This American actress made a splash and earned an Academy Award nomination for her very first feature role, as John Marley's suicidal wife in John Cassavetes' "Faces" (1968). Lynn Carlin subsequently played wives and mothers before practically disappearing from acting after the early 1980s.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Carlin made her stage debut in "The Women" at the Laguna Beach Playhouse in Orange County. It took some years before "Faces" made her viable in Hollywood. She followed with "...tick...tick...tick" (1970), as George Kennedy's ambitious, henpecking wife and returned to the offbeat as Buck Henry's wife searching for her missing daughter amid the hippies and drug culture of NYC in Milos Forman's "Taking Off" (1971). Other maternal roles have included "Baxter" (1972) and "French Postcards" (1979).
The small screen saw Carlin cast for her maternal presence as well. She is perhaps best recalled as the parent of growing teen Lance Kerwin in the TV-movie "James at 15" (NBC, 1977) and its subsequent spin-off. Carlin had a recurring role as wife to deputy commissioner Herb Edelman in "Strike Force" (ABC, 1981-82). Her work in TV-movies included supporting Shirley Jones and Lloyd Bridges in "Silent Night, Lonely Night" (NBC, 1969), mothering teenage father Desi Arnaz Jr in "Mr and Mrs Bo Jo Jones" (ABC) 1971), and playing wife to Peter Falk's disgruntled Korean War veteran turned thief in "Step Out of Line" (CBS, 1971). Carlin was stuck in a burning skyscraper in "Terror on the 40th Floor" (NBC, 1974), and, also that year, played the alcoholic Dick Van Dyke's wife in the well-received "The Morning After" (ABC), one of the first telefilms to treat alcoholism as a disease of the middle class. She was a wife again, this time of the father of Texas independence, in the historic "The Honorable Sam Houston" (ABC, 1975). In 1976, Carlin was the less than inviting mother of a runaway turned prostitute in "Dawn: Portrait of a Teen-age Runaway" (NBC). Her last TV-movie role to date was as the mother of three young men who are manipulated into breaking their father (Robert Mitchum) out of jail with tragic results in "A Killer in the Family" (ABC, 1983). Carlin's was also seen in a guest appearance on the Angela Lansbury series "Murder, She Wrote" in 1987.