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Karen Kondazian


An award winning Actress, Author and Journalist


Karen Kondazian’s career as an actor, author and journalist is as diverse as it is long. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts. At the age of eight Karen was chosen to be one of the infamous children on Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” The opportunity to miss school during tapings was all it took for Karen to abandon her life’s goal of becoming a CIA spy and focus on acting.

She completed her schooling at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), The University of Vienna and San Francisco State University, where she received her B.A., after which she began her acting career in New York. Her first professional work was in the award winning production of Michael Cacoyannis’ The Trojan Women at the Circle in the Square Theatre.

In 1979, she won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in The Rose Tattoo, (in which her work as actor and producer so impressed Tennessee Williams that they became friends and he gave her carte blanche to produce any of his work in his lifetime).

Her theater career has included starring opposite Ed Harris in Sweet Bird of Youth, Richard Chamberlain in Richard II (dir. Jonathan Miller), Stacy Keach in Hamlet, (dir. Gordon Davidson). She also starred in the world premiere of Mixed Blessings, with Raul Esparza and in Eduardo Machado’s off-Broadway play, Broken Eggs (world premiere). Her latest awards have been through her work at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles where she played Maria Callas in the Ovation award winning, Master Class, Orpheus Descending, Night of the Iguana, and The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, all directed by Simon Levy.

She has appeared as series regular lead in CBS’s Shannon and guest starred in over 50 television shows and films including, TNT’s James Dean with James Franco (dir. Mark Rydell) NYPD Blue, Frasier, Yes Giorgio with Luciano Pavarotti, and played Kate Holiday in The Shootout at Ok Corral.

She is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She is also a member of Women in Film. She occasionally teaches at the Lee Strasberg School of Theater and Film in Hollywood.

Kondazian is a published writer. She is the author of the best-selling book “The Actor’s Encyclopedia of Casting Directors,” (the second edition of the book will be released in 2012). Her long running weekly column, Sculpting Your Own Career appeared in Back Stage West. Her debut novel, The Whip (a historical novel inspired by the true story of Charley Parkhurst) will be released in November 2011.

She currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

For more information on Karen Kondazian, visit http://www.karen-kondazian.com

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