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Karen Akers
Born Karen Orth-Pallavicini
October 13, 1945 (1945-10-13) (age 64)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress/Singer
Years active 1984–1997
Spouse(s) Kevin Power (1993-present)
Jim Akers (?-?)

Karen Akers (born October 13, 1945) is an American actress and singer, who has appeared on Broadway, cabaret and film.



She was born Karen Orth-Pallavicini in New York City on October 13, 1945. Her ancestry was a mixture of European stock: her immigrant father, Heinrick C. Orth-Pallavicini (reportedly a member of the European nobility who dropped his title when he came to America) was of Austrian and Swiss/Italian heritage, and her American-born mother, Mary, had Russian, Norwegian, and French forebears on one side of her family and Scots-Irish ones on the other. Her younger sister, Nicole Orth-Pallavicini, is also an actress. Another younger sister, Marie Orth-Pallavicini, is married to David Baker Cadman, a grandson of John Cadman, 1st Baron Cadman.[1]


Akers graduated from Manhattanville College.


On September 19, 1993, she married Kevin Patrick Power, a vice president of Orion Network Systems, a satellite communications company in a Roman Catholic ceremony at St. Paul's Chapel at Columbia University in New York.[2] It was her second marriage. She has two sons from her first marriage to Jim Akers, which ended in divorce.


She first appeared on Broadway in the original production of Nine, a musical directed by Tommy Tune and based on the Federico Fellini film , playing the part of Luisa Contini, the wife of promiscuous film director Guido Contini (Raul Julia). The show opened May 9, 1982, and had a successful run of 732 performances, closing February 4, 1984. Akers won a Theatre World Award for her performance and was one of three actresses in the show nominated for the Tony Award for Featured Actress in a Musical, losing to her fellow cast member Liliane Montevecchi.

She appeared again on Broadway in Grand Hotel, a musical adaptation of the novel and film, again directed by Tommy Tune with a score by Robert Wright, George Forrest, and Maury Yeston. The show opened November 12, 1989, for a successful run of 1,018 performances through April 19, 1992. In Grand Hotel, Akers was reunited with Motevecchi and Kathi Moss, another Nine cast member.

She also covered Sooner or Later on her 1991 song album "Unchained Melodies"; the song was originally performed by Madonna the year before.[3]

She appeared in the Woody Allen film The Purple Rose of Cairo as a celluloid chanteuse, and in Heartburn as the mistress of Jack Nicholson's character.

A review in Variety described her as "a contralto with uncommon dramatic depth", and a "sultry chanteuse."[4]

She appeared in one episode of "Cheers" as Cliff Clavens' shy, Plain Jane gal pal in 1987.



As an Actress

DVD Concert Films

  • 2005: Karen Akers: On Stage at Wolf Trap[6]


  1. ^ Retrieved on July 6, 2007
  2. ^ Retrieved on 05-09-07
  3. ^ "Karen Akers Sooner or Later". CD Universe. Retrieved May 2nd, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Karen Akers -- First You Dream: The Songs of Kander & Ebb." Marilyn Stasio. Variety Review Database. New York: Apr 2006. pg. n/a
  5. ^ a b c IMDB
  6. ^ VIEW DVD Listing

External links


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