Character Actor James Karen Passes Away


James Karen Passes Away at 94 Years Old


James Karen might not be a name you recognize but his face certainly is. As Variety notes Karen was a well-known character actor for 70 years. His best-known parts are noted as from Poltergeist and Return of the Living Dead. Karen’s wife Alba and son Reed will greatly miss him.

The Many Roles

Actor James Karen attends the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ re-premiere of “Upstream” on September 1, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California.
(Aug. 31, 2010 – Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images North America)

His most remembered roles maybe from Poltergeist and a Return of the Living Dead. A lot of people will remember Karen’s face from many other favorites. Karen played roles in The Pursuit of Happiness, Any Given Sunday, Congo, Wall Street and many other films throughout his 70-year career.

Karen was not only a film actor but appeared on many television shows as well. He had roles in The Golden Girls, The Jeffersons, Little House on the Prairie and a host of others. He was also on many Broadway plays as well.

Going Unnoticed 

It is sad to say but Karen is one of those character actors that you do not realize is in a bunch of media that you love until he is gone. Going through his list of credits there several things that I had personally seen him in and never realized until now. That is a sad fact of many character actors lives. Playing many roles but never being truly recognized until they are gone. 

We can also celebrate his life by learning about all the roles he has been in. It is a great joy to scroll through his credits and remember the many films and shows he has been in. They can bring back good memories. It may be of little condolence to his family. But his characters have brought many stories to life and enjoyment to people around new the world for playing these “small parts”.


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