Karen Blanche (Ziegler) Black (1939 - 2013)

Karen Blanche (Ziegler) Black
1939 - 2013
updated February 06, 2019
Karen Blanche (Ziegler) Black was born in 1939 at Park Ridge, Illinois. She was born into the Ziegler family and married into the Black family. She died on August 8, 2013 in Santa Monica, California at 74 years of age.

Karen Black
Karen Black Five Easy Pieces
Born Karen Blanche Ziegler
July 1, 1939
Park Ridge, Illinois, U.S.
Died August 8, 2013 (aged 74)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Ampullary cancer
Nationality American
Alma mater Maine Township High School East
Northwestern University
Occupation Actress, screenwriter, singer, composer
Years active 1960–2013
Spouse(s) Charles Black (m. 1960)
Robert Burton (m. 1973–74)
L. M. Kit Carson (m. 1975–83)
Stephen Eckelberry (m. 1987–2013)
Children 3, including Hunter Carson
Relatives Gail Brown (sister)
MAYBE LATER CLOSE
Karen Blanche Black (née Ziegler; July 1, 1939 – August 8, 2013) was an American actress, screenwriter, singer and songwriter. A native of Illinois, Black studied acting in New York City and performed on Broadway before making her major film debut in Francis Ford Coppola's You're a Big Boy Now (1966).
She followed this with roles in Easy Rider (1969), Five Easy Pieces (1970), and The Great Gatsby (1974), for the latter two of which she won Golden Globe awards for Best Supporting Actress; her performance in Five Easy Pieces also garnered her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.[1] In 1975, she appeared in Dan Curtis's cult horror films Trilogy of Terror and Burnt Offerings; Robert Altman's Nashville, and The Day of the Locust, which earned her a third Golden Globe nomination. Other roles include Airport 1975 (1974), Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot (1976), Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982), and Tobe Hooper's Invaders from Mars (1986).
In the 1990s, Black starred in a variety of arthouse and horror films, as well as writing her own screenplays before appearing in Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses (2003), which cemented her status as a cult horror icon.[2] Black continued to star in low-profile films throughout the early 2000s, as well as working as a playwright before being diagnosed with ampullary cancer in 2010. She died of the disease in Los Angeles, in August 2013. Black's career spanned over fifty years, and includes nearly two hundred film credits.
Early life
Black was born as Karen Blanche Ziegler in Park Ridge, Illinois, in suburban Chicago, the daughter of Elsie Mary (née Reif), a writer of several prize-winning children's novels, and Norman Arthur Ziegler, an engineer and businessman. Her paternal grandfather was Arthur Charles Ziegler, a classical musician and first violinist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She had one sister, actress Gail Brown, and a brother. Black was of German, Bohemian (Czech) and Norwegian descent. She graduated from Maine Township High School East in 1957. After high school, Black enrolled at Northwestern University, where she majored in theatre arts.
Career
Early work: 1960–1970]
Black made her Broadway debut in 1965's The Playroom, which received good reviews and for which she was nominated for a Drama Circle Critic Award for Best Actress. Her film debut was in The Prime Time (1960) and her first big role was in You're a Big Boy Now (1966), directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Beginning in 1967, she appeared in guest roles in several television series, including The F.B.I., Run for Your Life, The Big Valley, The Iron Horse, The Invaders, Mannix and Adam-12.
Her feature film career expanded in 1969, playing the role of an acid-tripping prostitute opposite Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in the iconic counterculture movie Easy Rider. In 1970, Black appeared as Rayette, the waitress girlfriend of Jack Nicholson, in the film Five Easy Pieces, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and earned her her first Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress-Motion Picture. She also won a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film.
Breakthrough and success in Hollywood: 1971–1985
Black in Ace Up My Sleeve, 1976
Black played an unfaithful wife, Myrtle Wilson, in the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby, a performance that earned her a second Golden Globe Award in the same category. In the same year she starred as Nancy Pryor, the stewardess who is forced to fly the plane, in the disaster film Airport 1975 (1974). In 1975, she played multiple roles in Dan Curtis's televised anthology film Trilogy of Terror. The segments, all written by suspense writer Richard Matheson, were named after the women involved in the plot — a plain college professor who seduces a student ("Julie"), a pair of sisters who squabble over their father's inheritance ("Millicent and Therese"), and the lonely recipient of a cursed Zuni fetish that comes to life and pursues her relentlessly ("Amelia").
Black received another Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress for her role as an aspiring actress in 1930s Hollywood in John Schlesinger's tragic drama The Day of the Locust (1975). She also starred as a country singer in Robert Altman's Nashville (also 1975) and as a kidnapper in what turned out to be Alfred Hitchcock's last film, Family Plot (1976). She also reunited with director Dan Curtis to star in the horror film Burnt Offerings (1976), with Oliver Reed and Bette Davis. She then played a dual role in a 1977 thriller, The Strange Possession of Mrs. Oliver.
Other notable films from the 1970s include Born to Win (1971) with George Segal and Robert De Niro, Cisco Pike (1972) with Kris Kristofferson and Gene Hackman, Portnoy's Complaint (1972) with Richard Benjamin, The Pyx (1973) with Christopher Plummer, The Outfit (1973) with Robert Duvall, Rhinoceros (1974) with Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel, and Capricorn One (1978) with Elliott Gould.
In 1980, Black starred in a made-for-TV movie Police Story: Confessions of a Lady Cop. In 1982, she gave a critically acclaimed performance in Robert Altman's Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, where she starred alongside Cher and Sandy Dennis. From 1984 to 1985, she played the role of Sheila Sheinfeld in the NBC series E/R. Other television credits include Saturday Night Live, Murder, She Wrote, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
Later work and playwrighting: 1986–2013
Black's later career emphasized numerous horror roles, beginning in Tobe Hooper's Invaders from Mars (1986), which she starred in with her son, Hunter Carson. As her later career progressed, Black gained a cult following, as alluded to by Family Guy television anchor Tom Tucker in his remark "Karen Black: what an obscure reference." in the episode Death Is a B**** (season 2, episode 6). Other horror roles included as a troubled single mother in Mirror, Mirror (1990), Children of the Night (1991), and as a paranoid mother in small-town Nebraska in Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996), alongside Naomi Watts. In 1997, Black played Lady Byron in the ground-breaking feminist science fiction feature Conceiving Ada (Dir. Lynn Hershmann Leeson), about a contemporary scientist who uses software to make contact with the Victorian pioneer of computer programming Ada Lovelace, daughter of the poet Lord Byron.
In 2003, Black starred as Mother Firefly in the Rob Zombie horror movie House of 1000 Corpses. In March 2005, Black received the Best Actress Award at the Fantasporto International Film Festival in Porto, Portugal, for her work in the critically acclaimed Steve Balderson film Firecracker (2005), in which she plays two roles, Sandra and Eleanor. She and actor John Hurt were both presented with Career Achievement Awards as well.
Black launched a career as a playwright in May 2007 with the opening of Missouri Waltz at the Blank Theater in Los Angeles; Black starred in the play as well. In April 2009, Black worked with director Steve Balderson for Stuck!, a homage to film noir women-in-prison dramas, which co-starred Mink Stole, Pleasant Gehman and Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go's.
Black also starred in John Landis' 2010 thriller, Some Guy Who Kills People,[9] as well as Aïda Ruilova's surrealist short film Meet the Eye (2009). Later that year, Black appeared on Cass McCombs' song "Dreams-Come-True-Girl" from the album Catacombs.
The experimental hip-hop group Death Grips released a video on YouTube called "Bottomless Pit" in October 2015. The video shows footage of Black reciting lines from a film script written by the group's drummer/co-producer Zach Hill. The footage was shot in early 2013.
Personal life
Black in 2010.
Black married four times:
Charles Black, married in 1960.
Robert Burton, an actor (who appeared alongside Black in Trilogy of Terror), married on April 18, 1973 and separated in October 1974.
L. M. Kit Carson, an actor/screenwriter, married on July 4, 1975 and separated in 1980. They had a son, actor Hunter Carson.
Stephen Eckelberry, from September 27, 1987. They adopted a daughter, Celine.
Death
After her final films were released in 2010, she was diagnosed with cancer and stopped making public appearances. She had a portion of her pancreas removed that year and endured two further operations. She was invited to attend the premiere of River Phoenix's last on-screen performance in the salvaged feature film Dark Blood, in which she had played a small part in the original early 1990s shoot. Black was unable to attend the event, held in the Netherlands in September 2012, due to her illness. On August 8, 2013, Black died in Los Angeles from cancer at age 74. Actress Juliette Lewis paid tribute, saying "Karen Black was my mentor and a second mother to me. She inspired everyone she came in contact with."
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Karen Blanche (Ziegler) Black Biography

