Karen Kondazian's career as an actor, writer and producer 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 San Francisco State College, The University of Vienna and The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), after which she began her 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.
Her theater career has included starring opposite Ed Harris in Sweet Bird of Youth (which she also produced), Richard Chamberlain in Richard II (dir. Jonathan Miller), Stacy Keach in Hamlet, (dir. Gordon Davidson) Ray Stricklyn in Vieux Carre (West Coast Premiere-Beverly Hills Playhouse, dir. Clyde Ventura, which she also produced). She also starred in Mixed Blessings, the world premiere, with Raul Esparza (dir. Arnold Mittleman) and Eduardo Machado's off-Broadway play, Kissing Fidel (dir. Michael Garces)
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).
Other awards and nominations include Ovation, Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly and Garlands for, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Berkeley Rep., dir. Richard Syde) Orpheus Descending (Fountain Theatre, dir. Simon Levy) Night of the Iguana (Old Globe, dir. Jack O'Brien) Lady House Blues, Freedomland (South Coast Rep, dir. David Emmes) The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (Fountain Theatre, dir. Simon Levy) Master Class (Odyssey Theatre, dir. 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 and Frasier, Steal Big Steal Little with Andy Garcia and Alan Arkin, Yes Giorgio with Luciano Pavarotti.
Karen 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.
Karen is a published writer. She is the author of the book "The Actors Encyclopedia of Casting Directors," with foreword by Richard Dreyfuss. Her column Sculpting Your Own Career has appeared in L.A. STAGE, BackStageWest, and DramaLogue. She also has a new book, The Whip (a historical novel inspired by a true story) coming out soon.
To read more about Karen click HERE
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