2014 Karen Pendleton

 

Mouseketeer Karen Pendleton appeared on all three seasons of The Mickey Mouse Club. She was one of only nine Mouseketeers who were on the show during its entire original run. 
 
Karen was initially used most as a singer (early in the run she was often paired with Johnny Crawford; later, she worked with Cubby O'Brien in the television series and in live performances) and later her dancing talent was also showcased. Karen was very popular in the first season, receiving enough fan mail that she was given her own mini-series, Karen in Kartoonland. She narrated and starred in this four-part feature that explained how animation worked. She was given the job of introducing the Annette serial episodes, and shared the Mousekartoon introductions with Cubby. In 1956 she was one of four Mouseketeers chosen to appear in the Disney movie Westward Ho, the Wagons! When Walt announced plans for the Rainbow Road to Oz movie, Karen was cast as Polychrome, daughter of the rainbow; she had a solo song and some dancing parts in the Disneyland episode promoting the film.
 
After the show ceased production, Karen was among the Mouseketeers who toured Australia in 1959 and 1960 with Jimmie Dodd.
 
After the show's run, she left show business and finished school. Following an automobile accident in 1983, in which she was paralyzed from the waist down, she returned to college and earned a Bachelor's degree in psychology. She worked at a shelter for battered women and served on the Board for the California Association of the Physically Handicapped.
 
Karen still makes occasional appearances with her fellow Mouseketeers.

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