Carol Kane was born to Elaine Joy (Fetterman), a jazz singer and pianist, and Michael Myron Kane, an architect. Her family is Jewish (from Russia, Poland, and Austria). Due to her parents' divorce, Carol spent most of her childhood in boarding schools, starting at age twelve, when she attended the Cherry Lawn School, a progressive boarding school in Darien, Connecticut, until 1965, followed by enrollment at the Professional Children's School in New York City.
She made her professional theater debut in a 1966 production of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie". She worked prolifically in several successful received films of the 1970s, Carnal Knowledge (1971) (her film film debut), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Hester Street (1975) (for which she earned an Oscar nomination for her performance), Annie Hall (1977) and When a Stranger Calls (1979). From 1981-1983 she played the part of what is considered to be her most memorable role. Simka Dahblitz-Gravas, the wife of Latka Gravas (played by 'Andy Kaufman), on the American television series _Taxi_. For her performance in the series, she earned two Emmy Awards. Other notable credits include: Pandemonium (1982), Racing with the Moon (1984), Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), Ishtar (1987), The Princess Bride (1987), Scrooged (1988), The Lemon Sisters (1989) and Addams Family Values (1993). Carol is first and foremost an actress of the stage and is known for her portrayal of the evil headmistress Madame Morrible in the Broadway musical "Wicked". She played in various productions from 2005-2009. 
- Although born in Ohio, she grew up in New York City.
- She had been in psychotherapy for 15 years, since age 12.
- Longtime close friend of Diane Keaton. They have appeared in three films together.
- Is a vegetarian.