Carol Grace

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

William Saroyan (1943–49, 1951–52)

Walter Matthau (1959–2000; his death)

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] According to the Matthau family website he was British actor Leslie Howard, most famous for his performance in Gone With the Wind.[2] Carol 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.[3]

According to Truman Capote, Carol's personality was the inspiration for the Holly Golightly character in the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's.


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.

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

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.


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


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