|First seen||"Pilot" December 27, 1979|
|Last seen||"Back to the Cul-de-Sac (Part 2)" May 9, 1997|
|Appeared in||344 episodes|
|Also known as||'Pollyanna'|
|Occupation||Partner in a construction company
Former member of Knots Landing's environmental board
Former partner in 'Lotus Point'
Former owner of 'Knots Landing Motors'
|Family||Unnamed mother - mother
Joe Cooper - brother
Sid Fairgate - husband
Mack Mackenzie - husband (1982-)
Diana Fairgate - daughter
Eric Fairgate - son
Michael Fairgate - son
Meg Mackenzie - adoptive daughter
Annie Fairgate - stepdaughter
Paige Matheson - stepdaughter
Jason Lochner - foster-son
Erin Molly Ward - goddaughter
Peter Mackenzie - father-in-law
Abby Fairgate - sister-in-law
Paul Fairgate - brother-in-law
Chip Roberts - son-in-law
Linda Fairgate - daughter-in-law
Olivia Cunningham Dyer - niece by marriage
Brian Cunningham - nephew by marriage
Paul Fairgate II - nephew by marriage
|Portrayed by||Michele Lee|
She was portrayed by Michele Lee.
Brief Character HistoryEdit
Before the pilot, Karen Cooper moves from New York to Philadelphia to study, where she meets and falls in love with young mechanic Sid Fairgate, who lives with his wife, Susan Philby and their daughter, Annie. When Sid divorces Susan, he marries Karen and they move to Knots Landing, California where they live with their three children Diana, Eric and Michael Fairgate. Karen gets along with everybody in the neighborhood, except for her sister in law, Abby Cunningham,who joins the show in its second season. She always sees through her conniving, manipulating persona, much to the dismay of Sid. However, it is Valene Ewing, her next door neighbor, who soon becomes her closest and dearest friend. In 1981, Sid's brakes are messed with and he plunges off the side of a cliff. When Sid dies shortly after, Karen takes over the running of Knots Landing Motors, and when Sid’s killers are released in 1982, she goes to see Detective Mack MacKenzie, who is the Federal Prosecutor, in order to get help to try and bring them to justice. Her and Mack fall in love and they elope in Las Vegas. Karen soon gets hooked on prescription pills when her daughter, Diana, runs off and marries Chip Roberts, the murderer of singer Ciji Dunne. When Chip accidentally dies, Diana goes to live with her Aunt Abby and Gary Ewing at Westfork, thus increasing Karen’s dependency on pills. When Mack finds her unconscious in the bathroom, she is admitted to hospital to recuperate.
Karen decides to divorce Mack when she discovers he is still tracking down the Wolfbridge Group, a dangerous crime organization. Karen’s children frantically try to get her to change her mind from divorcing Mack and she eventually forgives him, as she is still in love with him. She ends up having an operation to try and remove a bullet from a gunshot wound, which was lodged in a precarious position, thus preventing her from being paralysed. She goes to work at Lotus Point when Gary makes her an equal partner to make up for Abby’s indiscretion with Sid’s uncle’s apartment. In 1986, an old friend of Mack’s, Phil Harbert, kidnaps Karen as he is seeking revenge fo Mack testifying against him years ago. However, she escapes and is soon reunited with Mack.
When her friend Laura dies, she leaves behind her forlorn husband, Greg Sumner and their baby daughter, Meg. When Karen realizes that Greg is grieving and is having a tough time coping without Laura, Greg gives Meg to Karen and Mack to bring up as their own child. While running Lotus Point with her fellow partners, Karen fights Manny Vasquez, who tries to arrange a deal which involves drugs. Lotus Point then becomes a focus of bad news because of the drug bust and is later sold to a Japanese firm, which is actually headed by her former sister-in-law Abby. Later on, she goes to work on "Open Mike", a TV show, and subsequently becomes a victim of harassment by the shows assistant producer, Jeff Cameron. Soon after starting work there, she receives nasty packages which include an animals heart and a box of flowers which contain snakes. Karen and Mack separate once again when they are called to battle to keep Meg when Mary Robeson arrives claiming to be Meg’s grandmother through Laura. Karen takes Meg and goes to stay with her daughter Diana in New York, but reconciles with Mack when he comes to visit them and return home to the familiar cul-de-sac.