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The Karen Carpenter Story (1989)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  1 January 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 816 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 2 critic

Story of the meteoric rise and sudden fall of Karen Carpenter, who became a famous singer before battling anorexia and bulemia.


, (uncredited)


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Title: The Karen Carpenter Story (TV Movie 1989)

The Karen Carpenter Story (TV Movie 1989) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Harold Carpenter
Michael McGuire ...
Sherwin Bash
Lise Hilboldt ...
David Lattimer (as Kenneth David Gilman)
Richard Minchenberg
Scott Burkholder ...
Agnes Carpenter
John Patrick Reger ...
Bob Knight
Doug MacHugh ...
Dr. Lazwell
William Tucker ...
Peter Howard
Henry Crowell Jr. ...
Herb Alpert
Carrie Mitchum ...
Randy Bash


Story of the meteoric rise and sudden fall of Karen Carpenter, who became a famous singer before battling anorexia and bulemia.

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Biography | Drama | Music


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Release Date:

1 January 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Karen Carpenter Story  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The same ambulance, paramedics, and house that the real Karen Carpenterdied in were used in the movie. See more »


The first time at the Magic Lamp recording studio, there is Karen on drums, a double bass player and Richard on piano. When Karen starts singing in the right key (A) we then cut to a Carpenter sound track that with an electric bass and an oboe. See more »


Richard Carpenter: Hey give me the pizza.
Karen Carpenter: No it's my pizza.
Richard Carpenter: Come on.
Karen Carpenter: Richard, I...
Richard Carpenter: She said I'm in charge!
Karen Carpenter: Yeah, but not of this. Give me it back.
Richard Carpenter: Come on. I'm doing you a favor. In 10 or 20 years Mom and Dad are going to let you date and I don't want you to get fat.
See more »


Version of Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988) See more »


We've Only Just Begun
Written by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols
Performed by The Carpenters
See more »

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User Reviews

Karen Carpenter Story (TV ) 1989
15 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I didn't personally know Karen Carpenter, nor, Richard for that matter, so I must go by how the movie portrayed her. I think a better person to ask about it's accuracy would be her brother Richard. However, from what I did see and learn of Karen, I felt her pain, share her sadness, and she was a very special person to me growing up. I know that I wasn't born until 1965 so I didn't get to know her as much as some of you older fans but I definitely grew up listening to her music and I have fond memories of her music. I remember the song about the "Radio" (every sha la la la every fine,) etc and I remember "We've only just begun! As a matter of fact, I memorized many, many of her songs and some people (quite a few) tell me that my voice sounds almost identical to her!!! ( I am not joking on this). I also used to be anorexic during high school and part of college (1978-1987) to be exact and weighed anywhere from 82 pounds to eventually 120 pounds in 1987. I developed some pretty serious health problems from that which helped me to identify with the actress portraying Karen in the movie. The mother (Agnes) was very MUCH like my mother in many ways and I could also feel the pain that Karen must have experienced. For, my mother was often unfeeling, critical, and disapproving as Agnes was (if this was true to accuracy). The movie was helpful in identifying and getting to know Karen on a more personal note by not just hearing her music but by seeing what she was going through. It is quite difficult to portray a person's entire life in 2-3 hours and recount every single detail perfectly so I would have to say that there is probably no biography that is that accurate. I will give this story an 8 though! I wish I did know Karen personally! I would have DIED to meet her!! I would have loved to have shook her hand, given her a hug, or talked to her. I feel her warmth and love every time I hear one of her songs and she is greatly missed.

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