Was Karen Carpenter the First Celeb to Die From Anorexia?

socallocal 2011/01/05 21:55:41
Related Topics: Victim, Celebrities

SLIDESHOW: Was Karen Carpenter the First Anorexic?

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Here's Karen Carpenter looking fresh-faced and alive. She looks very healthy here.
  1. Here's Karen Carpenter looking fresh-faced and alive. She looks very healthy here.

  2. You can kind of tell she's getting a little thin already. I think this picture was taken in 1972, with her brother and fellow musical partner.

  3. Again, very lively. She's thin but she's not sickly just yet.

  4. Getting thinner and thinner.

  5. She looks pretty healthy to me here...

  6. Karen Carpenter is definitely anorexic here. The picture was taken in 1977 and she died in 1983.

  7. The worst of times for Karen Carpenter. This photo was taken in 1981, two years before she died of heart failure due to her anorexia.

  8. This last picture is a before-and-after shot to put things in perspective. She's definitely skinny on the right but she looks like she's morphed into a skeleton with the photo on the left. Say "no" to anorexia!

Was Karen Carpenter the First Celeb to Die From Anorexia?
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Me and my dad were talking about the girl who recently died from anorexia today and he was telling me about how he thought the whole "celebrities being anorexic" thing started with Karen Carpenter from the musical group "The Carpenters."

Anyways, I think the whole thing is really sad but it actually made me wonder about what celebrity was actually the first to be anorexic and die from it. Let me know if you actually know the answer -- or share your opinion on the topic anyway.

I put together a slideshow of Karen Carpenter before and after her struggle with anorexia. Hopefully this will put things in perspective for a lot of people with eating disorders. You look better as a human being, not a skeleton! Look at the pictures to see what I mean.
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  • Robemaster 2014/03/27 02:13:30
    Yes, I think so.
    Yes, Karen Carpenter was the first celebrity to pass away from the disease in 1983 and it put anorexia on the map. The majority of Americans had never heard of anorexia nervosa before and Carpenter's sudden death was such a shock that the discussion of the disease that year overshadowed her contribution to music as a legendary singer as well as the world's most famous and successful female drummer of all time. She became the poster girl for the disease for quite a few years. It's time she and her equally as talented brother, Richard Carpenter, be nominated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Margo R... Robemaster 2015/04/02 00:34:52
    Margo Rogers
    Karen Carpenter was not the first celebrity to have died of anorexia nervosa. Renee Vivien was born in 1877 and died in 1909 at the age of 32 famous poet. Irene Fenwick born 1887-1936 stage and silent movie actress died at 49. Susan Peters born 1921-1952 American actress died at the age of 31 . Caren "Sande" Crabbe born 1937-1957. Daughter of Buster Crabbe died at the age of 31. Karen Carpenter was the poster child for this disorder. She is on a list that no one wants to be. I do agree she and Richard should be on the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. Richard has a wonderful voice as well. His talent is so rare. What a gift.
  • Sean 2014/02/14 16:10:50 (edited)
    Nope, I think there were probably other celebrities before her who were a vic...
    Ummm look at Nicolo Richi's arm, and compare it to Karen Carpenter's, and you can tell that she was not that thin (83lbs) in 1977, more like 93, but anorexic by that point, since she was back up to 110 lbs three months prior to this photos date (American Music Awards in Jan 1977). She stayed around the 90lbs mark until 1979, when she seemed to gain more weight and was back to 108 by her wedding in mid 1980. She was hovering above 80bs in 1981 and her lowest was 78 in 1982, and in her photos in Rio in Nov 1981, you can tell she is a similar weight to Nicole. No one would know her weight in that photo unless you were very close and maybe not even then! These sort of trashy tabloid before and after/ comparisons are annoying, degrading and for the most part, inaccurate! My info was from her Biography which contained details from doctors and close friends etc , so would be closer to the truth.
  • Sean Sean 2014/02/14 16:17:44 (edited)
    And to top it off, that first photo that says (quote)'Here's Karen Carpenter looking fresh-faced and alive. She looks very healthy here.' was taken exactly three years later in Feb 1980, and she had not had any treatment yet (got it in 1982), and was only 5ft 4 so people always overestimate her thinness by her naturally low weight. The last comparison photo of 1981 and 1971, makes it seem like she was anorexic for a decade! She had not lost any weight from 1969 until 1975 actually! If she had not died of a heart attack while no longer anorexic at 108lbs, comments on her weight would be nowhere near as frequent. An example of media distorting celebs lives and stories.
  • Michael Hagen 2014/01/31 18:02:43
    Nope, I think there were probably other celebrities before her who were a vic...
    Michael Hagen
    Movie actress and dancer Vera-Ellen from such movies as "On the Town" and "White Christmas" was known to have an eating disorder. Measuring only 17 inches, she was known as having the "smallest waist in Hollywood" in her day.
  • nishka.joseph 2012/06/14 19:13:13
    Nope, I think there were probably other celebrities before her who were a vic...
    she looks health
  • Scorch Rifle 2011/12/26 17:55:03
  • Iren Lopez 2011/04/18 21:48:52
    Yes, I think so.
    Iren Lopez
    umm i think so..
  • Pat Ash... Iren Lopez 2011/07/24 17:27:00
    Pat Ashcroft
    I dont think so, there were others,in the public eye, (ie Princess Diane)........People of very low esteem, who suffer because they are very unhappy, with their lives...
  • twilight freak 2011/01/06 21:10:30
    Yes, I think so.
    twilight freak
    I mean I know of Celebs how are anorexic but non of which that i know died but It may not be that case with other celebs that i dont kno
  • Pat Ash... twiligh... 2011/07/24 17:33:29
    Pat Ashcroft
    If help is given, and taken....people who have this mosyt awful illness, can recover.....but a lot dont make it, they can struggle with it all their life........I have visited France many times, and I have never seen so many ultra thin women in my life....maybe not annorexic...but certainly on their way to being.
  • Frank 2011/01/05 23:17:21
    Nope, I think there were probably other celebrities before her who were a vic...
    There have been many before her, it's a terrible mental illlness............
  • Iren Lopez Frank 2011/04/18 21:50:10
    Iren Lopez
    yes but did they had to be famous???
  • Frank Iren Lopez 2011/04/19 00:36:23
    Some famous and some not so famous....
  • Pat Ash... Frank 2011/07/24 17:37:32
    Pat Ashcroft
    Yes, a most terrible illness, anything can trigger it off..........I suppose the exact opposite,which we are now seeing more and more are very obese people.
  • Melizmatic 2011/01/05 22:32:33
    Yes, I think so.
  • bags 2011/01/05 22:30:27
    Yes, I think so.
    Seems she beat Carolyn Jones by a matter of a few months....
    beat carolyn jones karen carpenter anorexia beat carolyn jones Carolyn jones anorexia

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