An American actress, Karen Allen was born in Carlton, Illinois on October 5, 1951. Her early years were spent traveling with her mother, father and two sisters. After graduating from DuVal Senior High School in Maryland, she went to New York to study art and design when she was 17. She later took up her studies at the University of Maryland and resumed her traveling, going to Central and South America. Karen Allen joined a theater group in 1974. Three years after, she moved back to New York to study at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute.
Karen Allen’s major film debut was in National Lampoon’s Animal House as Katy. This was followed in 1979 by The Wanderers, and by A Small Circle of Friends in 1980. The next big break she received was the part of Marion Ravenwood in Steven Spielberg’s Raider’s of the Lost Ark in 1981. Being the love interest of Indiana Jones, played by Harrison Ford, won Karen Allen a Saturn Award for Best Actress.
Her Broadway debut was in the 1982 production The Monday After the Miracle. The small films that followed include Shoot the Moon in 1982 and the lead role in Until September in 1984. She co-starred with Jeff Bridges in the successful sci-fi movie Starman that same year. In 1987, she appeared as Laura in the play The Glass Menagerie, directed by Paul Newman. She also appeared as Bill Murray’s love interest in the 1988 Christmas comedy Scrooged. In the television movie Challenger, Karen Allen portrayed Christa McAuliffe.
She was also in Spike Lee’s film Malcolm X, and had a supporting role in The Perfect Storm in the year 2000. The following year, she was in In the Bedroom while making appearances in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
Karen Allen reprised her role as Marion in the 2008 sequel Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, where she is reunited with the lead character.