Nancy Carroll was born Ann Veronica Lahiff on November 19, 1903 in New York City. She was the youngest of seven children. When she was a teenager she and her sister began performing in local talent competitions. Nancy was a gifted dancer and appeared in several Broadway musicals. In 1925 she married writer Jack Kirkland and had a daughter named Patricia. Nancy made her film debut in the 1927 comedy Ladies Must Dress and was offered a contract with Paramount. She starred in a string of successful talkies including The Shopworn Angel and Close Harmony. In 1930 she was nominated for Academy Award for her role in Devil's Holiday. That same year her marriage Jack to ended. After a brief affair with Joseph P. Kennedy she married Francis Bolton Mallory, a Life magazine editor. Their marriage lasted only three years. With her red hair and big smile Nancy became one of Hollywood's most popular actresses. During the early 1930s she received more fan mail than any other star! Unfortunately she developed a reputation for being difficult and often complained about the parts she was given.
Paramount released her from her contract in 1933. Nancy continued to make movies but she was no longer an A-list star. She played supporting roles in That Certain Age and There Goes My Heart. Unhappy with the way her career was going she decided to quit making movies in 1938. She returned to the stage and starred in the Broadway show For Heaven's Sake Mother. During the 1950s Nancy made guest appearances on numerous television shows. She also costarred with her daughter, Patricia Kirkland, in the series The Egg And I. Nancy married international businessman C.H. "Jappe" Groen in 1953. The couple split their time between Mexico and Indonesia. At the age of fifty-nine Nancy was cast in the play Never Too Late. It was a success and she toured with the show for two years. On the evening August 6, 1965 she didn't show up for her performance. Tragically she was found dead in her New York apartment. Nancy had died of an aneurysm at the age of sixty-one. She was buried with her parents at Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York.