• Karen Anne Carpenter was a singer and drummer known for being half of the duo The Carpenters.
• She taught herself how to play the drums and was part of the Richard Carpenter Trio, which eventually became The Carpenters.
• Her solo career was cut short due to her anorexia, which eventually led to her death.
• She had a net worth of $14 million.
• She married Thomas James Burris in 1980, but the marriage ended due to her wanting to have children.

Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$10 million
Date Of BirthOctober 15, 1946
DiedFebruary 26, 2012, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, July 1, 2011, Southampton, New York, United States
SpouseMary Carpenter, Adelaide de Menil
FactHe and his sister, Karen Carpenter, were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6931 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 12, 1983.

Who is Karen Carpenter?

Karen Anne Carpenter was born on 2 March 1950, in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, she was a singer as well as a drummer, both her abilities at which received praise, and was best known for being half of the duo The Carpenters, alongside her brother. She passed away in 1983.

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Early Life and Education

Growing up, Karen’s older brother Richard developed a strong interest in music and became a piano prodigy. She on the other hand became very interested in dancing, and took up classes in ballet as well as tap dancing. She also enjoyed playing baseball and was a fan of the New York Yankees. The family had an official softball team, in which she was the team’s pitcher. In 1964 she attended Downey High School, and actually joined the school band to avoid gym classes. She initially learned how to play the glockenspiel, but didn’t like it and this led her to choose learning the drums, as she admired drummers such as Ringo Starr and Joe Morello. She taught herself how to play complicated lines and time signatures, improving her skill significantly. She was never confident when it came to performing in public, but focused so much on the music that she forgot about it. She eventually graduated with a John Philip Sousa Band Award leading her to enroll as a music major in Long Beach State.

The Carpenters

Carpenter was initially a part of the band called Two Plus Two, an all-girl ensemble which disbanded after she suggested that her brother should join the group. In 1965, she and her brother formed a band called the Richard Carpenter Trio, with bassist Wes Jacobs. They played locally and appeared on television with Karen mainly playing the drums. They were invited to an audition with bassist Joe Osborn, who liked her voice and so signed her to his label.

With a desire to try out new styles, the siblings formed the group Spectrum which focused on harmonious vocal sounds, but had difficulty gaining any attention as the genre was not popular at the time. In 1969, the Carpenters were signed to a recording contract by A&M, and their 1970 album entitled “Close to You” would have hit singles “(They Long to Be) Close to You”, and “We’ve Only Just Begun”. The band would find a lot of popularity in the decade, leading to numerous live performances, album sales, and drew their attention to her in particular, due to her singing capabilities; she played the drums less and less over the next few years.

Solo Career and Anorexia

In the mid-1970’s Karen’s brother developed an addiction to Quaaludes, leading them to cancel all tours and take a break from the industry while Richard recovered. During this time, she released her first solo recording which didn’t get much attention, but then worked on a solo album with A&M, which didn’t bode well with the executives leading the album to be shelved until the 1990s. Karen was known to be fond of dieting, beginning a Stillman Diet during high school. During the peak of the career of the Carpenters, she had lost around 120 pounds.

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When she appeared heavier in a photo, she hired a new fitness trainer but then fired the trainer and worked on her own weight loss program. Fans grew increasingly worried about her physical health due to her appearance during concerts and she inevitably told her brother that she had a problem. She was hoping to have a quick fix but doctors stated that it would take years for her recovery leading her to seek other treatments. She took intravenous nutrition which helped her regain her weight however, it put a strain on her heart which had grown weak due to her improper diet. She later collapsed in her bedroom with her heart beat extremely low. She was pronounced dead at the hospital with autopsies confirming she had died from complications of anorexia nervosa, on 4 February 1983, in Downey, California.

The Wealth of Karen Carpenter

How rich was Karen Carpenter? As of mid-2018, sources estimate a net worth that is at $14 million, earned through a successful career in the music industry. She achieved a lot of critical and commercial success through the 1970s but her career was cut short by complications of a disease. All of her achievements ensured the position of her wealth.

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Personal Life

For her personal life, it is known that Carpenter initially didn’t have an interest in dating or marriage due to her busy schedule, however, she later admitted she longed for a marriage. She dated several notable names including Terry Ellis, Mike Curb and Alan Osmond, before in 1980 marrying Thomas James Burris, a real estate developer, but their marriage crumbled after Burris refused to reverse his vasectomy, while Karen wanted to have children. She filed for divorce in 1982, but was never able to finalize it due to her passing.

