|Born||Mildred Frances Cook
January 14, 1924
Abilene, Texas, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Tom Troupe (1964 – present)|
Life and career
She was born Mildred Frances Cook in 1924 in Abilene, Texas, one of four children born to Leland Preston ("L.P.") Cook, Sr., and his wife, Maudine. She later became a protégé of actress and comedian Lucille Ball,[when?] who gave the ingenue her stage name of "Carole", for Ball's friend Carole Lombard. Ball reportedly told Cook that "you have the same healthy disrespect for everything in general". Cook appeared regularly on The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy. Ball was matron of honor at Cook's wedding in 1964 to actor Tom Troupe, to whom she remains married; the couple has no children.
Cook starred in the animated Disney film Home on the Range, voicing "Pearl Gesner". She appeared in such feature films as The Incredible Mr. Limpet, Sixteen Candles, Grandview, U.S.A., American Gigolo, Summer Lovers, and Palm Springs Weekend. She made guest appearances on such television shows as The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, Darkroom, Knight Rider, Emergency!, Magnum, P.I., McMillan and Wife, Murder, She Wrote, Dynasty, Charlie's Angels, and Grey's Anatomy.
In addition to her film and television work, Cook appeared in the original Broadway productions of 42nd Street and Romantic Comedy and was the second actress (after Carol Channing) to star as Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! Cook appeared as Mrs. Peacham in the 1956 off-Broadway production of The Three Penny Opera, starring Lotte Lenya, and is the only actress to star in major productions of both Mame and Auntie Mame.
Cook is a longtime supporter of various AIDS organizations and regularly appears as a featured performer in the annual Los Angeles S.T.A.G.E. benefit. With her actor husband, Tom Troupe, Cook received the 2002 Theatre Ovation Award for Lifetime Career Achievement, the first husband and wife to be so honored. Cook received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Baylor University, the S.T.A.G.E. Producers Award and the Hero in the Fight Against AIDS Award from the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, as well as eight Drama-Logue and Robby Awards.
- Palm Springs Weekend (1963)
- The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)
- The Gauntlet (1977)
- American Gigolo (1980)
- Summer Lovers (1982)
- Sixteen Candles (1984)
- Grandview, U.S.A. (1984)
- Lost & Found (1999)
- Home on the Range (2004)