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|Born||Carole Joan White
1 April 1943
|Died||16 September 1991
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Carol White (1 April 1943 – 16 September 1991) was a British actress.
She achieved a public profile with her performances in the television play Cathy Come Home (1966) and the films Poor Cow (1967) and I'll Never Forget What's'isname (1967), but alcoholism and drug abuse damaged her career, and from the early 1970s she worked infrequently.
Life and career
White, the daughter of a scrap merchant, was born in Hammersmith. She attended the Corona Stage Academy. She played minor roles in films from 1949 until the late 1950s, when she began to play more substantial supporting roles in films such as Carry on Teacher (1959) and Never Let Go (1960) in which she played the girlfriend of Peter Sellers.
She continued working regularly and drew attention for her performances in the television version of Nell Dunn's Up the Junction (1965). She followed this success with roles in Cathy Come Home (1966) and the films Poor Cow (1967), based on another Nell Dunn book, and I'll Never Forget What's'isname (1967). Up the Junction, Cathy Come Home and Poor Cow were all directed by Ken Loach.
White starred opposite Alan Bates, Dirk Bogarde and Ian Holm in the film adaptation of Bernard Malamud's The Fixer (1968) and then travelled to Hollywood in 1968 to make Daddy's Gone A-Hunting (1969). She appeared in Dulcima in 1971, and she had an upbeat role in Something Big (1971) in the same year, but her career went into decline soon after, largely as a result of personal problems including drug and alcohol abuse, though she had a prominent role as a hostage in The Squeeze (1977).
After living in Hollywood for several years, White returned to London to star in Nell Dunn's play Steaming at the West End's Comedy Theatre, filming Nutcracker at the same time. Despite receiving excellent reviews for Steaming, she often was late, missed performances, and finally was sacked. In 1981, a biography, Carol Comes Home, by Clifford Thurlow, was published. Although White received publicity for the play and the biography, she was not able to renew her career. She returned to the United States, where she remained for the rest of her life.
During the late 1960s, White was considered one of the most promising actresses in British cinema. Her problems with alcoholism and substance abuse, as well as unhappy relationships with male stars such as Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra, Oliver Reed and (according to Julian Upton) Paul Burke, hindered her career.
White died in 1991 in Florida, at the age of 48. The cause of her death is disputed, with some sources claiming she took a drug overdose and others (including Upton and the Sunday Times) suggesting she succumbed to liver disease. She had two sons from her first marriage.
A television film of her life, The Battersea Bardot, was shown in 1994 with Wendy Morgan as White.
- Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
- The Belles of St Trinian's (1954)
- Carry On Teacher (1959)
- Never Let Go (1960)
- Linda (1960)
- The Man in the Back Seat (1961)
- All Night Long (1962)
- The Boys (1962)
- Ladies Who Do (1963)
- Up the Junction (TV, 1965)
- Cathy Come Home (TV, 1966)
- I'll Never Forget What's'isname (1967)
- Poor Cow (1967)
- The Fixer (1968)
- Daddy's Gone A-Hunting (1969)
- The Man Who Had Power Over Women (1970)
- Something Big (1971)
- Dulcima (1971)
- Made (1972)
- The Squeeze (1977)