Carol Lawrence as born Carolina Maria Laraia on September 5, 1932 in Melrose Park, Illinois.
She is a musical theater actress, who has also made numerous appearances in film and television.
Lawrence made her Broadway debut in 1952, and achieved outstanding success when she created the role of Maria in the original Broadway producion of West Side Story in 1957. She received a Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for this role. She played the role for two years, and after an appearance in the show Saratoga returned to West Side Story for its 1960 season. Among her other Broadway successes was Kiss of the Spider Woman from 1993 until 1995.
Her film appearances were infrequent. However, she played a regular role on the soap opera General Hospital in 1991, and has played guest roles on TV series such as Toast of the Town, Wagon Train, The Danny Kaye Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Bob Hope Hour, Hawaii Five-O, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, The Commish, Murder One, Touched by an Angel, Sex and the City, Rawhide, Combat! and Mannix.
Lawrence won the Harvard Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Award in 1960.
She was married three times and divorced three times, most prominently to the actor Robert Goulet from 1963 until 1981, by which she has 2 children.