Carroll Baker is an American film, stage and television actress who has enjoyed popularity as both a serious dramatic actress and as a movie sex symbol. Cast in a wide range of roles during her heyday in the 1960s, Baker was especially memorable playing brash, flamboyant women, due to her beautiful features, striking blonde hair, and distinctive drawl.
A native of Pennsylvania, Baker moved to New York City in her twenties where she studied acting with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. She initially began performing on Broadway and would go on to a leading role in Elia Kazan's wildly controversial film Baby Doll, which gave Baker instant notoriety and earned her an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe.
Other notable early roles included Giant alongside Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean, and But Not for Me with Clark Gable, as well westerns such as The Big Country, How the West Was Won, and Cheyenne Autumn. In the late 1960s, after a protracted legal battle with Paramount Pictures following her performance in Harlow, Baker moved to Italy and starred in a multitude of horror and giallo films, including two directed by Umberto Lenzi, Paranoia and Il coltello di ghiaccio. She returned to American cinema with Andy Warhol's Bad, and later had supporting roles in the '90s films Kindergarten Cop and David Fincher's The Game, before retiring in 2002.