Karen Morrow (born December 15, 1936) is an American singer – actress best known for her work in musical theater. Her honors include an Emmy Award and a Theatre World Award, and an Ovation Award and five Drama-Logue Award nominations.
Morrow's first Broadway production, I Had a Ball, opened in December 1964, only to fold six months later despite the presence of co-stars Buddy Hackett and Richard Kiley. Most of Morrow's later Broadway productions would also have short runs despite some impressive casts. Two years later, she appeared as Mary Texas in A Joyful Noise, a misconceived effort to incorporate country music into a Broadway show. It closed after 4 previews and 12 performances. Next she played Na'Ama in 1968's I'm Solomon, which vanished just as quickly (9 previews, 7 performances). In November 1971, she appeared as Babylove in The Grass Harp (co-starring Barbara Cook, based on Truman Capote's novel of the same name), which lasted one week at the Martin Beck Theatre, but brought her good notices, especially for her rendition of "Babylove Miracle Show". In 1972, Morrow appeared as Irene Jantzen in another short-lived Broadway production, The Selling of the President. Her last Broadway performance was as The Princess Puffer/Miss Angela Prysock in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1987).
Asked why so many of the Broadway shows that she appeared in were flops, Morrow said, "I've analyzed this, trying to think of why I've had so many flops. I keep coming back to my contemporaries... it was always the ones who could sing but also had something extra, something interesting about themselves.... I think with me, I was just a singer with a big voice and I was pleasant, and that can only take you so far."
Morrow has also appeared in three TV movies: Eve Wister in I Was a Mail Order Bride (1982), Martha Biggs in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976), and Mrs. Turner in Cage Without a Key (1975). She was also a regular on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion.
Morrow's stage work outside of New York has included Parthy in Show Boat (national tour of the 1994 Broadway production), Die Fledermaus, Mahoganny, Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun, Sally Adams in Call Me Madam (2000), Hello, Dolly!, Oliver!, Carlotta in Follies, Sweeney Todd and A New Brain. She also has appeared in concerts with major orchestras in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Honolulu. She can be heard on the 2002 concept album Miss Spectacular, a studio recording of an unproduced work by Jerry Herman, with whom she has worked and recorded extensively. Other albums include An Evening with Jerry Herman (1998).