Carrie Snodgress

Caroline Louise "Carrie" Snodgress (October 27, 1945 – April 1, 2004) was an American actress. She is best remembered for her role in the film Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970), for which she was nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA Award as well as winning two Golden Globes and two Laurel Awards.

Carrie Snodgress
Snodgress in the film The Fury (1978)
Caroline Louise Snodgress

(1945-10-27)October 27, 1945
DiedApril 1, 2004(2004-04-01) (aged 58)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park
EducationMaine East High School
Northern Illinois University
Goodman School of Drama
Years active1969–2004

Life and career

Born in Barrington, Illinois, Snodgress attended Maine Township High School East in Park Ridge, then Northern Illinois University before leaving to pursue acting. She trained for the stage at the Goodman School of Drama, in Chicago. After a number of minor TV appearances, her film debut was an uncredited appearance in Easy Rider in 1969 and a credited appearance in 1970 in Rabbit, Run.[1] Her next film, Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970), earned her a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actress and two Golden Globe wins, as Best Actress in a Comedy or a Musical[2] and New Star of the Year - Actress.[3]

She left acting soon after to live with musician Neil Young and care for their son Zeke, who was born with what was thought to be cerebral palsy, but which doctors later attributed to a slight brain aneurysm before birth. She returned to acting in 1978 in The Fury.[4]

According to Sylvester Stallone,

The first choice for Adrian (in the movie Rocky) was a girl named Carrie Snodgress, who I wanted badly because, at the time, I wanted Adrian's family to be Irish and Harvey Keitel would be the brother. She said there wasn't enough money in it (we were getting paid $360 before taxes), so I said "I'll give you my share, I truly want you." She passed to do a part in Buffalo Bill and the Indians, which never happened for her.

Rocky director John G. Avildsen cast Snodgress in two of his later films: A Night in Heaven and 8 Seconds.

Neil Young's song "A Man Needs a Maid" was inspired by Snodgress, featuring the lyric "I fell in love with the actress / she was playing a part that I could understand."[5] The song "Motion Pictures" from On the Beach is also inspired by their relationship. She and Young split in 1974, and his song "Already One" bookends their relationship. Later she and musician and film score composer Jack Nitzsche became lovers. Nitzsche had previously worked with Young on several albums. In 1979, Nitzsche was charged with threatening to kill her after he barged into her home and beat her with a handgun. He pleaded guilty to threatening her, was fined, and placed on three years' probation.[6][7]

Her Broadway debut came in 1981 with A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking. She also appeared in All the Way Home, Oh! What a Lovely War!, Caesar and Cleopatra, Tartuffe, The Balcony and The Boor (all at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago); and Curse of the Starving Class at the Tiffany Theatre (in Los Angeles). Other films include Murphy's Law, White Man's Burden, Pale Rider and Blue Sky. She also worked extensively in television.[8]


While waiting for a liver transplant, Snodgress was hospitalized in Los Angeles, where she died of heart failure on April 1, 2004.[9] She was 58 years old.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1970 Diary of a Mad Housewife Bettina "Tina" Balser Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actress
Laurel Award for Best Dramatic Performance, Female
Laurel Award for Star of Tomorrow, Female
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress (5th place)
Nominated-Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated-BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
1970 Rabbit, Run Janice Angstrom
1972 Journey Through the Past appears as herself in semi-documentary
1978 The Fury Hester
1980 The Attic Louise Elmore
1982 Homework Dr. Delingua
1982 Trick or Treats Joan O'Keefe Adams
1983 A Night in Heaven Mrs. Johnson
1985 Pale Rider Sarah Wheeler
1985 Rainy Day Friends Margot
1986 Murphy's Law Joan Freeman
1988 Blueberry Hill Becca Dane
1989 Chill Factor Amy Carlisle
1990 Across the Tracks Rosemary Maloney
1993 The Ballad of Little Jo Ruth Badger
1994 8 Seconds Elsie Frost
1994 Blue Sky Vera Johnson
1995 White Man's Burden Josine
1998 Wild Things Ruby
1999 A Stranger in the Kingdom Ruth Kinneson
2000 In the Light of the Moon Augusta W. Gein
2001 The Forsaken Ina Hamm


