Maloney
1993 The Ballad of Little Jo Ruth Badger
1994 8 Seconds Elsie Frost
1994 Blue Sky Vera Johnson
1995 White Man's Burden Josine
1997 Up Above the World
1998 Wild Things Ruby
1999 A Stranger in the Kingdom Ruth Kinneson
2000 In the Light of the Moon Augusta Wilhelmine Gein Alternate title: Ed Gein
2001 Bartleby Book Publisher
2001 The Forsaken Ina Hamm


Year Title Role Notes
1969 Judd, for the Defense Eileen Episode: "The Crystal Maze"
1969 The Virginian Josephine Delphinia Episode: "Crime Wave in Buffalo Springs"
1969 The Outsider Janet / Diane Episode: "The Flip Side"
1969 The Bold Ones: The Lawyers Megan Baker Episode: "The Whole World is Watching"
1969 Marcus Welby, M.D. Laura Episode: "The White Cane"
1969 Silent Night, Lonely Night Janet TV movie
1970 Medical Center Mim Hoagley Episode: "The Deceived"
1970 The Forty-Eight Hour Mile Janet / Diane TV movie
1971 The Impatient Heart Grace McCormack TV movie
1978 Love's Dark Ride Nancy Warren TV movie
1979 Fast Friends Diana Hayward TV movie
1979 The Solitary Man Sharon Keyes TV movie
1982 Quincy M.E. Mrs. Vicki McGuire Episode: "The Face of Fear"
1983 ABC Afterschool Special Mrs. Cranston Episode: "Andrea's Story: A Hitchhiking Tragedy"
1984 Nadia Stefania Comaneci TV movie
1984 Highway to Heaven Evelyn Nealy Episode: "To Touch the Moon"
1985 A Reason to Live Isobel Bennett TV movie
1986 Murder, She Wrote Connie Vernon Episode: "If a Body Meet a Body"
1988 Friday the 13th: The Series Dr. Viola Rhodes Episode: "Brain Drain"
1988 Crossbow Lady Montal Episode: "Ladyship"
1989 In the Heat of the Night Mrs. Kroller Episode: "Crackdown"
1990 The Rose and the Jackal Joan Pinkerton TV movie
1990 Shades of LA Lt. Armacost Episode: "Pointers from Paz"
1991 Equal Justice Marla Prentiss Episode: "Courting Disaster"
1991 Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis Louise McVay TV movie
1992 Woman with a Past Mama TV movie
1992 Civil Wars Mary Esquavil Episode: "Drone of Arc"
1992 Reasonable Doubts Christine Anderson Episode: "Try to Be Nice, What Does It Get You?"
1993 The X-Files Darlene Morris Episode: "Conduit"
1993 Murder, She Wrote Irene Macinoy Episode: "Love & Hate in Cabot Cove"
1994 Rise and Walk: The Dennis Byrd Story Mrs. Byrd TV movie
1994–1995 Phantom 2040 Heloise Walker Voice, Recurring role
1995 Chicago Hope Mrs. Weber Episode: "Every Day a Little Death"
1995 Sisters Betty Merrill Episode: "For Everything a Season: Part 2"
1996 Death Benefit Virginia McGinnis TV movie
1996 All She Ever Wanted Alma Winchester TV movie
1998 ER Mrs. Lang Episode: "A Hole in the Heart"
1998 Touched by an Angel Judy Bowers Episode: "Miles to Go Before I Sleep"
2002 Judging Amy Dr. Larabie Episode: "People of the Lie"
2003 The West Wing Mrs. Martha Rowe Episode: "Red Haven's on Fire"
2004 Iron Jawed Angels Mrs. Paul TV movie


  1. ^ "Carrie Snodgress Biography". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on May 29, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ Browning, Norma Lee (January 4, 1970). "Miss Snodgress arrives in Hollywood and everyone decides the name's gotta go". Chicago Tribune. p. 3, section 10.
  3. ^ "Winners & Nominees Actress In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy (1971)". Golden Globe Awards. Archived from the original on December 31, 2018. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "Winners & Nominees : New Star Of The Year - Actress (1971)". Golden Globe Awards. Archived from the original on July 27, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  5. ^ Carr, David (September 19, 2012). "Neil Young Comes Clean". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  6. ^ Oliver, Myrna (April 10, 2004). "Carrie Snodgress, 57; Best Actress Nominee". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ "Rocky: Every Actress Considered for Adrian". Screen Rant. July 3, 2021.
  8. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (2010). Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History. Voyageur Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-0760336472.
  9. ^ Neil Young (February 1, 2022). Neil Young Radio. Sirius XM.
  10. ^ a b "Carrie Snodgress, 57, Dies; Starred as 'Mad Housewife'". The New York Times. April 10, 2004.
  11. ^ [dead link]"Carrie: It wasn't real rape". The Miami News. Associated Press. October 23, 1979. p. 6A. Retrieved October 1, 2015 – via Google News.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Carrie Snodgress (movie and TV credits)". TV Guide. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  13. ^ Actress Carrie Snodgress died on at 11th April 2004
  14. ^ Oliver, Myrna (April 10, 2004). "Carrie Snodgress, 57; Best Actress Nominee". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2019.