Black, Karen 1939(?)–

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Black, Karen 1939(?)–

(Karen Ziegler)


Original name, Karen Blanche Ziegler; born July 1, 1939 (some sources say 1942), in Park Ridge, IL; daughter of Norman A. and Elsie (a novelist; maiden name, Reif) Ziegler; married Charles Black, 1960 (divorced); married Robert Burton, April 18, 1973 (divorced, October, 1974); married L. Minor "Kit" Carson (a writer and director), July 4, 1975 (divorced); married Steven Eckelberry (a film editor), September 27, 1987; children: (third marriage) Hunter Minor Norman; (fourth marriage) Celine. Education: Attended Northwestern University; trained for the stage with Lee Strasberg at Actors Studio, New York City. Religion: Church of Scientology.

Addresses: Agent—Ellis Talent Group, 4705 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village, CA 91607.

Career: Actress, writer, producer, and composer. Studied ballet until the age of 17; appeared off-Broadway in satirical reviews, 1960s; Cabaret debut at Los Angeles, Cinegrill, 1988. Also worked as Karen Ziegler. Worked as a waitress and night clerk.

Awards, Honors: New York Drama Critics Award nomination, best actress, 1965, for The Playroom; National Board of Review Award, best supporting actress, New York Film Critics Circle Award, best supporting actress, 1970, Academy Award nomination, best supporting actress, Golden Globe Award, best supporting actress, Golden Laurel Awards, best supporting performance—female and star of tomorrow—female, Producers Guild of America, 1971, all for Five Easy Pieces; Golden Globe Award, best supporting actress—motion picture, 1975, for The Great Gatsby; Golden Globe Award nomination, best motion picture actress in a drama, 1976, for The Day of the Locust; Grammy Award nomination (with others), album of best original score written for a motion picture or television special, 1976, for Nashville; Medalla Sitges en Plata de Ley, best actress, Catalonian International Film Festival, 1977, for Burnt Offerings; Hermosa Beach Film Festival Award, best actress, 1998, for Dogtown and Sugar: The Fall of the West; Chicago Alt.Film Fest Acting Award, best actress, 1999, for Fallen Arches; Indie Supporter Award, Method Fest, 1999; Best Actress, Fantasporto Film Festival, 2005, for Firecracker.


Film Appearances:

Painted woman, The Prime Time (also known as Hell Kitten), Essanjay, 1960.

Amy Partlett, You're a Big Boy Now, Warner Bros., 1966.

Ellen, Hard Contract, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1969.

Karen, Easy Rider, Columbia, 1969.

Rayette Dipesto, Five Easy Pieces, Columbia, 1970.

Olive, Drive, He Said, Columbia, 1971.

Jenny Simms, A Gunfight (also known as Gunfight), Paramount, 1971.

Parm, Born to Win (also known as Born to Lose and Addict), United Artists, 1971.

Mary Jane Reid (The Monkey), Portnoy's Complaint, Warner Bros., 1972.

Sue, Cisco Pike, Columbia, 1972.

Elizabeth Lucy, The Pyx (also known as The Hooker Cult Murders and La Lunule), Cinerama, 1973.

Laura, Little Laura and Big John, Crown International, 1973.

Daisy, Rhinoceros, American Film Theatre, 1974.

Bett Jarrow, The Outfit, United Artists, 1974.

Myrtle Wilson, The Great Gatsby, Paramount, 1974.

Nancy Pryor, Airport, 1975, Universal, 1974.

Gloria, Law and Disorder, Columbia, 1974.

Faye Greener, The Day of the Locust, Paramount, 1975.

Connie White, Nashville, Paramount, 1975.

Fran, Family Plot, Universal, 1976.

Susan Winters, Crime and Passion (also known as Ace Up My Sleeve and Frankensteins Spukschlob), American International Pictures, 1976.

Marian Rolf, Burnt Offerings, United Artists, 1976.

Judy Drinkwater, Capricorn One, Warner Bros., 1978.