General Info

Full NameRichard Carpenter
Net Worth$10 million
Date Of BirthOctober 15, 1946
DiedFebruary 26, 2012, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, July 1, 2011, Southampton, New York, United States
Height1.83 m
ProfessionRecord producer, Film Score Composer, Lyricist, Film producer, Keyboard Player, Actor, Music Arranger, Singer, Songwriter, Pianist, Top of the World, Yesterday Once More, Rainy Days and Mondays
EducationCalifornia State University, Long Beach, University of Southern California, Top of the World, Yesterday Once More, Rainy Days and Mondays, University of Pennsylvania


SpouseMary Carpenter, Adelaide de Menil
ChildrenKristi Lynn Carpenter, Tracy Tatum Carpenter, Taylor Mary Carpenter, Collin Paul Carpenter, Mindi Karen Carpenter, Top of the World, Yesterday Once More, Rainy Days and Mondays, Rhys Carpenter, Ian Carpenter, Stephen Carpenter
ParentsHarold Carpenter, Agnes Carpenter, Top of the World, Yesterday Once More, Rainy Days and Mondays, Fletcher Hawthorne Carpenter, Agnes "Barbara" Wight
SiblingsKaren Carpenter


Music GroupsCarpenters
MoviesThe Karen Carpenter Story, Petula Clark: A Sign of the Times, Gold: Greatest Hits, The 5th Dimension Travelling Sunshine Show
TV ShowsRobin of Sherwood, Dick Turpin, The Ghosts of Motley Hall, Catweazle, Out of Sight, Cloud Burst

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1Even though I was calling people saying "She doesn't look well", I still didn't think she'd actually pass away.
2The Carpenters didn't just hit, they exploded.


1Started his own official website. Richard Carpenter news, biography, and pictures are available and he is graciously answering fan's questions and e-mails through the website. [May 2004]
2He and his sister, Karen Carpenter, were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6931 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 12, 1983.
3He was managed by Jerry Weintraub from 1976 - 1983
4He was managed by Terry Ellis from 1975 - 1976
5He was managed by Sherwin Bash from 1970 - 1975
6Regrets making the song "Mr. Guder".
7In Thousand Oaks, California, Richard and Mary are recognized as "Distinguished Grand Patrons of the Arts", for their contribution to the arts.
8Richard's $3 million pledge to the non-profit organization, "Alliance for the Arts", was the largest individual gift ever received by the "Alliance for the Arts" and the largest in Ventura County for the arts.
9In 2004, he donated $3 million to the "Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza". In recognition of the gift, a 3.1 acre park located in front of the "Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza" facing Thousand Oaks Boulevard will be named "Mary and Richard Carpenter Plaza Park". $2 million dollars of the donation will support the general program at T.O.C.A.P., and the remaining $1 million dollars will be used to establish the "Richard Carpenter Scholarship Program".
10In 2003, he donated a Yamaha concert grand piano to the "Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza".
11Participates in the Celebrity Ambassador Program for "Alliance for the Arts", a Thousand Oaks fundraising group for the arts.
12Has loved automobiles all his life, and started a great collection of rare cars from the 1950s and 1960s. His warehouse "Yesterday Once More" keeps models of these cars.
13Some of his musical inspiration is: Burt Bacharach, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Les Paul, Mary Ford, Spike Jones, Perry Como
14Was born in the same year and town as President George W. Bush
15Is on the honorary board of ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders).
16His red 1972 Ferrari's driver license plate was "SONG 4U".
17Parents are Harold Carpenter and Agnes Carpenter.
18Had lived in Downey, California for the majority of his life. During 2000, he moved his family from Downey and now lives in Thousand Oaks, California.
19After his sister's death, he has made two unsuccessful solo albums, and has produced new 'greatest hits' compilations of Carpenters music. The songs on the new compilations are usually remixed.
20The Carpenters are the bestselling and most successful foreign artists in Japan. Their record sales have passed those of Michael Jackson and the Eagles.
21Became a multi-millionaire in his early 20s.
22Still writes and produces music at A&M Records.
23Dedicated his second solo album to his mother Agnes Carpenter.
24Attended and graduated from California State University, Long Beach.
25Wears contact lenses.
26Helped open the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, California, where he occasionally performs.
27His five children are: Kristy Lynn, Tracy Tatum, Mindi Karen, Collin Paul and Taylor Mary.
28Attended and graduated from Downey High School in Downey, California.
29Wrote songs with John Bettis for the Carpenters.
30On February 22, 1983, Richard received a letter of sympathy from Richard Nixon after his sister Karen Carpenter's death.
31His wife had their first child when he was 40.
32Met his future wife in 1975, and finally married her in 1984.
33Loves to play piano.
34Is angry about how his sister Karen Carpenter's anorexia was medically handled.
35Started his own band in the mid-1960s called The Dick Carpenter Trio along with his sister Karen Carpenter.
36Regretted being a part of The Karen Carpenter Story (1989).
37In 1998, when he was 52 years old, his wife gave birth to a son, Collin.
38In April 1998, the RIAA certified a number of Carpenters albums gold ("Voice of the Heart" and "An Old Fashioned Christmas"), platinum ("Christmas Portrait" (1978) and "Horizon" (1975)) and multi-platinum ("Close to You" (1970), "Now and Then" (1973) and "Yesterday Once More" (1973) - all at two million). Furthermore, it was certified that "A Song for You" (1972) had sold three million copies, "The Carpenters" (1971) had sold four million copies, and "The Singles 1969-1973" (1973) sold seven million copies.
39Released a solo album in 1997 - "Richard Carpenter: A Pianist, Arranger, Composer, Conductor".
40His first three daughters were born on: Kristi Lynn Carpenter (August 17, 1987) - Traci Tatum Carpenter (July 25, 1989) - Mindi Karen (July 7, 1992).
41Was one-half of one of the most successful pop/rock duos of the 1970s, The Carpenters, with his sister Karen Carpenter.




