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Home / Entertainment / James Karen, veteran actor and "Pathmark Man" dies at 94

James Karen, veteran actor and "Pathmark Man" dies at 94



James Karen was born on November 28, 1923 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the son of Jacob Karnofsky. His father, Joseph, was a saloon keeper who went into production. His mother, Mae (Fried) Karnofsky, was a housewife.

In 1940 he left the house and went to New York with a newly adopted stage name. A cousin, actor Morris Carnovsky, directed him to acting teacher Sanford Meisner. When the United States entered World War II in 1941, Karen joined the Army Air Forces; He spent part of the war as a cryptographer in Alaska, Goldstein said.

After the end of the war in 1945, Mr. Karen returned to New York and spent time at Actors Studio, including as a supporting role for various roles in Elia Kazan's Broadway production "A Streetcar Named Desire" of 1

947 with Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy. He worked on Broadway in small roles or as a second cast in the mid-1970s and also appeared in regional theaters.

He got regular TV work until 1970, and moved to Los Angeles in the middle of that decade. However, he already made the Pathmark spots and kept the job, even though the nearest Pathmark was thousands of miles away.

Mr. Karen found out in 1984 that some television viewers did not understand the difference between him and the roles he played. In "Little House: The Last Farewell", a TV movie that was essentially the finale of the popular series "Little House on the Prairie", he played a development tycoon named Nathan Lassiter, who wants to take over the city of Walnut Grove. 19659002] "Hundreds of letters came to Pathmark and asked the store to do something about me," Karen told UPI. "The Customer Relations Department could not believe it, and for some reason they have never resisted other heavies I played But the evil of Nathan Lassiter blew them away, I suppose they realized that they will never see Walnut Grove again, and it has created a great sense of loss. "

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Mr. Karen attended an Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences event in Beverly Hills, California, in 2010. In his long career, he had around 200 television and film credits and a particularly memorable job as a supermarket pitchman. Credit Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

He took it upon himself to call or write to the people who had made complaints.

"They were amazed to hear from me," said the Pathmark Man. "At first they were flat, then they laughed."


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