Clarisse, The Rip Off (also known as The Squeeze, Diamond Thieves, L'ultimo colpo, The Rip-Off, Rip Off—The Diamond Connection, Gretchko, Der Diamantencoup, Controrapina, and The Heist), Worldvision, 1978.

Maya, In Praise of Older Women (also known as En hommage aux femmes de trente ans), Avco-Embassy, 1979.

Kate Neville, Killer Fish (also known as Deadly Treasure of the Piranha, The Naked Sun, Treasure of the Piranha, O peixe assassino, and Killer fish agguato sul fondo), Associated Films, 1979.

Paula Herbert, The Last Word (also known as Danny Travis), International, 1979.

To Noumero (also known as 1922 and The Number), 1979.

Amy, Miss Right (also known as La donna giusta), Image Entertainment, 1980.

Emilienne D'Alencon, Chanel Solitaire, United Film, 1981.

Valentine Colby, Separate Ways, Crown, 1981.

Joanne, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Cinecom, 1982.

Mrs. Gladys Fitzpatrick, Growing Pains (also known as Bad Manners), New World, 1982.

Breathless, Orion, 1983.

Zee, Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?, World Wide Classics, 1983.

Mary Turner, Killing Heat (also known as The Grass Is Singing and Graeset sjunger), Mainline, 1984.

There's Something Wrong in Paradise, 1984.

A Stroke of Genius, 1984.

Karen, Martin's Day, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1985.

Rachel Wade, Savage Dawn, Media, 1985.

Linda Magnusson, Invaders from Mars, Cannon, 1986.

Karin, Cut and Run (also known as Amazonia, Amazon: Savage Adventure, Straight to Hell, and Inferno in Diretta), New World, 1986.

Gloria, Flight of the Spruce Goose (also known as Lot Swierkowej Gesi), 1986.

Herself, The Road to Freedom: L. Ron Hubbard and Friends (short), Church of Scientology, 1986.

Laura Lawrence, Hostage, Noble, 1987.

Ellen Jarvis, It's Alive III: Island of the Alive (also known as Island of the Alive), Warner Bros., 1987.

Zelma Laidlaw, Dixie Lanes (also known as After These Years and Indian Summer), Miramax, 1988.

Mom, The Invisible Kid, Taurus, 1988.

Platinum Blonde, 1988.

Rita, Night Angel (also known as Hellborn), Paragon Arts, 1988.

The Legendary Life of Ernest Hemingway (also known as Hemingway, festa e morte), 1988.

Ruth Wilson, Out of the Dark, New Line Cinema, 1989.

Belle, Homer & Eddie, Skouras, 1989.

Tiffany Powers, Judgement (also known as Hitz), 1989.

Homeroom teacher, Zapped Again!, ITC Entertainment, 1990.

Sybil Lullmer, The Children (also known as Meine liebe Rose), Hemdale Home Video, 1990.

Mrs. Trowbridge, Overexposed (also known as Facade), Concorde, 1990.

Mrs. Granger, Twisted Justice, Seymour Borde, 1990.

Mrs. Gordon, Mirror, Mirror, Academy, 1990.

Fatal Encounter, 1990.

Test Positive (also known as A Different Life), Alltime Productions, 1991.

Dr. Julia Harcourt, Haunting Fear, Troma, 1991.

Ella Purdy, Evil Spirits, Prism Entertainment, 1991.

Sally Rich, Club Fed, Prism Entertainment, 1991.

Rula, Rubin and Ed, IRS Releasing, 1991.

Kim Martino, Quiet Fire, PM Home Video, 1991.

Tarot, The Roller Blade Seven, 1991.

Barrett, The Killer's Edge (also known as Blood Money), PM Home Video, 1991.

Auntie Lee, Auntie Lee's Meat Pies, Columbia/TriStar Home Video, 1991.

Karen Thompson, Children of the Night, Columbia/TriStar Home Video, 1992.

Herself, The Player, Fine Line Features, 1992.

Tarot, The Legend of the Rollerblade 7, 1992.

Inspector Wilson, Dead Girls Don't Tango, 1992.

