Carol Bruce

Actor, Theater Actor

1919 – 2007

 Credit ยป

Who was Carol Bruce?

Carol Bruce was an American band singer, Broadway star, and film and television actress.

Bruce was born Shirley Levy in Great Neck, New York, the daughter of Beatrice and Harry Levy. She began her career as a singer in the late 1930s with Larry Clinton and his band. A graduate of Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, New York, she made her Broadway debut in Louisiana Purchase," with songs by Irving Berlin who discovered her at a nightclub in Newark, New Jersey. She was the first actress to play the role of Julie in a Broadway production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's Show Boat since the 1932 Broadway revival. Bruce played the role onstage in 1946 and garnered favorable comparisons to Helen Morgan, who had originated the role onstage in 1927 and repeated it in both the 1932 revival and the 1936 film, but had died prematurely in 1941.

After a long career as a singer and in films, Bruce is probably best-remembered for her recurring role as the domineering and meddlesome "Mama Carlson" on CBS' WKRP in Cincinnati. Sylvia Sidney played Mr. Carlson's mother in the Pilot episode.

Her only marriage produced a daughter, Julie, an actress, singer and playwright who married jazz guitarist Larry Coryell. Bruce's grandchildren, Murali Coryell and Julian Coryell, are both musicians as well. Bruce died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, a month before her 88th birthday. She was also survived by her sister and two great-grandsons.

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Nov 15, 1919
Great Neck
Also known as
  • Shirley Levy
  • United States of America
  • Erasmus Hall High School
Lived in
  • Brooklyn
Oct 9, 2007
Woodland Hills

on July 23, 2013


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"Carol Bruce." STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 5 Oct. 2022. <>.

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