LevensliedTV Series lyrics - 1 episode, 2013 music - 1 episode, 2013
Dark Shadows2012writer: "Top of the World"
Britain's Favourite Christmas Songs2011TV Movie documentary writer: "Merry Christmas Darling"
Glee2010TV Series writer - 1 episode
Shrek Forever After2010writer: "Top of the World"
Tsuma yo! Matsumoto sarin jiken: Hannin to yobarete... Kazoku wo mamori nuita 15 nen2009TV Movie documentary writer: "Top of the World", "Yesterday Once More" - uncredited
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift2006writer: "Top of the World"
Independent Lens2003-2005TV Series documentary writer - 2 episodes
Double Dare2004Documentary writer: "Top Of The World"
New Zealand Idol2004TV Series writer - 1 episode
The SimpsonsTV Series 1 episode, 1997 music - 1 episode, 1999
Regine: R2K1999Video documentary writer: "One Love"
The Parent Trap1998writer: "Top Of The World"
Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters1997TV Movie documentary writer: "Yesterday Once More", "Goodbye To Love", "Top Of The World", "Only Yesterday", "Merry Christmas Darling"
High School High1996writer: "Top Of The World"
Bat Yam - New YorkTV Series lyrics - 2 episodes, 1996 music - 2 episodes, 1996 arranger - 1 episode, 1996
The Last Supper1995/Iwriter: "Top Of The World"
Friends1994TV Series writer - 1 episode
Lush Life1993TV Movie "Walkin"
Voyage1993TV Movie writer: "Yesterday Once More"
Road to Alice1992Short writer: "Top Of The World"
The Spirit of '761990writer: "Top Of The World"
The Karen Carpenter Story1989TV Movie writer: "All of My Life", "I'll Be Yours", "Don't Be Afraid", "Eve", "Top of the World", "Karen's Theme"
Let's Get Lost1988Documentary "Walkin'"
Better Off Dead...1985producer: "Here Comes Santa Claus"
Carpenters: Yesterday Once More1985Video writer: "Those Good Old Dreams", "Top Of The World", "Only Yesterday"
The Carpenters: Music, Music, Music1980TV Special performer: "Dizzy Fingers", "Without A Song" / writer: "Someday"
Claude François - le film de sa vie1979Documentary writer: "Sha La La Hier Est Près De MoiYesterday once more
The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait1978TV Special writer: "Merry Christmas Darling"
Carpenters Very First Television Special1976TV Special lyrics: "Sing / Close To You / For All We Know / Ticket To Ride / Only Yesterday / I Won't Last A Day Without You / Goodbye To Love" - Hits Medley '76 / writer: "Top Of The World"
The Sonny and Cher Show1976TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Ernie Sigley Show1974-1975TV Series writer - 3 episodes
The Perry Como Christmas Show1974TV Special lyrics: "They Long to Be Close to You/It's Impossible/We've Only Just Begun/And I Love You So/Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes/Yesterday Once More" / performer: "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas", "Carol Of The Bells", "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", "They Long to Be Close to You/It's Impossible/We've Only Just Begun/And I Love You So/Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes/Yesterday Once More"
The Benny Hill Show1974TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Graham Kennedy Show1972-1973TV Series writer - 3 episodes
Sez Les1973TV Series writer - 1 episode
Christmas Is2016TV Movie music: "Merry Christmas Darling" 1970 post-production