Blanche, Caged Fear (also known as Hotel Oklahoma, Innocent Young Female, and Jail Force), New Line Home Video, 1992.

Mrs. Sorrel, Final Judgement, Concorde, 1993.

Mrs. Elliot, The Double O Kid, Prism Entertainment, 1993.

Maria Vandermeer, The Trust, Quadrangle Films, 1993.

Carla, Bound and Gagged: A Love Story, Northern Arts Entertainment, 1993.

Tarot, Return of the Roller Blade Seven, 1993.

Michelle, Tuesday Never Comes, 1993.

Evelyn, The Wacky Adventures of Dr. Boris and Nurse Shirley (also known as Dr. Boris and Ms. Duluth), Rapid Film Group, 1994.

Herself, Jonas in the Desert (documentary), Silver Cine, 1994.

Too Bad About Jack, 1994.

Nehor, Plan 10 from Outer Space, Phaedra Cinema, 1995.

June Rhodes, Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (also known as Deadly Harvest), Dimension Films, 1996.

Rose Walsh, Cries of Silence (also known as Sister Island), Showcase Entertainment, 1996.

Millicent, Crimetime, Trimark, 1996.

Mrs. Tender, New York Crossing, 1996.

Schubert, Every Minute Is Goodbye (also known as Death before Sunrise and Devotion), 1996.

Ro-Kell, Dinosaur Valley Girls, Bruder Releasing, 1996.

Bettie, Movies Money Murder (also known as Breaking Up with Paul), 1996.

Modern Rhapsody, Rainbow Films, 1997.

Mother Coer and Lady Byron, Conceiving Ada (also known as Leidenschaftliche Berechnung), Fox Lorber Associates, 1997.

Herself, Who Is Henry Jaglom? (documentary), First Run Features,1997.

Courtney Whitmer, Invisible Dad, A-pix Entertainment, 1997.

Rose Van Horn, Dogtown (also known as Howling at the Moon), 1997.

Alex, Men, Hillman-Williams Productions/Shonderosa Productions, 1997.

Jessica Martin, Malaika (also known as Tons of Trouble), 1997.

Light Speed, Santelmo Entertainment, 1998.

Jude, Charades (also known as Felons and First Degree), Fries Film Group, 1998.

Lucy Roman, Fallen Arches, Saraghina Film, 1998.

The mother, Bury the Evidence, 1998.

Downtown Darlings, 1998.

Honey Child, I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (also known as Ed Wood's "I Woke Up Early the Day I Died" and I Awoke Early the Day I Died), Cinequanon Pictures, 1998.

Dental assistant, Waiting for Dr. MacGuffin, Vanguard Films Home Video, 1998.

Stripping for Jesus, 1998.

Mother, The Underground Comedy Movie, 1998.

Dr. Gabrielle Kessler, Stir, 1998.

Herself, Karen Black: Actress at Work, 1999.

Herself, Easy Rider: Shaking the Cage (documentary; also known as Shaking the Cage), Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 1999.

Decoupage 2000: Return of the Goddess, 1999.

Aunt Eloise, Mascara, Phaedra Cinema, 1999.

Sugar: The Fall of the West, 1999.

Ma, Paradise Cove, 1999.

Herself, The Independent, New City Releasing, 2000.

Mrs. Mary Harp, Oliver Twisted, RGH/Lions Share Pictures, 2000.

Aunt Summer, Red Dirt, RGH/Lion Share Pictures, 2000.

Mrs. Springle, The Donor, RGH/Lions Share Pictures, 2000.

Inviati speciali, 2000.

Herself, Plotting "Family Plot" (documentary), Universal Studios Home Video, 2001.

Bambi LeBleau, Gypsy 83, Small Planet Pictures, 2001.

Aunt Judy, Hard Luck, Film Kitchen, 2001.

Magnificent Martha, Soulkeeper (also known as The Chosen Ones), First Look Pictures Releasing, 2001.

Dirty Dick, Teknolust, ThinkFilm, 2002.

