Kari Michaelsen (Actress) - Gimme a Break!
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Updated: 8/25/20

Name: Kari Michaelsen

Birth Name: Kari Markussen

Born: November 3, 1961 in New York City, New York, USA

Claim To Fame: Kari Michaelsen is an American actress, television personality, and motivational speaker, best known for her role as Katie Kanisky on the hit NBC sitcom Gimme a Break! (1981-1987).

Family Life: Michaelsen married David Waldock, a Mercedes-Benz executive, in July 2002. The couple have a son named Nickolas. Michaelsen and David Waldock later divorced in 2009.

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Info: Born in Manhattan and soon followed her parents into show business. Her father, Arne Markussen, is a singer. Her mother, Roberta Stevenson, was a dancer.

Is of Norwegian heritage.

Graduated from Beverly Hills (CA) High School in 1979.

Studied psychology at UCLA, but her interest in business led her to marketing and promotion.

She sang on the soundtrack for Sesame Street and was performing in Off-Broadway plays by age 11.

She's the Brand Ambassador and Creative Consultant for Barefoot Dreams.

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Trivia: Auditioned for the role of Jo Polniaczek on The Facts of Life (1979).

Beat out Helen Hunt for the role of Katie on Gimme a Break! (1981).

Michaelsen dated pop star Andy Gibb in 1983.

Was nominated for the Young Artist Award twice. In 1983, for Best Young Actress in a Comedy Series - Gimme a Break! and in 1984, for Best Young Actress in a Movie Made for Television - The Kid with the 200 I.Q.

Although "Circus of the Stars" performers are typically not allowed to keep their costumes from the show, Michaelsen liked hers so much that she smuggled it home and still has it.

Where Are They Now: Michaelsen retired from television work in 2001. Since 1990 she has stayed in the public eye as with high profile public speaking engagements and hosting educational seminars.


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