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Biography
A professional actress since age 14, Ohio-born Carol Kane is best known for essaying a staggering variety of characterizations in her three-decade career. Most of her early film roles were fleeting but memorable, such as that of the hippie girlfriend of Art Garfunkel in Carnal Knowledge (1971), the "sailor's plaything" in The Last Detail (1973) and the terrified bank teller in Dog Day Afternoon (1973). Kane's first starring appearance was in Hester Street (1975), wherein she was Oscar-nominated for her portrayal of a Jewish newlywed in turn-of-the-century New York. From 1981 through 1983, Kane played Simka, the wife of immigrant mechanic Latka Gavras (Andy Kaufman) on the TV sitcom Taxi. Simka's country of origin was fictitious, but Kane and Kaufman managed between them to "create" a Slavic language peppered with ridiculous, non-sequitur terms of endearment. The actress won an Emmy for her work on Taxi, and might have continued in the role were it not for Kaufman's untimely death at the age of 34. Other regular TV sitcom assignments for Kane have included 1986's All Is Forgiven and 1990's American Dreamer. In her more recent films, Kane has excelled in bizarre character roles, notably the kvetching old peasant wife in The Princess Bride (1986), the abusive "Ghost of Christmas Present" in Scrooged (1988), and the toothless, witchlike Grandmama in the two Addams Family theatrical features.
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