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Karla DeVito (born May 29, 1953. Raised in Mokena, Illinois) is an American singer, actress and voice artist.

DeVito and her three brothers were raised by a very musical mother, Vivienne, who, when not working to support the family, was always singing at home. Karla attended Willow Crest Grade School in Mokena, where she was a cheerleader.

Karla attended Lincoln-Way High School in New Lenox, Illinois. In her senior year, Karla appeared in the high school's production of "Brigadoon" and "The Odd Couple" (as one of the giggly Pigeon sisters) she was also runner-up to the Homecoming Queen.

At Loyola University Chicago, she majored in theatre. During her freshman year she joined the Chicago cast of "Godspell." In 1971-72 Karla studied with Jo Forsberg at Second City Company in Chicago and was part of the Children's Theatre group, with Bill Murray and many other improvisational actors. In 1973, she was in the cast of the popular play Hair.

She subsequently became a backup singer for Meat Loaf, supporting the Bat out of Hell tour (and also performed lip sync to Ellen Foley's vocals in the supporting music videos), and later contributed as background singer for such groups as the Blue Öyster Cult and the Sorrows. Later she became a lead solo performer/ singer in her own right, and opened for such prominent artists as Hall & Oates and Rick Springfield as well as headlining solo concerts at New York's The Bottom Line.

In 1981, Devito released her debut solo album, Is This a Cool World or What? In addition to original material, the album contained covers of three well-known songs: Jim Steinman's "Heaven Can Wait", The Grass Roots' "Midnight Confessions," and John Fogerty's "Almost Saturday Night".

Also in 1981, Karla covered the leading role played by Linda Ronstadt in The Pirates of Penzance on Broadway. She won critical and audience acclaim when she went on for Ronstadt during a press preview, then took over the role when Ronstadt left the show. Robby Benson, who played her love interest, became very impressed by her performance. They both had lunch with the musical director and discovered a mutual attraction. They eventually married in 1982 and have two children, Lyric and Zephyr Benson. After becoming a mother, Karla chose to concentrate on her family rather than her career.

One of Robby and Karla's songs, "We Are Not Alone", was a popular hit featured in the motion picture The Breakfast Club (1985). Another, "Nobody Makes Me Crazy Like You Do" was covered by Diana Ross in her album "Swept Away." In 1986, Karla's second album called "Wake 'Em Up in Tokyo" which has not been reissued on CD, featured several songs written by Robby and Karla.

In 1990, she and Benson co-starred in the film Modern Love (1990). After Robby voiced the title role in Disney's 1991 animated feature "Beauty and the Beast," Karla voiced a recurring role in Disney's popular "Bonkers" animated TV series. In 2002 she sang the part of Elizabeth for the CD recording of Graham Russell's rock opera The Heart of the Rose. Robby also wrote a new musical called "Open Heart" that he has dedicated to, and performed with, Karla. The Benson family reside in New York, where Robby is a professor at NYU, and Karla still does voice work.

External links

pl:Karla DeVito

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