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Karen Allen

Birth Name:
Karen Jane Allen
Birth Place:
Carrollton, Illinois, United States
Profession
Actor, singer

Fast Facts

  • Cocreator and codirector of the theater program at the Washington Project for the Arts in 1976
  • Considered for the role of Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars (1977)
  • Garnered critical acclaim for portraying blind characters in the plays The Monday After the Miracle (1982) and The Miracle Worker (1987); Allen herself experienced temporary blindness from atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC) in 1978
  • Landed her first major film role in National Lampoon's Animal House, a role advertised on a bulletin board at the Lee Strasberg Institute
  • An accomplished singer, songwriter and musician, once played in a band with Kathleen Turner; and recorded a duet with Jeff Bridges for the Starman soundtrack album
  • Played the wife of her real-life former husband Kale Browne in two films: Challenger (1990) and 'Til There Was You (1997)
  • Received an honorary doctor of fine arts degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2009
  • Has taught acting at Bard College at Simon's Rock
  • Designs and knits sweaters, hats and scarves for her own clothing label

Awards

  • 2020Independent Spirit Awards-Best Female Lead: nominated
  • 1988Independent Spirit Awards-Best Supporting Female: nominated

Relationships