She began appearing in films in 1927 and was chosen as a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1928 alongside Lina Basquette and Lupe Velez. She appeared in films for the MGM studios.
Her family was quite well off and as a result, she got top treatment in Hollywood. It wasn't all nepotism though. Directors enjoyed working with Sue because she took direction well, worked hard, and was a good actress.
In 1937, she retired from acting and opened her own talent agency...the Sue Carol Talent Agency.
She was interred next to her third husband Alan Ladd at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California. She is in the Freedom Mausoleum in a prime alcove (in my opinion). She is surrounded by Jeanette MacDonald, Nat King Cole, George Burns, and Clara Bow.
Sue was married three times. First to Allen Keefer, a buyer for a Chicago stock yard. They were married until 1929. The exact year of marriage is unknown, but she was pretty young when they married. Later that year, Sue married actor Nick Stuart and the couple had a daughter named Carol Lee. The couple was soon divorced around 1932. Her third and most famous husband was actor Alan Ladd in 1942. They remained married until Alan died from an overdose of alcohol and drugs in 1964. They had a son David and a daughter Alana.
Sue actually helped jump start Alan's career.
In 1933, Sue was involved in a scandal involving the "adoption" of a baby boy in Brooklyn. The boy had disappeared and the family was claiming that the baby was kidnapped by a woman who was representing Sue Carol. Sue was of course cleared of any involvement.