Amazon-Video Comedy Central Showtime Apple TV+ DC Universe Disney Plus YouTube Premium HBO Max Peacock source-3036 Netflix Vudu HBO Go Hulu Plus Amazon Prime CBS All Access Verizon

Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Sign in with Facebook Sign in with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Agreement.

Karen Allen

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


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