Karen Kondazian

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Karen Kondazian
Karen Kondazian.jpg
Karen Kondazian, 2012
Born (1950-01-27) January 27, 1950 (age 68)
Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma mater San Francisco State College
University of Vienna
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Occupation Actor, Novelist
Partner(s) Lex Barker (1972–1973)
Website www.kondazian.com

Karen Kondazian (born January 27, 1950) is an American actress and author.[1][2] She is a recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award's Best Actress award and is a four-time Drama-Logue Awards winner. She had a regular starring role in Shannon, as well guest-starring roles on Wiseguy, Frasier, NYPD Blue, and others.

Life and career

Karen Kondazian and fiance Lex Barker, May 1973

Karen Kondazian was born in Newton, Massachusetts to an Armenian family. She attended Abraham Lincoln High School, and received a B.A. from San Francisco State College, and graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.[3][4] Kondazian began working in theater, starring in productions such as The Rose Tattoo and Master Class.[5]

As a child, she appeared on Art Linkletter's Kids Say the Darndest Things.[6]

She won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award's Best Actress award for her role in the Tennessee Williams play The Rose Tattoo and four Drama-Logue Awards for Sweet Bird of Youth (1980), Lady House Blues (1981), Vieux Carré (1983) and Tamara (1985).[7] Kondazian met Williams at a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle luncheon honoring him, and Williams reportedly allowed Kondazian to produce any of his plays.[8] She was also nominated for an Ovation Best Actress Award in Master Class.

Her work on the stage led to numerous TV and film roles, including a recurring starring role the CBS series Shannon as Irene Lokatelli, and guest-starring roles in Wiseguy, Frasier, NYPD Blue and the TV biopic James Dean. She also was in Yes, Giorgio and Cobra.

In 2000 Kondazian wrote the reference work The Actors Encyclopedia of Casting Directors and The Whip in 2012, published by the Hansen Publishing Group, a historical novel about stagecoach driver Charley Parkhurst. The Whip was well-reviewed for its historical accuracy and story.[9][10]

Kondazian is a member of the Actors Studio and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.[11]

Karen Kondazian and Tennessee Williams

Personal life

Kondazian was in a relationship with actor Lex Barker from 1972 until his death on May 11, 1973. They were engaged.[12]

Theatre work

Year Production Role Awards/Nominations/Notes
1972 Richard II (Ahmanson Theatre, LA) Queen’s Lady in Waiting
1974 Hamlet (Mark Taper Forum Theater, LA) Gertrude’s Lady in Waiting
1978-79 The Rose Tattoo (Beverly Hills Playhouse) Serafina Winner – Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award – Best Actress
1980 Sweet Bird of Youth (Gene Darnyasky Theater, LA) Princess Kosmonopolis Winner – Drama-Logue Award
1981 Lady House Blues (South Coast Repertory Theater) Liz Madden Winner – Drama-Logue Award
1983 Vieux Carré (Beverly Hills Playhouse) Mrs. Wire Winner – LA Weekly Theater Award – Best Actress
Winner – Drama-Logue Award
1984 Broken Eggs (Ensemble Studio Theatre, NY) Sonia
1985-86 Tamara (Il Vittoriale, LA) Aelis Winner - Drama-Logue Award
1987 The Night of the Iguana (Old Globe Theatre, SD) Maxine
1989 Freedomland (South Coast Repertory Theater) Claude play (Nominated) – Pulitzer Prize
Mixed Blessings (Coconut Grove Playhouse) Velia Martinez
1991 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) Martha Nominated - San Francisco Drama Critics Circle Award – Best Actress
1996 Orpheus Descending (The Fountain Theatre, LA) Lady Nominated – Ovation Award – Best Actress
2000 The Night of the Iguana (The Fountain Theatre, LA) Maxine Winner – Back Stage Garland Award
2003-04 Master Class (The Fountain Theatre, LA),
(Odyssey Theater, LA),
(Lobero Theatre, SB)
Maria Callas Winner – Ovation Award – Best Production of the Year
Winner – Back Stage Garland Award
Winner - Maddy Award
Winner - Entertainment Today Award - Best Actress
2005 Kissing Fidel (42nd Street Theater, NY) Miriam [13]
2007 The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (The Fountain Theatre, LA) Mrs. Goford Nominated – LA Weekly Theater Award – Best Actress
2016 Baby Doll (The Fountain Theatre, LA) Aunt Rose Comfort
Luciano Pavarotti embraces Karen Kondazian on the set of Yes, Giorgio



Year Film Role
1982 Yes, Giorgio Francesca Giordano
1986 Cobra Nurse Irene
1995 Steal Big Steal Little Mrs. Agopian
1998 My Brother Jack Rose Casale
2007 The Blue Hour Tello
2009 The Shift Sophia