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Karen Blanche (Ziegler) Black
Most commonly known name
Female
Gender
Karen
First name
Blanche
Middle name
Ziegler
Maiden name
Black, Ziegler
Last name(s)
Unknown
Nickname(s) or aliases
Unknown. Did Karen move a lot? Where was her last known location?
Last known residence
Karen Black was born in at Park Ridge, in Illinois
Birth
Karen Black died on in Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California United States
Death
Karen Black was born in at Park Ridge, in Illinois
Karen Black died on in Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California United States
Birth
Death
Cancer
Cause of death
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Karen Blanche (Ziegler) Black Family Tree

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Karen Blanche (Ziegler) Black died on August 8, 2013 in Santa Monica, California at 74 years old. She was born in 1939 at Park Ridge, Illinois. We are unaware of information about Karen's immediate family.
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1939 - 2013 World Events

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In 1939, in the year that Karen Blanche (Ziegler) Black was born, in May, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated film, reached a total international gross of $6.5 million which made it (to then) the most successful sound film of all time. First released in December 1937, it was originally dubbed "Disney's Folly" but the premiere received a standing ovation from the audience. At the 11th Academy Awards in February 1939, Walt Disney won an Academy Honorary Award - a full-size Oscar statuette and seven miniature ones - for Snow White.

In 1958, at the age of 19 years old, Karen was alive when on March 24th, Elvis Presley was inducted into the United States Army. Although he could have served in Special Services as an entertainer, he chose to become a regular soldier. Almost everyone thought it would be the end of his career - it wasn't.

In 1968, when she was 29 years old, on January 31st, the North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive, a turning point in the Vietnam War. 70,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces swarmed into South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese and US troops held off the offensive but it was such fierce fighting that the U.S. public began to turn against the war.

In 1978, Karen was 39 years old when on November 18th, Jim Jones's Peoples Temple followers committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana - where they had moved, from San Francisco, as a group. Jones was the leader of the cult and ordered his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch, which they did. Whole families (women and children included) died - more than 900 people in all.

In 1995, by the time she was 56 years old, on May 19th, the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil - before 9/11 - took place in Oklahoma City. A truck bomb went off outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown - killing 68 people, injuring more than 680 others, and destroying one-third of the building. The most disturbing images were of children - a daycare center was hit by the bomb. The deadliest incident of domestic terrorism ever, Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and Michael Fortier were convicted of the bombing.

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Success Stories from Biographies like Karen Blanche (Ziegler) Black
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