Saturday, August 30, 2008

Karen Allen

Karen Allen

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Karen Allen

Allen at the 2006 Dallas Comic Con
Born Karen Jane Allen
October 5, 1951 (1951-10-05) (age 56)
Carrollton, Illinois, United States
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Kale Browne (1988–1998)

Karen Jane Allen (born October 5, 1951) is an American actress, best known for her role as Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).[1] Allen has also had roles in the films National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), Split Image (1982), Starman (1984), Scrooged (1988), The Sandlot (1993) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), where she reprised her role as Marion Ravenwood.

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[edit] Biography

[edit] Early life

Allen was born in Carrollton, rural western Illinois, the daughter of Patricia A. (née Howell), a teacher, and Carroll Thompson Allen, an FBI agent.[2] Allen spent her first 10 years traveling around the country with her parents and two sisters. After graduating from DuVal Senior High School, in Lanham, Maryland at 17, she moved to New York City to study art and design at Fashion Institute of Technology. She later attended the University of Maryland, College Park and spent time traveling through South and Central America. In 1974, Allen joined a theater group and three years later moved back to New York City and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute.

[edit] Career

In 1978, Allen made her major film debut in National Lampoon's Animal House. Her next two film appearances were in The Wanderers in 1979 and A Small Circle of Friends in 1980, where she played one of three radical college students during the 1960s. She also appeared (as a guest star) in the 1979 pilot episode of the long-running CBS series Knots Landing.

Her career-changing role came with the blockbuster hit Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), directed by Steven Spielberg, in which she played the feisty heroine Marion Ravenwood, love interest of Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). Allen won a Saturn Award for Best Actress for her performance.

Allen debuted on Broadway in the 1982 production The Monday After The Miracle. After a few small films, including the leading role in the Paris-set romantic drama Until September (1984), directed by Richard Marquand, and other stage appearances, she co-starred with Jeff Bridges in the science-fiction film Starman (1984).

She often took breaks from movie roles to concentrate on stage acting, though in 1987, Allen appeared as Laura in the Paul Newman directed film version of the Tennessee Williams play "The Glass Menagerie" with John Malkovich and Joanne Woodward.

A year later, Allen returned to the big screen as Bill Murray's long-lost love Claire in the Christmas comedy Scrooged. In 1990, she portrayed the doomed crew member Christa McAuliffe in the controversial television movie Challenger, based on the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Allen subsequently appeared in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992), in a small supporting role in The Perfect Storm (2000) and In the Bedroom (2001). She made guest appearances on television's Law & Order (1996) and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2001). She had also starred in the short-lived series The Road Home (1994) and portrayed Dr. Clare Burton in the video game Ripper (1996).

Allen reprised her best-known role as Marion Ravenwood for the 2008 sequel Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in which she renews her relationship with Indiana Jones and reveals to him that they have a son named Mutt Williams, played by Shia LaBeouf.

An unsolicited script by Irish screenwriter Brad Hansen for a sequel to the film Starman was written in 1998, but remains unproduced. Jeff Bridges expressed an interest in reprising the title role, and is heard stating this on the Starman DVD commentary.

[edit] Personal life

In 1988, Allen married actor Kale Browne, who portrayed Christa McAuliffe's husband, Steven, in Challenger, and gave birth to a son, Nicholas, in 1990. The couple divorced in 1998.

After giving birth, Allen accepted smaller roles in TV and films in order to concentrate on raising Nicholas. Given her affinity for knitting, in 2003 she started her own textile company, "Karen Allen Fiber Arts," in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. She also teaches acting at Bard College at Simon's Rock, which is located in Great Barrington.

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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Persondata
NAME Allen, Karen
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION actor
DATE OF BIRTH October 5, 1951
PLACE OF BIRTH Carrollton, Illinois, United States
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH

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