Ms. Kristen made her Broadway debut in Henry, Sweet, Henry and then went on to originate the role of Patty Simcox in Grease. On Broadway she also appeared as the infamous Leona Helmsley in Mayor, based on Ed Koch's book. Her Off-Broadway credits include Acts of Providence, Trust, All that Glitters, Light up the Sky, The Dolphin Position, Cowboy, The Gig and Marvin's Room, at the Helen Hayes Theater in Nyack, NY, and most recently Save Me, at the Vital Theater, and Blood Orange, at the Blue Heron Arts Center. A member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre since 1984, Ms. Kristen has participated in five one-act marathons and the acclaimed comedy revue Strange Behavior.
Among Ms. Kristen's television credits are appearances on Law & Order, Third Watch and The Sopranos. Daytime audiences will remember her as Norma Gilpin on Loving and wannabe socialite Madeline Thompson on Another World.
Ms. Kristen is featured in the feature film Tinsel Town. Her love of film, however, is not limited to her appearances on the large and small screens. In 1977 she co-founded the Jean Renoir Cinema in Greenwich Village, specializing in independent and rarely seen foreign films. She produced the award-winning short, The Aftermath, and helped to finance three other short films. In 1997 Ms. Kristen was a producer for the film Everything's George, starring Frank Gorshin and Rodney Dangerfield.
In addition to a full-time acting career, Ms. Kristen has been veteran of the music club scene since the 1980s. She was with the samba band PE DE BOI, adding a Rhythm & Blues touch to their scintillating Brazilian beat. She then formed her own band called Pulse, appearing at such New York City venues as the China Club and Heartbreak, and she also opened for Reuben Blades at the Lonestar. From 1987 until 1993 she collaborated with saxophonist Victor Lesser, and was the opening act for Bruce Willis' band, The Persuasions, and for Johnny Kemp at such places as Mikell's, Sweetwaters, The Palladium, Wilson's and The Tunnel in New York City. Since the late 1990s Ms. Kristen has sat in with numerous bands. In 2001 she performed her own music with her band at the former New York City club, Arci's Place. She also wrote the lyrics for the song In a Heartbeat on smooth jazz guitarist Chuck Loeb's current album.
In 1996 Ms. Kristen was the literary manager and consulting producer for the Musical Theatre Works. She produced the musical Him and Her, produced and directed scenes from The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, as well as producing a reading of Leonardo's Judas and a showcase for new composers called Fresh Voices. She works actively with playwrights in their developmental process and has been on the EST Board of Directors since 1984.
Profoundly disturbed by the homeless situation in the late 1980s, Ms. Kristen piloted an arts program (acting, singing, dancing, gymnastics and painting) for children of the Prince George Hotel from 1986-1989. She has kept an ongoing relationship with many of the families and still counsels many of her children, who are now adults facing new and more challenging problems.
Ms. Kristen resides in Manhattan and loves to travel.
Ilene Kristen Facts
|Birthday||July 30, 1952 (65)|
|Birthplace||Brooklyn, New York, USA|
|The Lady in Red|