IMDb > The Karen Carpenter Story (1989) (TV)
The Karen Carpenter Story
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The Karen Carpenter Story (1989) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Barry Morrow (written by)
View company contact information for The Karen Carpenter Story on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 January 1989 (USA) See more »
Story of the meteoric rise and sudden fall of Karen Carpenter, who became a famous singer before battling anorexia and bulimia. | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Primetime Emmy. See more »
User Reviews:
Sparkling easy listening; questionable biography. See more (38 total) »


  (in credits order)

Cynthia Gibb ... Karen Carpenter

Mitchell Anderson ... Richard Carpenter

Peter Michael Goetz ... Harold Carpenter

Michael McGuire ... Sherwin Bash
Lise Hilboldt ... Lucy
Kip Gilman ... David Lattimer (as Kenneth David Gilman)
Richard Minchenberg
Scott Burkholder ... Ted

Louise Fletcher ... Agnes Carpenter
John Patrick Reger ... Bob Knight
Doug MacHugh ... Dr. Lazwell
William Tucker ... Peter Howard
Henry Crowell Jr. ... Denny

Josh Cruze ... Herb Alpert
Carrie Mitchum ... Randy Bash

James Hong ... Dr. Dentworth

Stephanie Griffin ... Dr. Brooks
Hartley Silver ... Band Teacher
Robert Broyles ... Bowl Emcee
Howard Dayton ... Park Emcee
Grayce Spence ... Nurse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Michael Joiner ... Ambulance driver

Directed by
Joseph Sargent 
Richard Carpenter (uncredited)
Writing credits
Barry Morrow (written by)

Produced by
Richard Carpenter .... executive producer
Hal Galli .... producer
Robert Papazian .... producer (as Robert A. Papazian)
Susan J. Spohr .... assistant producer
Original Music by
Richard Carpenter 
Cinematography by
Kees Van Oostrum (director of photography) (as Kees VanOostrum)
Film Editing by
Richard Bracken 
George Jay Nicholson 
Casting by
Kathleen Letterie 
Art Direction by
Bill Ross 
Set Decoration by
Cynthia T. Lewis  (as Cynthia Trueman)
Makeup Department
Scott Readwine .... makeup artist (as Scott Jon Readwine)
Alicia M. Tripi .... department head hair
Alicia M. Tripi .... hair stylist
Jacqueline Brennan Berardi .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Jeanne Van Cott .... unit production manager (as Jeanne Marie Van Cott)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Herb Adelman .... first assistant director
Sandra M. Middleton .... second assistant director
Art Department
Sal Sommatino .... property master
Samai Brown .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Steve Cain .... playback operator (as Stephen Cain)
Charles T. Knight .... sound mixer
Eric Lindemann .... sound editor (as Eric Lindeman)
Camera and Electrical Department
Vincent Baldino .... camera operator (as Vincent J. Baldino)
Tim Pershing .... key grip (as Timothy Pershing)
Patrick Reddish .... gaffer (as Patrick M. Reddish)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Faye Sloan .... costumer
Music Department
John Caper Jr. .... music supervisor
Bill Wilner .... assistant music editor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Donald R. Casella .... transportation coordinator (as Don Casella)
Other crew
Jeff Glasser .... script supervisor (as Jeffrey Glasser)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:120 min (including commercials)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Richard Carpenter wrote "Karen's Theme" for this TV movie.See more »
Factual errors: Karen Carpenter's husband was named Tom Burris, not Bob Knight.See more »
Richard Carpenter:Mom! She's sung the same song all the way across the country, make her stop!See more »
Movie Connections:
Features The Third Man (1949)See more »
SuperstarSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
8 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Sparkling easy listening; questionable biography., 29 April 2000
Author: Christopher Kersey ( from East Baton Rouge Parish

The tunes are the best aspect of this television film which has admittedly better-than-average production values, but very surface and slightly altered biography. Dramatizes Richard's discovery of "We've Only Just Begun" and Karen's marriage troubles admirably (the "Superstar" montage was a nice touch), yet notably leaves out the disagreement with Neil Sedaka, the contribution of Tony Peluso's guitar solos, etc. Gibb is sweet in her Karen persona, but it doesn't include the tomboyish and gutsier sides of the real Carpenter's personality. Anderson is in fine form as the creative and take-charge Richard, and Fletcher makes her mark as the loving but overbearing Agnes. The most haunting moment of the original broadcast is the use of "Goodbye to Love" in the background of a commercial displaying an anorexia hotline.

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