Karen Kondazian’s career began at the age of eight when she 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), and The University of Vienna, after which she began her theater 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, 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. She also starred in Eduardo Machado’s off-Broadway plays, Broken Eggs and Kissing Fidel.
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), Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (Fountain Theatre, dir. Simon Levy) Master Class (Odyssey Theatre, dir. Simon Levy)
She has appeared as a 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, Steal Big Steal Little with Andy Garcia and Alan Arkin, and Yes Giorgio with Luciano Pavarotti.
She is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio, a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and 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 best-selling book The Actors Encyclopedia of Casting Directors. Her longtime column, Sculpting Your Own Career appeared in BackStage.
Her debut novel, award winning The Whip, is a historical novel inspired by the true story of Charley Parkhurst (1812-1879). It tells the extraordinary story of the famous Wells Fargo stagecoach driver, a woman who lived her life as a man. 'Charlotte' Parkhurst was the first woman to vote in America in 1868 (as a man).
Kondazian currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
For more about Karen visit: www.Karen-Kondazian.com.