Date of Birth : Oct 5th 1951
American actress most famous for her roles in the films National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Starman (1984), and The Sandlot (1993).
Allen was born in Carrollton, in rural central Illinois, to Carroll Thompson Allen, an FBI agent, and Patricia A. (Howell), a teacher. Allen spent her first 10 years traveling around the country with her parents and two sisters. After graduating from high school at 17, she moved to New York 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 and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute.
Allen also debuted on Broadway in 1982’s The Monday After The Miracle. After a few small films including Until September (1984), directed by Richard Marquand, and other stage appearances, she made the successful science fiction film Starman (1984). She often took breaks from movie roles to concentrate on stage acting.
Allen subsequently appeared in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1992), The Perfect Storm (2000), and In the Bedroom (2001), and made guest appearances on television’s Law & Order (1996) and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2001). She also starred in the short-lived series The Road Home (1994), and portrayed the character of Dr. Clare Burton in the video game Ripper (1996).
After his birth, Allen took 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 Simon’s Rock College of Bard, which is also located in Great Barrington.