Carol Haney is indirectly responsible for actress Shirley MacLaine's rise to fame. A month into the run of The Pajama Game, Haney injured her leg. Shirley MacLaine, as Carol Haney's understudy, heard many stories from other dancers that Haney had one of the most durable bodies around. MacLaine thought that she would never get a break, and the day Haney injured herself, MacLaine was about to hand in her notice of resignation to audition for Gwen Verdon's understudy role in Can Can. However, when MacLaine arrived at the theatre, she was told to go on as understudy. The crowd booed and hissed when they found out that Haney would not be performing that night, but MacLaine's long career in showbusiness was kickstarted.
Haney's continued to work after her big break on stage, appearing frequently on television, choreographing on several Broadway shows (notably Flower Drum Song and Funny Girl). She recreated her performance as Gladys in the film version of The Pajama Game.
Carol Haney died in 1964, some months into the run of Funny Girl, the show that she was choreographing. Her death, caused by pneumonia, was complicated by diabetes and alcoholism.