Tony-award nominee Carol Lawrence is known for her gallant and energetic performances on stage and screen. Her dancing and singing abilities have coupled her with such talents as Mickey Katz and Larry Kert. She has performed on Broadway, film and television.
Born Carolina Maria Laraia in Chicago, Carol Lawrence made her Broadway debut in Borscht Capades with Mickey Katz and Phil Foster. She was a member of the production's chorus. In the 50s Carol Lawrence danced and sang her way to stardom in New Faces of 1952, Plain and Fancy and the City Center production of South Pacific. Her most notorious role was in the 1957 classic West Side Story where she sang and acted in the part of Maria with one of Broadway's leading men, Larry Kert. Following this stellar role she was a member of the chorus in The Ziegfeld Follies starring Beatrice Lillie. Carol Lawrence believed a person could learn a lot from watching the stars perform. She would watch from the wings as Beatrice Lillie would perform on stage. In 1960 Carol Lawrence appeared in The Dybbuk, a TV play. The play, directed by Sidney Lumet, became one of the highlights of Carol Lawrence's career.
During the 1970s and 80s Carol Lawrence concentrated on her acting career performing on stage and on television. She starred in the television movies The Centerfold Murders, Stranger in Our House and Valley of the Dolls. In 1988 she was performing on stage in New York at the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse. The production, Puttin' on the Ritz: The Irving Berlin Songbook, was a four-day gig for Carol Lawrence. She sang songs from her days as Maria in West Side Story. She also danced and sang some Irving Berlin favorites including "Stepping Out With My Baby," "Let Yourself Go," "Always" and "God Bless America." Her performance was met with never-ending applause and admiration.
In 1993 she was once again on Broadway filling in for her vacationing colleague Chita Rivera in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Most recently Carol Lawrence has kept herself busy with a variety of interests. She works with an international relief agency called World Vision. She frequently performs her singing and dancing act in nightclubs, on cruise lines and with several orchestras. In recent years she has made appearances on General Hospital and Murder One.
Her autobiography, The Backstage Story, recounts her life during her career including her three broken marriages. Her second marriage to actor Robert Goulet produced two sons, Christopher and Michael. I Remember Pasta, Carol Lawrence's cookbook and an exercise video, Broadway Body Workout are also among Carol Lawrence's many accomplishments. ~ Kim Summers
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