Year Title Role Notes
1969 Judd, for the Defense Eileen "The Crystal Maze"
1969 The Virginian Josephine Delphinia "Crime Wave in Buffalo Springs"
1969 The Outsider Janet / Diane "The Flip Side"
1969 The Bold Ones: The Lawyers Megan Baker "The Whole World is Watching"
1969 Marcus Welby, M.D. Laura "The White Cane"
1969 Silent Night, Lonely Night Janet TV film
1970 Medical Center Mim Hoagley "The Deceived"
1970 The Forty-Eight Hour Mile Janet / Diane TV film
1971 The Impatient Heart Grace McCormack TV film
1978 Love's Dark Ride Nancy Warren TV film
1979 Fast Friends Diana Hayward TV film
1979 The Solitary Man Sharon Keyes TV film
1982 Quincy M.E. Mrs. Vicki McGuire "The Face of Fear"
1983 ABC Afterschool Special Mrs. Cranston "Andrea's Story: A Hitchhiking Tragedy"
1984 Nadia Stefania Comaneci TV film
1984 Highway to Heaven Evelyn Nealy "To Touch the Moon"
1985 A Reason to Live Isobel Bennett TV film
1986 Murder, She Wrote Connie Vernon "If a Body Meet a Body"
1988 Friday the 13th: The Series Dr. Viola Rhodes "Brain Drain"
1988 Crossbow Lady Montal "Ladyship"
1989 In the Heat of the Night Mrs. Kroller "Crackdown"
1990 The Rose and the Jackal Joan Pinkerton TV film
1990 Shades of LA Lt. Armacost "Pointers from Paz"
1991 Equal Justice Marla Prentiss "Courting Disaster"
1991 Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis Louise McVay TV film
1992 Woman with a Past Mama TV film
1992 Civil Wars Mary Esquavil "Drone of Arc"
1992 Reasonable Doubts Christine Anderson "Try to Be Nice, What Does It Get You?"
1993 The X-Files Darlene Morris "Conduit"
1993 Murder, She Wrote Irene Macinoy "Love & Hate in Cabot Cove"
1994 Rise and Walk: The Dennis Byrd Story Mrs. Byrd TV film
1994-1995 Phantom 2040 Heloise Walker (voice) Recurring role
1995 Chicago Hope Mrs. Weber "Every Day a Little Death"
1995 Sisters Betty Merrill "For Everything a Season: Part 2"
1996 Death Benefit Virginia McGinnis TV film
1996 All She Ever Wanted Alma Winchester TV film
1998 ER Mrs. Lang "A Hole in the Heart"
1998 Touched by an Angel Judy Bowers "Miles to Go Before I Sleep"
2002 Judging Amy Dr. Larabie "People of the Lie"
2003 The West Wing Mrs. Martha Rowe "Red Haven's on Fire"
2004 Iron Jawed Angels Mrs. Paul TV film


  1. Browning, Norma Lee (January 4, 1970). "Miss Snodgress arrives in Hollywood and everyone decides the name's gotta go". Chicago Tribune. p. 3, section 10.
  2. "Winners & Nominees Actress In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy (1971)". Golden Globe Awards. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  3. "Winners & Nominees : New Star Of The Year - Actress (1971)". Golden Globe Awards. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  4. Oliver, Myrna (April 10, 2004). "Carrie Snodgress, 57; Best Actress Nominee". Los Angeles Times.
  5. Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (2010). Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History. Voyageur Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-0760336472.
  6. "Carrie Snodgress, 57, Dies; Starred as 'Mad Housewife'". The New York Times. April 10, 2004.
  7. "Carrie: It wasn't real rape". The Miami News. Associated Press. October 23, 1979. p. 6A. Retrieved October 1, 2015 via Google News.
  8. "Carrie Snodgress (movie and TV credits)". TV Guide. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  9. Oliver, Myrna (10 April 2004). "Carrie Snodgress, 57; Best Actress Nominee". LA Times. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
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