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Karen entered Northwestern University at 15 and left two years
later. She went to Lee Strasberg and worked in a number of
off-Broadway roles. Her debut on Broadway was in the 1965 play "The
Playroom" for which Karen received critical acclaim. Her first big
film role was in 'You're a Big Boy Now (1966)', directed by Francis
Ford Coppola. She then appeared as Marcia in the Television Series
"The Second Hundred Years". The film that made her a star was 'Easy
Rider (1969), where she worked with Fonda, Hopper and a supporting
actor named Nicholson. She would appear with Nicholson the next
year when he starred in 'Five Easy Pieces (1970)' which would
garner an Academy Award Nomination and a Golden Globe for Karen.
Theater trained, Karen's roles would consist of Waitresses,
hookers, and women on the edge. Some of her next roles were
disappointments at the box office, but Karen did receive another
Golden Globe for 'The Great Gatsby (1974)'. One role, for which she
is well remembered is that of the jewel thief in Hitchcock's last
movie 'Family Plot (1976)'. After a number of forgettable movies,
she again won rave reviews for her role in 'Come Back to the Five
and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)'. Since then, her film
career has been busy, but the quality of the films has been uneven.
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