Year Film Role Notes
1972 David L. Wolper’s Appointment With Destiny Kate Elder Holliday 1 Episode
Showdown at O.K. Corral
The Hound of the Baskervilles Mrs. Mortimer TV movie - starring Stewart Granger
1973 The Waltons Franzia 1 Episode
"The Gypsies"
1980 A Rumor of War Mrs. Modesta TV movie
1981 The Gangster Chronicles (recurring) Mrs. Luciano Mini-series (NBC)
"Lucky Luciano"
1982 Shannon Irene Locatelli 9 Episodes (CBS)
"John's Awakening"
"Beating The Prime"
"Favor for an Enemy"
"Curtain Calls"
"Secret Rage"
"The Untouchable"
"Neither a Borrower"
"Gotham Swansong"
Hill Street Blues Widow Alessi 1 Episode
"The Shooter"
1986 Cagney and Lacey Mrs. Arroyo 1 Episode
1987 Moonlighting Margaret Renborn 1 Episode
"Poltergeist III - Dipesto Nothing"
Walt Disney's Bride of Boogedy Madeleinska TV Movie
1988 Wiseguy Linda DeSica 1 Episode
"Aria for Don Aiuppo"
1990 Ferris Bueller Marjorie Ganesha 1 Episode
"Ferris Bueller Can't Win"
1991 Murder, She Wrote Rosalee Rossari 1 Episode
"Lines of Excellence"
1992 Baywatch Bella 1 Episode
"Summer of '85"
Mortal Sins Rose Croce TV movie
1995 Ellen Gypsy Fortune Teller 1 Episode
"Ellen's Choice"
Land's End Mrs. Commandante Pilot
"El Perico"
1997 Tracey Takes On... Casaba Woman 1 Episode
2000 Frasier Adrianna Pettibone 2 Episodes
"And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon" - Part 1
"And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon" - Part 2
2001 James Dean Mrs. Pierangeli (TNT) TV movie
2002 NYPD Blue Mrs. Kilik 1 Episode
"Oh, Mama!"
2005 McBride: The Doctor Is Out... Really Out Nurse Williams (Hallmark Channel) TV movie
2009 The Bill Engvall Show Fatima 1 Episode
"The Way We Were"


  • The Actors Encyclopedia of Casting Directors (2000)
  • The Whip (2012)[14][15][16][17]

Video game

Kondazian's likeness has been used in the Video Game Zork Nemesis

Year Name of Game Role
1996 Zork Nemesis Female patient (Maria) #2





  1. ^ Riggs, Thomas (2001). Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. Gale Group. p. 187. ISBN 0787646393.
  2. ^ "New novel details legendary Watsonville woman's life". KSBW. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Karen Kondazian". ADAA: Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  4. ^ "Karen Kondazian". Lincoln Alumni. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  5. ^ Cuthbert, David. "'A Witch and a Bitch' to the rescue". Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  6. ^ Pachelli, Nick. "Was Legendary Stagecoach Driver Charlie Parkhurst Gay or Trans?". The Advocate. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  7. ^ "1969 – 1979 Awards". Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  8. ^ Koehler, Robert. "Working in L.A., Living Tennessee". The LA Times. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  9. ^ Kondazian, Karen (June 14, 2012). "Karen Kondazian interviewed on KRON 4 San Francisco with Jan Wahl". KRON 4 Morning News (Interview). Interviewed by Jan Wahl. San Francisco: KRON.
  10. ^ "Review: The Whip". The Historical Novel Society. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Author Karen Kondazian Discusses Her New Book 'The Whip'". KCAL9. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Karen Kondazian". Lex Barker. November 2, 2009. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  13. ^ Isherwood, Charles (September 22, 2005). "Planting Big Wet Ones on the Face of Cuba". New York Times. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  14. ^ "A Good Read: The Whip". CBS. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Author Karen Kondazian Discusses Her New Book 'The Whip'". CBS. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  16. ^ "Fiction Reviews, November 1, 2011". Library Journal. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  17. ^ "BookRadio Show Premieres in Santa Monica". MediaBistro. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  18. ^ "2014 Readers Favorite Award Contest Winners".
  19. ^ "2013 Global Ebook Awards Winners".
  20. ^ "The USA Best Book Awards (2012 Winners)". USA Book News. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  21. ^ "WINNERS OF THE 2013 AWARDS!". National Indie Excellence Award. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  22. ^ "2013 International Book Awards". International Book Awards. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2013.

External links

  • Karen Kondazian on IMDb
  • Official website
  • The Whip Official website
  • KCAL9 Interviews Karen Kondazian
  • Karen Kondazian featured in ABC/NBC Monterey
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