Mrs. Buttleman, Buttleman, 2002.

Mrs. Melnick, A Light in the Darkness, 2002.

Herself, Fans and Freaks: The Culture of Comics and Conventions (documentary), 2002.

Herself, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (documentary), Shout! Factory, 2003.

Mother Firefly, House of 1000 Corpses, Lions Gate Films, 2003.

Chantelle, Paris, DEJ Productions, 2003.

Dr. McDermott, Summer Solstice, Echelon Entertainment, 2003.

Aunt Nelly, Curse of the Forty-Niner (also known as Curse of the 49er and Miner's Massacre), DEJ Productions, 2003.

Marianne Brown, America Brown, TLA Releasing, 2004.

Sara, Birth of Industry (short), 2004.

Sandra/Eleanor, Firecracker, 7 Arts, 2004.

Herself, Wamego: Making Movies Anywhere (documentary short), Dikenga Films, 2004.

Molly, Dr. Rage, Skouras Ventura Film Partners, 2005.

Grace's mom, My Suicidal Sweetheart, 2005.

Hollywood Dreams, 2006.

Mrs. Leider, Whitepaddy, Big Six Films, 2006.

Suffering Man's Charity, 2006.

Also appeared in Animal Behavior; A Stroke of Genius.

Film Work; Producer:

Charades (also known as Felons and First Degree), Fries Film Group, 1998.

Television Appearances; Series:

Marcia Garroway, The Second Hundred Years, ABC, 1967–68.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Ernestine Crawford, Mr. Horn, CBS, 1979.

Rose Vanda, Power, NBC, 1980.

Herself, Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" (also known as Tales of the City), PBS, 1994.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Julie Aldrich/Millicent, Larrimore/Therese, and Larrimore/Amelia, Trilogy of Terror (also known as Tales of Terror and Terrors of the Doll), ABC, 1975.

Miriam Oliver/Sandy, The Strange Possession of Mrs. Oliver, NBC, 1977.

Anne, Because He's My Friend (also known as Love Under Pressure), 1978.

Officer Evelyn Carter, Police Story: Confessions of a Lady Cop (also known as The Other Side of Fear), 1979.

Helen, Where the Ladies Go, ABC, 1980.

Janus, The Blue Man (also known as Eternal Evil), 1985.

Mrs. Tender, Un Angelo a New York (also known as New York Crossing), 1996.

Social worker, My Neighbor's Daughter (also known as Angel Blue), Lifetime, 1998.

Jessica Martin, Malaika, HBO, 1999.

Magnificent Martha, Soulkeeper, Sci-Fi Channel, 2001.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Jenny Honker, Hastings Corner, NBC, 1970.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Presenter, The 44th Annual Academy Awards, NBC, 1972.

Celebrity Challenge of the Sexes, CBS, 1978.

Worlds Beyond, 1986.

Performer, The 14th Annual Circus of the Stars, CBS, 1989.

Mrs. Trowbridge, Overexposed, 1990.

Miss Kuchembacker, "Ralph S. Mouse," ABC Weekend Specials, ABC, 1991.

The Hunger: An MTV Sneak Preview, MTV, 1997.

Alfred Hitchcock: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 1999.

Canned Ham: Bowfinger, Comedy Central, 1999.

Saturday Night Live: 25th Anniversary Primetime Special, NBC, 1999.

The Big Show (also known as The Big Show: Toronto International Film Festival), CBC, 2001.

Herself, Wanderlust (documentary), Independent Film Channel, 2005.

Also appeared in Full Circle Again, Canadian television.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Claudia Stone, "The Ransom," The Invaders, ABC, 1967.

Carla, "Days of Grace," The Big Valley, ABC, 1967.

Lorraine Chapman, "The Satellite," The F.B.I., ABC, 1967.

Patricia Dunne, "The Prisoner," The Iron Horse, 1967.

Elaine, "License to Kill—Limit Three People," Mannix, 1968.

Alethea Staunton, "The Devil's Surrogate," Judd for the Defense, 1968.

