Nancy Carroll was an American actress. She was christened Ann Veronica Lahiff in New York City. Of Irish parentage, she and her sister once gave a dancing act in a local contest of amateur talent. This led her to a stage career and then to the screen. She began her acting career in Broadway musicals. She became a successful talkies actress because her musical background enabled her to play in the movie musicals of the 1930s. Her film debut was in Ladies Must Dress in 1927.
In 1928 she made eight films. One of them, Easy Come, Easy Go, co-starring Richard Dix, made her a star. In 1930 she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Devil’s Holiday. Among her films are Laughter, Paramount on Parade, Hot Saturday with Cary Grant and Randolph Scott, The Kiss Before the Mirror directed by James Whale, and Broken Lullaby aka The Man I Killed directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
Under contract to Paramount Pictures, Carroll often balked at the roles being offered to her and earned a reputation as a recalcitrant and uncooperative actress. In spite of her ability to successfully tackle light comedies, tearful melodramas, and even musicals, and as well as garnering considerable praise by the critics and public, she was released by the studio. In the mid-1930s under a four-film contract with Columbia Pictures, she made four rather insignificant films and was no longer an A-list actress.
Carroll retired from films in 1938, returned to the stage, and starred in the early television series The Aldrich Family in 1950. In the following year, she guest starred in the television version of The Egg and I, starring her daughter, Patricia Kirkland.