Karen Carpenter was an American singer and drummer who was one-half of the vocal and instrumental duo named The Carpenters along with her older brother Richard Carpenter. She gained acclaim for her musical talent both from her contemporaries as well as the critics and was also named as one of the Rolling Stone‘s 100 greatest singers of all time. She also struggled with eating disorders which later led to an increased awareness of anorexia and body dysmorphia.
Karen Anne Carpenter
K.C., Freckle Face
She was born on March 2, 1950.
At the age of 32, Karen Carpenter passed away on February 4, 1983, in Downey, California, United States due to “emetine cardiotoxicity due to or as a consequence of anorexia nervosa.”
Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, Westlake Village, California, United States
Grace New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Karen Carpenter studied at Downey High School from where she graduated in the spring of 1967 and received the John Philip Sousa Band Award. Later, she attended California State University, Long Beach as a music major and performed in the college choir along with her brother.
She had also taken tap dancing and ballet lessons.
- Father – Harold Bertram Carpenter (Worked in the Printing Business)
- Mother – Agnes Reuwer (née Tatum)
- Sibling – Richard Carpenter (Older Brother) (Musician, Record Producer, Arranger, Songwriter, Conductor)
Karen Carpenter was managed by –
- Sherwin Bash (1970-1975)
- Terry Ellis (1975-1976)
- Jerry Weintraub (1976-1983)
Pop, Easy Listening, Soft Rock, Jazz
5 ft 4 in or 162.5 cm
45 kg or 99 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Karen Carpenter had dated –
- Bill Hudson
- Tony Danza
- Frankie Chavez (1964)
- Mike Curb (1973-1974)
- Alan Osmond (1973)
- Terry Ellis (1975)
- John Adrian (1976-1977)
- Tom Bähler (1978-1979)
- Thomas Burris (1980-1983) – On August 31, 1980, she got married to real-estate developer Thomas James Burris in the Crystal Room of The Beverly Hills Hotel. She wanted to have children but her husband had undergone a vasectomy and was against the decision to get an operation to reverse it. This affected their marriage and she finally filed for divorce on October 28, 1982. The failure of her marriage had an adverse effect on the artist and one of her friends said the marriage was “the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was absolutely the worst thing that could have ever happened to her”.
Race / Ethnicity
Karen Carpenter was of English, German, Irish, Dutch, Scottish, and Welsh descent.
- 3-octave contralto vocal range
- Shoulder-length hair
- Sported forehead bangs
- Freckled face
Karen Carpenter Favorite Things
- TV Shows – Dallas (1978), Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969), I Love Lucy (1951)
- Drummers – Joe Morello,
- Some Of Her Favorite The Carpenters Songs – “Superstar”, “I Need to Be In Love”
Source – ,
Karen Carpenter Facts
- Her first words were “bye-bye” and “stop it”, the latter spoken in response to Richard.
- She had won 3 Grammy Awards.
- Karen Carpenter was a huge fan of Matt Monro, Spike Jones and His City Slickers, , Dusty Springfield, and Ella Fitzgerald.
- She was good friends with Petula Clark, Dorothy Hamill, , and .
- She enjoyed collecting Disney memorabilia.
- Karen Carpenter has been ranked at number #29 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll” list.
- Her funeral took place on February 8, 1983, at the United Methodist Church in Downey, California, and was attended by around one thousand mourners.
Featured Image by White House photo by Knudsen, Robert L. / Executive Office of the President of the United States / Public Domain
Facts of Karen Carpenter
- full nameKaren Carpenter
- Date of Birth March 02, 1950
- Age 73 years 3 months
- Horoscope Pisces
- Lucky Number 2
- Lucky Stone Aquamarine
- Lucky Color Sea Green
- Best Match for Marriage Cancer, Scorpio
- weight45 kg
- height5 ft 4 in