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Mendelsohn grew up in Chicago. She attended the Latin School of Chicago. Also she went to Smith College, but later transferred and in 1973 graduated from Cornell University. She then went to the George Washington University Law School and practiced at the Washington, D.C., office of the prominent Los Angeles-based firm Wyman, Bautzer, Rothman, & Kuchel.
Realizing that she did not want to be a lawyer, she enrolled in an American Film Institute] class. She moved to Los Angeles, California and started writing for the movie industry. Her early work included contributions to Hardcastle and McCormick, Stingray and Wiseguy. As producer for Cannell Studios, she worked on The Trials of Rosie O'Neill and Melrose Place.
In 2000, she joined the production of the pilot episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and is now its Show runner and Executive Producer. She is also a co-creator and executive producer of CSI: Miami and CSI: NY.
As part of the CSI team, she was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award, the Producers Guild of America Award (twice), the Emmy Award (three times) and the Edgar Award.
- Carol at 2007 Banff World TV Festival - Clip 1
- Carol at 2007 Banff World TV Festival - Clip 2
- Carol at 2007 Banff World TV Festival - Clip 3