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Karen Kondazian Remembers her Fiancee Lex Barker

Interviews with Travelling Companions

An interview with Karen Kondazian
by Reiner Boller

Karen Kondazian

Karen was both friend and companion to Lex Barker during his last days. They met at a Hollywood party in the winter of 1972 when Karen attended the event together with Lex’ good friend Bill Orr. It was love at first sight. During the months leading up to Barker’s death, Karen Kondazian frequently accompanied him. She also travelled to Canada with him at the end of April 1973 before both went to New York City. On the fateful day of 11 May 1973, Karen Kondazian was at Lex Barker’s side.

Karen Kondazian, born in Boston, Massachusetts, is probably best known for her skillful depictions of Tennessee Williams’ female characters. However, she has also acted in movies and television shows, produced stage plays, taught acting students and created a name for herself as an author (her book The Actor’s Encyclopedia of Casting Directors, which contains interviews with Hollywood’s best casting directors, became a best-seller).

Karen Kondazian Interview with Peter Robinson KALW-FM 91.7 San Francisco


Local Public Radio

part of  digital network.

Interview with Peter Robinson’s “Paperback Writer” program on 91.7 FM San Francisco

Karen talks about her book and reads passages from it.  Truly, a must listen-to for anyone who loves audio books.



Fountain Theatre Interview of Karen Kondazian


Fountain Actress Karen Kondazian Cracks “The Whip” and Writes A Novel

Posted on July 22, 2011 at The Fountain Theatre Blog


Karen Kondazian has starred in the Fountain productions of Master Class (2004) and the Tennessee Williams classics The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (2007), The Night of the Iguana (2001) and Orpheus Descending (1996). She’s now written her first novel, The Whip.

What is your novel about?

The Whip is inspired by the true story of Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst (1812 – 1879). Charlotte lived 30 years of her extraordinary life as a man. She became a renowned stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo during the California gold rush. One of her many exploits was the killing of the famous outlaw Sugarfoot, when he tried to rob her stagecoach one too many times.

As a young woman, she fell in love and eventually lived with a black man and had his child. He was hung, her baby killed and she was raped by one of the killers. The destruction of her family drove her out west to California during the gold rush, dressed as a man, to track the murderer. She had many adventures and a secret love affair. She also lived with a housekeeper, who fell in love with her, not realizing she was a woman. Charlotte Parkhurst was the first woman to vote in America (as a man!). Her grave lies in Watsonville, California.