Karen Ziemba

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Karen Ziemba
Born (1957-11-12) November 12, 1957 (age 57)
St. Joseph, Michigan, United States
Years active 1980s-present
Spouse(s) Bill Tatum (1984-present)
Website www.karenziemba.com

Karen Ziemba (born November 12, 1957) is an American actress, singer and dancer, best known for her work in musical theatre. In 2000, she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in Contact.

Life and career[edit]

Ziemba was born in St. Joseph, Michigan, the daughter of Barbara Marie (Heidt) and Oscar Hugo Ziemba, an investment broker. Her grandmother, Winifred Heidt, was an opera singer.[1] Ziemba attended the University of Akron (in Ohio), where she studied dance. In 1977 she danced with the Ohio Ballet.[2]

Her Broadway debut was in A Chorus Line as Diana Morales.[2] Later, she played the lead of Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street. While appearing in 42nd Street, she was featured in the October 1984 issue of Playboy in the article "Babes of Broadway", in which she posed partially nude.

Ziemba appeared Off-Broadway in the Kander and Ebb revue And The World Goes 'Round (1991)[3]and won the Drama Desk Award.[4] She received a Drama Desk nomination (Best Actress in a Musical) for I Do! I Do! (1996).[5] The next year, she was nominated for another Drama Desk Award (Outstanding Actress in a Musical)and a Tony Award (Actress in a Musical) for her role in Steel Pier.[6] In 2000, Ziemba won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in Susan Stroman's Contact.[7] in 2004 she received another Tony nomination (Best Featured Actress in a Musical) for Never Gonna Dance.[8] In 2007, she portrayed the heartwarming lyricist Georgia Hendricks in Curtains, earning her fourth Tony award nomination.[9]

Ziemba's other Broadway roles include Polly Baker in Crazy for You,[10]Roxie Hart in Chicago (1998), [11] and Belle Hagner in Teddy & Alice (1987).[12] In addition, she has performed with the New York City Opera in 110 in the Shade (1992) and The Most Happy Fella.[13]

She has appeared in several New York City Center Encores! staged musicals, including The Pajama Game in 2002 (Babe Williams),[14] Bye Bye Birdie in 2004[15]and On Your Toes in 2013 (Lil Dolan).[16]

She also starred in the staged reading of Vincent Crapelli's Otherwise, with Beth Leavel and Laura Bonarrigo-Koffman.

Ziemba appeared as "Dolly Gallagher Levi" in Hello, Dolly! at the Drury Lane Theatre, Oak Brook, Illinois, in 2013.[17]

She returned to Broadway in March 2014, in the new musical adaptation of Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway as the character "Eden Brent", directed by Susan Stroman.[18]

On television she has appeared on Law & Order and on film in The Producers (2005)[2] and the ill-fated, never released remake of the classic The Devil and Daniel Webster.


  1. ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/19/Karen-Ziemba.html
  2. ^ a b c "Karen Ziemba" tcm.com, accessed October 23, 2013
  3. ^ " 'And The World Goes 'Round' Listing" lortel.org, accessed October 23, 2013
  4. ^ "'And The World Goes 'Round' Listing" rationalmagic.com, accessed October 23, 2013
  5. ^ "Karen Ziemba, 1996" dramadesk.org, accessed October 23, 2013
  6. ^ Steel Pier playbillvault.com, accessed October 25, 2013
  7. ^ Lefkowitz, David and McBride, Murdoch, and Simonson, Robert. " 'Contact' And 'Copenhagen' Win Top 1999-2000 Tony Awards" playbill.com, June 5, 2000
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "'Wife', 'Avenue Q', 'Assassins', 'Henry IV' Are 2004 Tony Award Winners; Mays, Menzel, Jackman, Rashad Golden" playbill.com, June 6, 2004
  9. ^ Gans, Andrew. 2006-2007 Tony Nominations Announced; Spring Awakening Garners 11 Noms" playbill.com, May 15, 2007
  10. ^ Crazy for You' Closing" The New York Times (webcache.googleusercontent.com), January 3, 1996
  11. ^ Lefkowitz, David and Paller, Rebecca and Ku, Andrew. "Karen Ziemba Back on B'way as Chicago's Roxie, Mar. 24" playbill.com, March 24, 1998
  12. ^ " Teddy and Alice Listing" playbillvault.com, accessed October 24, 2013
  13. ^ Collins, Glenn. "When Homeliness Is in the Eye of the Beholder" The New York Times (webcache.googleusercontent.com), July 30, 1992
  14. ^ "Karen Ziemba to Head 'Pajama Game' at Encores; Barrett Sought" playbill.com, January 28, 2002
  15. ^ Gans, Andrew and Hernandez, Ernio. "Encores! 'Bye Bye Birdie' to Star Ziemba, Roberts, Bobbie and Jenkins" playbill.com, April 1, 2004
  16. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Christine Baranski, Kelli Barrett, Walter Bobbie, Randy Skinner, Karen Ziemba Cast in Encores! 'On Your Toes'" playbill.com, April 15, 2013
  17. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Tony Winner Karen Ziemba Is a Musical Matchmaker in Drury Lane Theatre's 'Hello, Dolly!', Opening Oct. 24" playbill.com, October 23, 2013
  18. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Karen Ziemba Joins Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'; Casting Now Complete" playbill.com, January 9, 2014

External links[edit]