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Karen Black Biography
- Karen Black (born July 1, 1939) is an American actress, screenwriter, singer, and songwriter. She is noted for appearing in such films as Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, The Great Gatsby, Rhinoceros, The Day of the Locust, Nashville, Airport 1975, and Alfred Hitchcock's final film, Family Plot. Over the course of her career, she won two Golden Globe Awards (out of three nominations), and an Academy Award nomination in 1970 for Best Supporting Actress, among numerous other honors. Black was born as Karen Blanche Ziegler in Park Ridge, Illinois, in suburban Chicago, the daughter of Elsie Mary (nÃƒÂ©e Reif), a writer of several prize-winning children's novels, and Norman Arthur Ziegler. Her paternal grandfather was Arthur Charles Ziegler, a classical musician and the first violinist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Her sister is actress Gail Brown. Black is of German, Bohemian (Czech), and Norwegian descent. She attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, for two years, having commenced university studies in 1954, aged 15. She then moved to New York where she appeared in a number of Off-Broadway productions.