Karen Duffy

Karen Duffy

Born: May 23, 1962
Age: 61
Birthplace: Queens, New York, U.S.
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Karen "Duff" Duffy (born May 23, 1962) is an American writer, model, television personality, and actress. She is a certified hospital chaplain, a former Coney Island Mermaid Queen, one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" in 1993,[1] and winner of the Ernest Borgnine Look-Alike Contest.[2] In 1995, Duffy was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease sarcoidosis called neurosarcoidosis. Since then, she's written two books about her experience living with chronic pain and is a member of the Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Pain Patients.

Duffy was born in New York City, the daughter of Carol, a homemaker, and Phil, a developer.[3] She attended Park Ridge High School in Park Ridge, New Jersey, graduating in 1979. She received a bachelor's degree in recreational therapy from the University of Colorado at Boulder.


Film and television career

By 1989, Duffy was modeling and appearing in television commercials. She was a VJ for MTV in the early 1990s, under the name "Duff." She had small roles in a handful of films including Dumb and Dumber and Blank Check, and by 1995 was working as a correspondent for documentary filmmaker Michael Moore on his television shows TV Nation and The Awful Truth.[4] She also was a Revlon "Charlie Girl" as well as the face of Almay Cosmetics, and co-hosted the pay-per-view television event, Elvis: The Tribute from the Memphis Pyramid in 1994 with Kris Kristofferson.

In 2006, Duffy hosted House of Tiny Terrors on TLC.[5] On July 7, 2007, she appeared on the Live Earth telecast on the Bravo Channel as a co-host at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey.

In 2008, Duffy began working with New York City's NYC Media on a series of emergency preparedness videos.[6] The videos, which mimic the style of the network TV show Secrets of New York, help raise awareness of the perils of natural disasters and preventative actions families should take to prepare for them.

Writing and Speaking on Sarcoidosis

In 1995, Duffy was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease sarcoidosis called neurosarcoidosis. Her brain and spinal cord were affected, leaving her partially paralyzed.

Duffy is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Model Patient: My Life as an Incurable Wise-Ass. In her latest book, Backbone: Living With Chronic Pain Without Turning Into One, she describes her ongoing incurable disease and constant pain, using humor and acceptance of her condition to cope. She was inspired to write the second book by Lord Byron, who wrote "Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine."

Her articles on a wide range of subjects have appeared in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times[7] and Oprah Magazine.[8] She spoke at the 2018 US Pain Foundation annual gala.[9]

Personal life

She married John Lambros in 1997. They have one son, Jack "Lefty" Lambros.


Year Film Role Notes
1991 McBain Crack Den Girl Film Debut
29th Street Maria Rios
1992 Malcolm X Sophia's Friend
1993 Who's the Man? Officer Day
Last Action Hero Herself
1994 Blank Check Shay Stanley
Reality Bites Elaina (actress)
Dumb & Dumber J.P. Shay
1996 Memory Run Celeste/Josette
1997 Nothing Sacred Unknown Role
Fool's Paradise DJ
Meet Wally Sparks Reporter #3
1998 Celebrity TV Reporter at Premiere
1999 The 24 Hour Woman Margo Lynn
2002 A Smile Gone, But Where Woman
2006 Crafty Host TV Movie
2009 Fantastic Mr. Fox Linda Otter Voice
Year Title Role Notes
1991 Fade to Black Unknown Role Unknown episode(s)
1997 The Big Easy Wanda Fallon 1 episode
1999-2002 Pepper Ann Sketch Recurring Role


  • Karen Duffy. Model Patient: My Life as an Incurable Wise-Ass. 2001. ISBN 0-06-095727-1.
  • Karen Duffy. A Slob in the Kitchen. 2004. ISBN 1-4000-5115-0.
  • Karen Duffy. Backbone: Living With Chronic Pain Without Turning Into One. ISBN 1628727950

Karen Duffy supports the following charitable causes: Breast Cancer, Cancer, Sarcoidosis.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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