Karen Sue Trent was an actress born on March 1948 in Buckhannon, West Virginia, United States. She is mostly known for portraying the character Penny Woods in the 1957 TV show Leave it to Beaver, which aired until 1963.
In addition, she also acted in the Garden of Eden (1954), where she portrayed Joan Latimore, and the TV series Shirley Temple’s Storybook, which aired from 1958 to 1961. Today, we are going to talk about Karen’s life, career, private life, and reasons why she decided to abandon her acting career. We have a lot to cover, so let us start without a further redo.
Karen Sue Trent made her acting debut at the age of six. She stepped into the role of Joan Latimore in the 1954 nudist movie Garden of Eden, which was directed by Max Nosseck and written by Nat Tanchuk. Karen was the only child actress who has ever played a significant role in a naturist film.
She later on joined the cast of movies and TV shows such as Matinee Theatre (1955), Leave it to Beaver (1957), Shirley Temple’s Storybook (1958), and The Rifleman (1958).
Even though Karen participated and took on different interesting roles on screen, she was mostly known for her role as Penny Woods in the popular 1957 TV show Leave it to Beaver. Her first appearance in the show was in season 3, episode 36, which aired on June 4, 1960.
Her character Penny Woods was a classmate and love interest of the main character, Beaver, and the character was played by Jerry Mathers. Karen’s last appearance on the show was in Season 5, episode 16, aired in early 1960 when she played a bunny rabbit in a school pageant.
Karen’s last acting role was in the show “The Rifleman,” where she took on the role of Lorrie in the episode titled “Old Tony,” which aired in 1963 and was part of season 5 of the show.
|Movie / TV Show||Year||Role|
|Garden of Eden||1954||Joan Latimore|
|Death Valley Days||1958||Hattie Meek|
|Shirley Temple’s Storybook||1958||N/A|
|Wagon Train||1959||Oma Jean|
|Leave it to Beaver||1960 – 1962||Penny Woods / Cowgirl|
According to a wide variety of sources, Karen Sue Trent had an estimated net worth of around 8 million USD, and apparently, the majority of that money was earned throughout her acting career.
However, since she stopped acting at a very young age, it is likely that her earnings in later years came from different sources. Since Karen kept a low profile and was not a public figure after she quit acting, the source of her income remained undisclosed.
Why Did Karen Sue Trent Quit Acting, and How Did Her Injury Happen?
According to the sources from IMDb, Karen Sue Trent suffered an injury during the filming of the fifth season of the show The Rifleman, which was titled “Old Tony.”
Sources say that in that episode, Karen’s character Lorrie sinks into the quicksand. During the filming of that scene, things got out of hand, and Karen got stuck and injured in a muddy bog.
The filming crew and cast members found a way to get her out of it, but given the fact that she was only 15 at the time, these events were very traumatizing for her. After the incident, she was never again seen on screen, and according to various sources, the injury she suffered on the set of The Rifleman forced her to quit acting.
Where is Karen Sue Trent Now, Personal Information
Karen Sue Trent died on Sunday, February 20, 2023, in Wimauma, Florida. She was the daughter of the late Donald R. and Pauline Crumrine Alkire. She married Richard Trent on May 23, 1970, and they had two sons from that marriage, Scott Trent and Tim Trent.
The pair also had three grandsons, Josh, Liam, and Evan, and one granddaughter, Ava Trent. During her life, Karen Sue Trent was active within numerous churches in Buckhannon and will remain remembered as a caring, sweet, and loving person.
Personal Info about Karen Sue Trent
|Name||Karen Sue Trent|
|Date of Birth||March 14, 1948.|
|Birth Place||Buckhannon, West Virginia|
|Died||February 20, 2023, in Wimauma, FL|
|Siblings||Mike Alkire, Sharon Rogers, David Alkire|
|Children||Scott Trent, Tim Trent|
|Grandchildren||Josh Trent, Evan Trent, Liam Trent, Ava Trent|
|Mother||Pauline Crumrine Alkire|
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Karen Sue Trent still alive?
No, Karen Sue Trent died at the age of 73, on February 20, 2023, in Wimauma, Florida.
2. Has Karen Sue Trent had any children?
Yes, Karen Sue Trent had two sons, Scott Trent, who married his wife Lynette, and Tim Trent, who married his wife, Amy. Karen also had four grandkids, Josh, Evan, Liam, and Ava.
3. Was Karen Sue Trent married?
Yes, Karen Sue Trent had a husband, Richard Trent, whom she married on May 23, 1970.
4. Why did Karen Sue Trent quit her acting career?
According to various sources, Karen Sue Trent quit her acting career after she suffered an injury on the filming set of the TV show, The Rifleman. She was filming the scene where her character Lorrie, falls into quicksand.
The situation got out of hand, and Lorrie suffered an injury when she fell into a muddy bog. The crew and cast members managed to get her out, but since Karen was only 15, those events were very traumatizing, and she was never seen on screen again.
5. What did Karen Sue Trent do after she quit acting?
There are not a lot of details about Karen Sue Trent’s career after she quit acting, as she became a very private person. The only things that are known are that she married, had kids and grandkids, and that she was active in numerous churches in Buckhannon.