Carol Grace

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Carol Grace
Born (1924-09-11)September 11, 1924
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died July 20, 2003(2003-07-20) (aged 78)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress, author

William Saroyan (1943–49; divorced; 1951–52; divorced); 2 children

Walter Matthau (1959–2000; his death); 1 child

Carol Grace (September 11, 1924 – July 21, 2003) was an American actress and author. She is usually referred to as Carol Marcus Saroyan or Carol Matthau.

Carol Grace was born in New York City's Lower East Side; her mother, who was sixteen when she gave birth,[citation needed] was the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. Carol never knew her biological father.[1] She was placed in foster care until the age of eight when her mother married Charles Marcus, the wealthy head of the Bendix Corporation. Carol would take his last name as her own.[2]

She was reportedly the inspiration for the Holly Golightly character in the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's.[3]


She was twice married to Pulitzer Prize-winning writer William Saroyan over an eight-year period. The couple had two children: Aram Saroyan, an internationally known writer, and the late actress Lucy Saroyan, who died in 2003.[1][4][2]

She subsequently married actor Walter Matthau on August 21, 1959. The couple remained wed until his death on July 1, 2000; they had one son, Charles. She had a wide social circle and was known for her wit and good company.[4][1][2]

In 1955 she published a novella based on her experiences as a foster child, The Secret in the Daisy.[5] In 1992 she published a memoir, Among the Porcupines.[6]


Carol Saroyan Matthau died of a cerebral aneurysm on July 21, 2003, aged 78.[7] She was survived by her two sons and a sister, Elinor Dee Pruder.[4]


Year Film Role
1960 Gangster Story Carol
1961 Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Cop for a Day"
1976 Mikey and Nicky Nellie
1978 The Barbara Walters Special Self


  1. ^ a b c Obituary in The Independent
  2. ^ a b c Obituary,, August 11, 2004; accessed August 17, 2015.
  3. ^ "Holly Golightly inspiration",, August 2, 1992; accessed August 17, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Obituary, The New York Times, July 24, 2003; accessed August 17, 2015.
  5. ^ Notice in re forthcoming publication of The Secret of the Daisy
  6. ^ Review of Among the Porcupines,; accessed August 17, 2015.
  7. ^ Carol Grace at the Internet Movie Database

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