Carolyn Pfeiffer is an American film producer. She was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in Madison, North Carolina. After attending Guilford College, she moved to Europe and began a career in motion pictures. She first worked in Rome as Claudia Cardinale's assistant on films, including Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, Luchino Visconti's The Leopard, and Blake Edwards's The Pink Panther. She then moved to Paris and worked as an associate producer for Alain Delon's production company. Within a year, she joined Omar Sharif as his executive assistant and worked on many of his films, including Doctor Zhivago.
Four years later, Carolyn moved to London and started her own public relations company. Her numerous clients included Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, François Truffaut, Robert Altman, The Beatles' company Apple Corps Ltd., and Paul McCartney and Wings.
At thirty-five, she returned to the United States and became a founding partner and president and CEO of Alive Films, an independent production and distribution company that released many groundbreaking films, among them Kiss of the Spider Woman (which garnered William Hurt an Academy Award), Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense, Philip Glass's Koyaanisqatsi, and Alan Rudolph's Choose Me. At the time, she was the only woman in Hollywood who could greenlight a movie--a "mini-mogul" in the words of the Wall Street Journal. During this time, she worked with River Phoenix, Sam Shepherd, Jessica Lange, Patricia Arquette, Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, and many other equally talented actors and filmmakers.