Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer. She and her brother, Richard Carpenter, formed the 1970s duo The Carpenters. Karen’s voice was identified as one of the most widely recognisable in United States during the 20th-century. Karen died at age 32 from heart failure caused by complications related to anorexia nervosa.
After receiving diagnois with parotid gland tumor Karen received unsuccessful treatment for them which may have contributed to Karen’s death Karen entered a California hospital in early 1983 complaining of weakness she had been experiencing since late 1982 – she collapsed during a photo session on January 25 and again on February 3 while walking between her hotel room and a car carrying a hospital physician Karen was diagnosed with myocarditis and had been receiving injections of Lasix Karen died on February 4, 1983 at age 32.
Karen went to the hospital at least four times. Karen’s family did not interfere with Karen’s weight loss. Karen was also a co-host on a morning TV show from 1978 until 1984. Karen died from cardiac arrest brought on by anorexia nervosa.
In addition to Karen’s voice and performance, her public persona (which she termed “public karen”) contrasted with Richard’s reserved manner in interviews; this contrast, which formed the basis for much of their publicity during their career, inspired comparisons to Jayne Mansfield and Greta Garbo. In Karen’s later years, the siblings’ private lives became increasingly public due to tabloid coverage, which Karen attributed to Richard and their mother.
Karen Carpenter was a talented singer and drummer; critics have noted that Karen generally took more creative control of the Carpenters’ recordings and song choices than did Richard. She also wrote or co-wrote some of the group’s material (a rare case on which she received credit for this). Karen was considered “the perfect balance” to her brother Richard, who was often temperamental; Karen was quoted as saying that when she would scream at him in frustration after such battles over music or lyrics that they would forget whatever had angered them.
On tour, Karen liked to mingle with guests during intermissions and at after-concert parties, where she often enjoyed dancing. Karen also had a mischievous sense of humor; she would playfully slip her hand into Richard’s pocket, fish around until he could feel her tickling his leg, then yank away his wallet. Karen was also very close with her parents and siblings; Karen’s mother arranged Karen’s first date with Tom Burris in high school and Karen kept the picture of them as teenagers on her bedroom mirror for many years afterward.
Karen liked to write poetry and short stories that were published in magazines such as Seventeen. Karen also had an interest in fashion design; some of Karen’s clothing from the mid-1970s still exists in Karen’s closet at the Carpenter family home in Downey, California. Karen had more public attention with her appearance than Richard did; Karen was frequently photographed for magazines such as Teen, 16, and Rolling Stone beginning in 1973. Karen also had more personality on stage; Karen’s outgoing personality complimented Richard’s reserved demeanor.
On March 2, 1983, at age 32, Karen died from heart failure brought on by complications of anorexia nervosa after being rushed to the hospital while suffering cardiac arrest caused by massive quantities of liquid pills taken in a suicide attempt over several days.. Her grave is located in Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills).
A plaque honoring Karen Anne Carpenter was erected on February 6th 2016 at Good Shepherd Church where she attended Sunday school during her childhood years in Downey California. Karen was very active in the Church’s youth group and also led her own Bible study during high school. Karen studied voice, piano, dance, theater arts and education at Downey High School (1965-1969) Karen Anne Carpenter is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
The cause of Karen’s death was attributed to “heart failure brought on by acute destructive behavior due to anorexia nervosa.” At the time of her death Karen weighed about 63 pounds. Karen had not been diagnosed with anorexia before this point; she herself has stated that until shortly before she died she neither knew how serious it was nor understood its cause. Karen became increasingly dedicated to Christian Science, taking classes and attending church.
Karen was reported to have been in good health until her death; most of the problems Karen experienced during the last few years of her life were due to anorexia and bulimia nervosa and resulted from Karen’s anxiety over the fact that she was becoming increasingly overweight. Karen had taken a great deal of laxatives which caused damage to Karen’s digestive tract, causing her kidneys to shut down.
A memorial service was held at Downey Methodist Church on March 8th 1983 (Karen Carpenter Birthday) Karen has two stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame one for recording (6920 hollywood blvd) & another for television (6533 hollywood blvd)