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Carole Shelley
Born 16 August 1939 (1939-08-16) (age 70)
London, England, UK
Occupation Actress
Years active 1965–present

Carole Shelley (born 16 August 1939) is an English-American actress.


Life and career

Shelley was born in London, England, the daughter of Deborah (née Bloomstein), a singer, and Curtis Shelley, a composer.[1] On stage, Shelley made her Broadway debut in the original 1965 production of The Odd Couple, playing Gwendolyn Pigeon. (She would reprise the role for the film version and for the first season of the subsequent television series.)

She appeared in several plays throughout the 1970s and 1980s, was acclaimed as Rosalind in As You Like It at the 1972 Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, and earned her first Tony Award nomination in 1975 for her performance as "Jane" in Absurd Person Singular. Shelley won the 1979 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her role as Mrs. Kendal in The Elephant Man, and was nominated again in 1987 for her performance in Stepping Out as "Maxine." Shelley also began appearing in musicals in the late 1990s, with the revivals of Show Boat and Cabaret.

Shelley is currently playing the role of Grandma in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot at the Imperial Theatre. She began performances on October 1, 2008.



In 2003, Shelley created the role of Madame Morrible in the original Broadway cast of the musical Wicked. She left the production on May 29, 2005, along with co-stars George Hearn and Jennifer Laura Thompson, and was replaced by Rue McClanahan.

She reprised this role in the National Tour on December 21, 2005, replacing Carol Kane. She remained with the National Tour for 11 weeks and left the Tour on March 5, 2006 along with co-stars Stephanie J. Block, David Garrison and Jenna Leigh Green. She was replaced by Alma Cuervo. Shelley once again reprised her role in Chicago for a limited engagement from April 25 to June 25, 2006.

Shelley returned to the Broadway production of Wicked on August 28, 2007 and reprised the role of Madame Morrible until January 20, 2008. This time she was succeeded by London's original Madame Morrible, Miriam Margoyles.

Film and TV

In 1968, Shelley stared as Gwendolyn Pidgeon in the Odd Couple. Since then she has had numerous roles on film and television. Most recently, she was featured as "Aunt Clara" alongside Nicole Kidman and former Wicked co-star Kristin Chenoweth in the film Bewitched. She lent her voice to several roles in Disney films; notably, Amelia Gabble the Goose in The Aristocats, Lady Kluck, Maid Marian's sidekick and lady-in-waiting, in Robin Hood, and Lachesis the Fate in Hercules.[2]


External links


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