Celebrity Then And Now
Carol Kane
Name: Carol Kane
Birthdate: June 18, 1952
Famous Years: 1971-Present
Currently Known For: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Networth: $5 MillionFamous For: Hester Street, Annie Hall, Wicked
Carol Kane
Name Carol Kane
Birthdate June 18, 1952
Famous Years 1971-Present
Currently Known For Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Networth $5 Million
Famous For Hester Street, Annie Hall, Wicked

The Netflix generation of television viewers might only know Carol Kane from one acting role, but those that have been around for the past 50 years or so know that she has a very wide portfolio of work. From the grittier movies of the 1970s to the bright and cheery comedies of the modern era, Kane has proven to be one of the most varied actresses around.

Born on June 18, 1952, Kane says how she got into acting is a “boring” story, really. “Typical story,” she said. “I was a little girl, and my mom took me to see a children’s theater play, and I just instantly fell in love with the notion of being up there and using my imagination and becoming someone else...I think it’s a pretty typical tale, but it’s true!”

When she was a teenager, Kane would get to appear on stage for the first time, and acted professionally when she was just 14 years old in the production “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”. The stage performance was able to help Kane get her name out there, and she started to land parts in films as an extra, which helped to pad her resume.

Kane had spent several years playing an extra in films, and got her first big role in the film “Carnal Knowledge”, marking her first lines in a film. It was quite the thrill for Kane, who said she was starstruck by being in the same studio as the likes of Jack Nicholson, Art Garfunkel and Ann-Margret. Just because she was speaking on screen didn’t mean she was a big star yet, though, and wasn’t making a lot of money.

Over the next couple of years, Kane would appear in films such as “Desperate Characters”, “Wedding in White” and “The Last Detail”. During this time, kane was still working odd jobs to make ends meet. She says that she was “working at Backstage magazine licking stamps and envelopes,” and worked in a few different stores, and that the only non-stereotypical starving actor job she didn’t have was waiting tables. “I did work a lot of tedious jobs, but I was just proud to be earning my living,” she said.”

When she was just 23 years old, Kane would get the role of a lifetime when she was cast as Gitl in the film “Hester Street” with Steven Keats and Doris Roberts. Her performance in the film earned Kane an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role the next year. All of a sudden, Kane had gone from an anonymous actress that spent a lot of her time in the background to a bona fide leading lady, with producers and actors alike calling her for roles.

Kane would finish out the 1970s with films such as “Dog Day Afternoon”, “The World’s Greatest Lover”, “Annie Hall” and “When a Stranger Calls”. The second half of the decade was quite kind to Kane, who was able to find a nice balance between drama and comedy that would solidify her as a diverse talent. “I like the full spectrum of roles,” she said. “I think it’s nourishing to do both comedy and drama. It’s like life; you have both comedy and drama. There’s a balance, and I’m lucky enough to have it in my work.”

The beginning of the 1980s would see Kane back into comedy mode as she starred as Simka Dahblitz-Gravas on the sitcom “Taxi”. Working alongside the likes of Andy Kaufman and Danny DeVito, Kane won a pair of Emmy Awards for her work on the series, appearing in a total of 23 episodes over a three year span. Her film career during the first part of the 1980s wasn’t quite as memorable as the 1970s, but before the 1990s came calling she starred in films such as “The Princess Bride”, “License to Drive” and “Scrooged”.

Kane’s resume would continue to swell during the 1990s as she had television films, movie appearances and guest roles coming in left and right. All in all, Kane has a total of 150 acting credits to her name (with many more to come). She’s also won a slew of awards on top of her Emmy Awards that include the Gen Art Film Festival and TV Land Awards.

After spending several years in theater and making guest appearances in television shows and movies, Kane would land a permanent role in 2015 when she was cast as Lillian Kaushtupper on the popular Netflix comedy series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”. It’s a role that Kane has had since then, and is certainly keeping her busy.

“That’s currently what I’m doing the most of, and I’m really enjoying that,” she said of the show. “Tina Fey is a such an amazing writer-producer, as is Robert Carlock...And the whole cast I’m part of is so great...It’s just really fun! And it’s also kind of fun to have accidentally fallen into the new media, which I wasn’t very knowledgeable about, that you could watch an entire season of a show in one day. It’s so great!”

Just because “Kimmy Schmidt” has been high popularity doesn’t mean that the 66 year old Kane doesn’t have other plans in the works. She’s back on stage as Madame Morrible in the production of “Wicked”, and also has a movie coming out called “The Sisters Brothers” starring John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix. Retirement doesn’t appear to be in the plans, as Kane is just as busy now as she’s ever been.