Producer Karen O’Connor

photo of Karen O'Connor

Award-winning producer Karen O’Connor has been working in television for over 20 years. In 1996, she was named series editor at FRONTLINE and continued to work on FRONTLINE films, including The Killer at Thurston High (1999), a film she co-produced with colleague Miri Navasky, that explored the tragedy of a school shooting in Oregon. The film won the Banff award for best social/political documentary.

O’Connor left her staff position at FRONTLINE in 2004 to co-produce with Navasky at Mead Street Films. For over a decade, Navasky and O’Connor have defined themselves as filmmakers by their unique ability to take viewers into worlds that are seldom seen and to tell stories that are intimate, original and revealing. They have produced, directed and written a number of ground-breaking FRONTLINE documentaries, including The New Asylums (2005), a provocative and wrenching portrait of the hundreds of thousands of mentally ill people incarcerated in jails and prisons across the country. The film was nominated for an Emmy Award and in 2006 it won the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Grand Prize Journalism Award.

O’Connor and Navasky’s other films include Living Old (2006), an honest and sometimes heartbreaking look at what it really means to grow old in contemporary America, and The Undertaking (2007), a lyrical and moving exploration of death and dying told through the perspective of writer/poet and undertaker Thomas Lynch. Praised by critics as “emotionally haunting” and “remarkably moving,” The Undertaking won the 2008 Emmy Award for Best Arts and Cultural Documentary. Facing Death (2010), described by the press as “a thoughtful, gripping hour of television,” explored the complex and difficult choices that Americans now face at the end of life. The Suicide Plan (2012), an Emmy-nominated journey inside the hidden world of assisted suicide, was described by the press as “moving,” “bold” and “eye-opening.”

Navasky and O’Connor’s next film for FRONTLINE is Growing Up Trans, an intimate and unforgettable 90-minute exploration of the struggles and choices facing today’s transgender kids and their parents. Growing Up Trans premieres Tuesday, June 30, 2015, on PBS (check local listings).

recent films

Facing Death

Facing Death

watch »

The Released

The Released

watch »

undertaking

The Undertaking

watch »

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

FRONTLINE on

ShopPBS
Frontline Journalism Fund

Supporting Investigative Reporting

Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.

FRONTLINE   Watch FRONTLINE   About FRONTLINE   Contact FRONTLINE
Privacy Policy   Journalistic Guidelines   PBS Privacy Policy   PBS Terms of Use   Corporate Sponsorship
FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of WGBH Educational Foundation.
Web Site Copyright ©1995-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.