A delicate, blonde player who has often been cast as tough-talking types, Karen Young is perhaps best remembered for her roles as wives in Joseph Sargent's "Jaws: The Revenge" (1987) and Paul Bogart's "Torch Song Trilogy" (1988).
The New Jersey native began her career appearing in off-off- and off-Broadway productions, including "Three Acts of Recognition" (1982) at the New York Shakespeare Festival and Sam Shepard's searing family drama "A Lie of the Mind" (1985). Young segued to the small screen with an appearance on the CBS drama series "The Equalizer" before landing her first high profile TV-movie role as Robin Benedict, a real life prostitute who had been murdered by a university professor (played by Richard Crenna) in "The High Price of Passion" (NBC, 1986). Other memorable TV appearances include portraying a homeless woman whose family moves into an abandoned TV studio in "To the Moon, Alice" (Showtime, 1990) and as a drug-addicted mother of a murder suspect in an episode of "Law & Order" (NBC, 1996).
On the big screen, Young made her film debut in "Handgun/Deep in the Heart" (1983), as a naive woman who turns to violence after a trauma. She went on to mostly undistinguished supporting roles in features like Alan Parker's "Birdy" (1984) and Adrian Lyne's "9 1/2 Weeks" (1986) before gaining some attention as the sculptor-wife of Lance Guest in "Jaws: The Revenge". Young also won praise as the wife of a bisexual (Brian Kerwin) in the film version of Harvey Fierstein's Tony-winning "Torch Song Trilogy". In 1996, Young recreated her stage role as a stripper in "The Wife", written and directed by her husband Tom Noonan, and had a supporting part in the Sylvester Stallone vehicle "Daylight".