Karen David is an Indian-born Canadian actress, singer and songwriter based in the UK best known for her starring role as Princess Isabella Maria Lucia Elizabetta of Valencia in the fairytale-themed musical-comedy television series Galavant.
Born in Shillong, India in the foothills of the Himalayas, Karen was raised in Toronto and came of age in the UK. At age 17, she won a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she studied jazz and gospel.
It was here she discovered a flair for songwriting and a love for drama, which led her to study at the Guildford School of Acting in London. It wasn't long after finishing drama school that she landed her first acting role in the original stage cast of the London West End musical Mamma Mia!.
Her talent as a singer and all-around performer led her to sign a record deal with BMG Europe, generating the 2003 single It's Me (You're Talking To), which became a Top Ten hit in Austria, Germany and Switzerland as well as BMG's fourth highest airplay hit for a debut artist.
Soon after, she was discovered by composer A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) who, impressed by her talents, invited David to help develop the soundtrack for the Bollywood-themed musical Bombay Dreams alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black. They subsequently created the theme tune for the British drama Provoked, in which David had a supporting role.
In the BBC's BAFTA-nominated Waterloo Road, she played Francesca Montoya, a teacher who fell in love with a student. The storyline generated plenty of controversy, with the series generating over nine million viewers per episode.
Going on to co-star for two seasons on the BBC comedy series Pixelface, produced by comedian Graham Norton's BAFTA award-winning company So Television, Karen David has begun to reap success on the other side of the pond: in MTV's Top Buzzer as a co-lead, in the action/thriller Strike Back for Cinemax, and in guest roles in the Fox drama Touch and the ABC crime drama Castle.
Her film career began with a supporting co-lead role as a member of an R&B band in the UK cult hit Bollywood Queen, leading to a supporting role in Batman Begins, a co-leading role in The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior, and notable performances in the Vince Vaughn comedy Couples Retreat and in the Sigourney Weaver and Robert De Niro drama Red Lights.
She also portrayed a tough FBI agent in the blockbuster Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and just wrapped the independent comedy The Tiger Hunter, alongside Danny Pudi, Kevin Pollak, Sam Page and Jon Heder.
On the musical front, in the wake of her hit 2003 single It's Me (You're Talking To), she released her first two EPs, The Live Sessions EP (2008) and Magic Carpet Ride (2009), followed by the 2010 single Hypnotize and three mixes.
She shepherded the 2013 EP Dust to Stars, collaborating with such established songwriter/producers as Stefan Skarbek, Carl Ryden and Boots Ottestad as well as Adam Argyle & Martin Brammer.
An entrepreneur who launched Queen's Trunk, a pop-up shop in Toronto offering British high street and vintage fashion, Karen is also an avid supporter of charity who and devotes much of her time to campaigning for various issues.