Susan Decker, "Log 132: Producer," Adam-12, 1968.

Monica, "Give Till it Hurts," The Name of the Game, 1969.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (also known as The Best of Carson), NBC, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976.

Barbara Sanders, "Bad Connection," Ghost Story (also known as Circle of Fear), 1972.

The Dean Martin Show (also known as The Dean Martin Comedy Hour), NBC, 1972.

Host, Saturday Night Live (also known as SNL), NBC, 1976, 1981.

Herself, America 2-Night, syndicated, 1978.

Herself, Breakaway, BBC, 1984.

Sheila Sheinfeld, "Enter Romance," E/R, 1984.

Sheila Sheinfeld, "Merry Wives of Sheinfeld: Parts 1 & 2," E/R, 1985.

Kay Mason, "Hired Help," The Hitchhiker, HBO, 1985.

Dr. Sydney Dunn, "One Good Bid Deserves a Murder," Murder, She Wrote, CBS, 1986.

"Suffer Little Children," Worlds Beyond, 1986.

Sea witch, "The Little Mermaid," Faerie Tale Theatre (also known as Shelley Duvall's "Faerie Tale Theatre"), Showtime, 1987.

Carla Ray, "A Dish Best Served Cold," In the Heat of the Night, NBC, 1988.

Helen Jackson, "Victims of Circumstance," Miami Vice, 1989.

The Pat Sajak Show, CBS, 1990.

Lorraine Pitzer, "Watching the Detectives," Moon over Miami, ABC, 1993.

Miss Gati, "Menage a Trois," The Hunger, Showtime, 1997.

Doreen Jablonsky, "One Christmas, to Go," Party of Five, Fox, 1998.

Crystal Garcia, Rude Awakening, Showtime, 1998.

Evie Long, "Cycle of Violence," Profiler, NBC, 1998.

Crystal Garcia, "The Grateful Living," Rude Awakening, Showtime, 1999.

Crystal Garcia, "One Birthday at a Time," Rude Awakening, Showtime, 1999.

Herself, "Celine and Brandon," Switched!, ABC Family, 2003.

Vera Morgan, "Con-Text," Law & Order: Criminal Intent (also known as Law & Order: CI), NBC, 2003.

Patricia Sommers, "An Adventure," Russkie v. Gororde Angelov (also known as A Force of One and Russians in the City of Angels), 2003.

Herself, "Jack Nicholson," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2004.

Stage Appearances:

Understudy Adele McDougall, Linda Lehman, and Liz Michaelson, Take Her, She's Mine, Biltmore Theatre, New York City, 1961.

Zinnia, We're Civilized, Jan Hus Playhouse, New York City, 1962.

Olivia, Twelfth Night, Hecksher Theatre, New York City, 1963.

The Uncommon Denominator, Mermaid Theater, New York City, 1963.

The Playroom, Brooks Atkinson Theater, New York City, 1965–66.

Happily Never After, Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York City, 1966.

Hilda Brady, Keep It in the Family, Plymouth Theatre, New York City, 1967.

Joanne, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Martin Beck Theatre, New York City, 1982.

A View of the Heart, Ars Nova Theatre, New York City, 2004.

Also appeared with the Hecscher House Company in several Shakespearean plays.



Movies Money Murder (also known as Breaking Up with Paul), 1996.

Malaika (also known as Tons of Trouble), 1997.

Men, Hillman-Williams Productions/Shonderosa Productions, 1997.

Going Home, 1997.

Charades (also known as Felons and First Degree), Fries Film Group, 1998.

Edna McCoy's Festival, 1999.

The Invention of Dr. Morel, 2000.

Film Scores:

Nashville, Paramount, 1975.

Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?, World Wide Classics, 1983.

Film Songs:

The Pyx (also known as La Lunule and The Hooker Cult Murders), 1973.

Television Writing; Movies:

Additional story credits, Malaika, HBO, 1999.

Television Episodes:

Trauma Center, 1983.



Interview, May, 1975.

Time Out (London), January 26, 1984.