Karen Carpenter had the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, which was little-known at the time, and was briefly married in the early 1980s. She died on February 4, 1983, at the age of 32 from heart failure caused by complications related to her illness
The death of Carpenter led to increased visibility and awareness of eating disorders. Her work continues to attract praise, including being listed among Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest singers of all time.
Californian freelance photographer Carolyn Arzac took these lovely photos of Karen Carpenter from 1980 to 1982. They show her daily life’s moments, especially her last Christmas in 1982.
Karen Carpenter with Teddy Bear, circa 1980. (Photo by Carolyn Arzac)
Karen Carpenter & her good friend Olivia Newton-John. They are on a boat sailing to Catalina for some weekend fun in the sun, circa 1980. (Photo by Carolyn Arzac)
Karen Carpenter & Olivia Newton-John are enjoying each others company with a little Qualia Bear cake on a boat cruising to Catalina, California, circa 1980. (Photo by Carolyn Arzac)
Karen Carpenter, taken at dinner engagement with her then fiancé Tom Burris, August 1980. “This photo is a photo of a photo that I took prior to Karen’s wedding.” (Photo by Carolyn Arzac)
Karen Carpenter and her love ‘Mush’ at the Newville home in Downey, California, December 1982. (Photo by Carolyn Arzac)