Born Karen Sue Levitt in Queens, New York, November 14, 1945. Graduated from Bayside High School, New York, in January 1962.
The family moved to Arizona in 1962. Karen attended the University of Arizona for some time (pledged to Alpha Epsilon Phi), and worked for the Arizona Land Title and Trust.
Five feet and ten inches tall, with red hair, Karen and entered beauty pageants and modeled professionally. She was a finalist in the 1963 Miss Pima County pageant, awarded Miss Outdoor Girl ’63, modeled for jewelry shows, came fourth in 1965 Miss Arizona contest.
In December 1963 she obtained a license to marry architecture student Kenneth Dorian Mayer (born Sep 26, 1942, New York). They were married Saturday June 13, 1964, with younger sister Pamela as a bridesmaid. Their divorce was decreed 18 months later on February 1, 1966. Karen had already moved to Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles she had a short-lived marriage to actor Allen Hamilton, divorcing him in May 1968. She got a non-speaking and uncredited role in the Elvis movie Speedway (1968) produced by MGM. According to her death certificate, MGM was her employer at the time of her death.
May 20, 1969, her parents announced in the Los Angeles Times her engagement to Richard Allen Wagner, a graduate of New York University. Three months later, on at 1.40am on September 3, 1969, she killed herself with a shotgun blast to the chest, in her Los Angeles apartment on El Cerrito Place, north of Hollywood Boulevard.