Carpenters: Interpretations - A 25th Anniversary Celebration1995Video short
The Karen Carpenter Story1989TV Movie
Carpenters: Yesterday Once More1985Video

Music Department

The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait1978TV Special musical arrangements
The Carpenters at Christmas1977TV Special all christmas songs selected by / musical arrangements


Carpenters: Interpretations - A 25th Anniversary Celebration1995Video short executive producer
The Karen Carpenter Story1989TV Movie executive producer
Carpenters: Yesterday Once More1985Video executive producer


The Karen Carpenter Story1989TV Movie uncredited


The Nation's Favourite Carpenters Song2016TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Joy of Easy Listening2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
Legends2007-2010TV Series documentaryHimself
American Masters2007TV Series documentaryHimself
Only Yesterday: The Carpenters' Story2007TV Movie documentaryHimself
Entertainment Tonight1983-2004TV SeriesHimself
Living Famously2003TV Series documentaryHimself
Close to You: The Story of the Carpenters2002TV MovieHimself - Narrator
Petula Clark: A Sign of the Times2001TV Movie documentaryHimself
Petula Clark: This Is My Song2001TV MovieHimself
Biography1998TV Series documentaryHimself
Behind the Music1998TV Series documentaryHimself
Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters1997TV Movie documentaryHimself
Great Performances1996TV SeriesHimself
One on One with John Tesh1991TV SeriesHimself
The 11th Annual American Music Awards1984TV SpecialHimself - Performer
The 25th Annual Grammy Awards1983TV SpecialHimself
Show-Express1981TV SeriesHimself - Musician
Multi-Coloured Swap Shop1981TV SeriesHimself
Nationwide1981TV Series documentaryHimself
The Merv Griffin Show1981TV SeriesHimself
Good Morning America1981TV SeriesHimself
The Carpenters: Music, Music, Music1980TV SpecialHimself
The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait1978TV SpecialHimself
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color1978TV SeriesHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1970-1978TV SeriesHimself
The Carpenters... Space Encounters1978TV SpecialHimself
Starparade1978TV SeriesHimself - Musician
ABC's Silver Anniversary Celebration1978TV SpecialHimself
The Carpenters at Christmas1977TV SpecialHimself
American Bandstand's 25th Anniversary1977TV SpecialHimself (The Carpenters)
Carpenters Very First Television Special1976TV SpecialHimself
The Carpenters Concert: Live at the New London Theatre1976TV MovieHimself - Musician
Die Drehscheibe1975TV SeriesHimself - Musician
Disco1975TV SeriesHimself - Musician
The Perry Como Christmas Show1974TV SpecialHimself
Evening at Pops1974TV Series documentaryHimself
Rock Concert1974TV SeriesHimself
Robert Young with the Young1973TV SpecialHimself (as The Carpenters)
The Special London Bridge Special1972TV MovieHimself (as The Carpenters)
Jerry Visits1972TV SeriesHimself
The Carol Burnett Show1971-1972TV SeriesHimself
Carpenters 1971 BBC Television Special1971TV Short documentaryHimself
In Concert1971TV SeriesHimself
The Carpenters1971TV SpecialHimself
Lulus Party1971TV MovieHimself - The Carpenters (uncredited)
Top of the Pops1971TV SeriesHimself
Make Your Own Kind of Music!1971TV SeriesHimself
This Is Your Life1971TV SeriesHimself
Carpenters: Close to You1970VideoHimself
The Ed Sullivan Show1970TV SeriesHimself - Musician
Your All-American College Show1968TV SeriesHimself - Musician

Archive Footage

Karen Carpenter: Goodbye to Love2016TV Movie documentaryHimself
Autopsy: The Last Hours Of2014TV SeriesHimself
Paul Williams Still Alive2011DocumentaryHimself
...Sings The Beatles2009TV Movie documentaryHimself
20 to 12006TV Series documentaryHimself
Entertainment Tonight2005TV SeriesHimself
Andy Williams: My Favorite Duets2004TV Movie documentaryHimself
I Love the '70s2003TV Series documentaryHimself
E! True Hollywood Story1997TV Series documentaryHimself
Carpenters: Interpretations - A 25th Anniversary Celebration1995Video shortHimself
The Carol Burnett Show: A Reunion1993TV Movie documentaryHimself
Carpenters: Yesterday Once More1985VideoHimself
Texaco Presents: A Quarter Century of Bob Hope on Television1975TV SpecialHimself

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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