Thomas James Burris & Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter and Thomas James Burris
1980 - 1983

Karen Carpenter and Thomas James Burris  


Thomas James Burris and Karen Carpenter were married for 2 years before Karen Carpenter died aged 32.


American Singer Karen Carpenter was born Karen Anne Carpenter on 2nd March, 1950 in Grace-New Haven Hospital (now called Yale-New Haven Hospital), New Haven, Connecticut, USA and passed away on 4th Feb 1983 Downey Community Hospital, Downey, California, USA aged 32. She is most remembered for The Carpenters. Her zodiac sign is Pisces.


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Relationship Statistics

DatingJan 1980 - 31st Aug 1980 8 months, 3 days
Married31st Aug 1980 - 4th Feb 1983 2 years, 5 months
Total Jan 1980 - 4th Feb 1983 3 years, 1 month

(31 August 1980 - 4 February 1983) (her death)
In 1980 her mother urged Karen to attend a dinner at the chic Ma Maison restaurant that Karen wanted to skip, and there she met Tom Burris, a 39-year-old divorce with an 18-year-old son. Two months later they were engaged.
After a whirlwind romance, she married real-estate developer Thomas James Burris on August 31, 1980, in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Burris, divorced with an 18-year-old son, was nine years her senior. A new song performed by Carpenter at the ceremony, "Because We Are in Love", was released in 1981. Burris concealed from Carpenter, who desperately wanted children, the fact that he had undergone a vasectomy.
Also, allegedly, Burris was spending money beyond the family’s needs and borrowing up to $50,000 from his wife, at the time. Karen was only left with stocks and bonds.
Carpenter also alleged dealt with physical and emotional abuse from Burris. In 1981, she decided to take a stand and changed her will. She revised her will to say all of her possessions would be given to her brother and her parents.
Two months later, following a public argument in a restaurant, the couple split. In 1982, Karen officially filed for divorce.
Karen was still married to Burris and was due to sign the final divorce papers the day she died.
Karen Carpenter’s funeral was held on February 8, 1983. Over 1,000 mourners attend. The funeral was attended by people such as Dorothy Hamill and Olivia Newton-John. Burris also attended and put his wedding band in the casket.

More about Karen Carpenter and Thomas James Burris
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Relationship Timeline

October, 1981 - Breakup

September, 1981 - Breakup

31st August, 1980 - Marriage

31st August, 1980 - Marriage

January, 1980 - Hookup

January, 1980 - Hookup

Couple Comparison

Thomas James Burris
Karen Carpenter
Thomas James Burris
Karen Carpenter
Age (at start of relationship)
Hair Color
Brown - Dark


Posted commentsView all comments (3)

GARY RUBINJul 27, 2014

its a shame she passed away back in febuary 1983 she was a wonderfull looking woman its a shame she had beleema if she were still here she would have been 64 years old she was great singer as well they just dont have that kind of sound today in the 21st centry

SueFeb 27, 2009

You threw your wedding ring into her casket when you went to her funeral, she cheated you of your divorce by dieing - were you planning to take her for half her money in settlements? you`re a bad man.

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