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Early life and educationEdit
DeVito attended Willow Crest Grade School in Mokena, Illinois and Lincoln-Way High School in New Lenox, Illinois. She appeared in school plays and was the runner-up for Homecoming Queen. She attended Loyola University Chicago and majored in theater. 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 Second City Children's Theatre group, with Bill Murray. In 1973, she was in the cast of the popular play Hair.
DeVito started her career in 1972, joining the national company of Godspell. A few years later, she became the lead singer of the band Orchestra Luna, and through that joined the cast of Jim Steinman's show Neverland, which had a run as a workshop production at the Kennedy Center in 1977.
Two months later, DeVito went on tour with Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman with their album Bat Out of Hell. She is seen singing with Meat Loaf in the video clip of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" and "Bat Out of Hell", synced to the original vocal by Ellen Foley. After completing this tour, she returned to theatre in an off-broadway version of Cole Porter's Jubilee and LaMama's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. She then moved on to playing the lead role in The Pirates of Penzance on Broadway where she met future husband, Robby Benson.
DeVito's second album, Wake 'Em Up in Tokyo was released by A&M in 1986. Her song, "We Are Not Alone", was featured in the motion picture The Breakfast Club (1985). "Nobody Makes Me Crazy Like You Do", was recorded by Diana Ross on her album Swept Away. In 1989, DeVito performed in South Carolina and returned in 1990 as part of "An Evening of Andrew Lloyd Webber". In 1990, DeVito co-starred in the film Modern Love and sang on two of the songs for the soundtrack. In 2002, DeVito sang the part of Elizabeth for the CD recording of Graham Russell's rock opera The Heart of the Rose which had a limited release on CD. In 2016, she contributed vocals to Meat Loaf's Braver Than We Are.
- Is This a Cool World or What? (1981)
- Wake 'Em Up In Tokyo (1986)
- "Dance In My Pants" with Jim Steinman (from Bad for Good) (1981)
- "We Are Not Alone" (from The Breakfast Club) (1985)
- Two of a Kind (1982) - Barbra
- Modern Love (1990) - Billie
- The Legend of Prince Valiant (1992–1993) - Lady Megan, Elizabeth, Princess Sadisa (voice)
- Family Album (1993) - Mrs. DeVito
- Bonkers (1993) - Officer Miranda Wright (voice)
- Phantom 2040 (1995) - Athena (voice)
- O. Henry's Christmas (1996) - Della
- Road Rovers (1996) - Woman Soldier (voice)
- Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996) - Mary
- Fired Up (1997) - Woman
- The New Batman Adventures (1998) - Cassidy (voice)
- Straight Outta Tompkins (2015) - Jane
- "Karla DeVito". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2016. Archived from the original on 2015-06-20.
- Holden, Stephen (January 4, 1982). "ROCK: CLUB SPOTLIGHTS KARLA DEVITO". The New York Times.
- Bennetts, Leslie (August 21, 1981). "SOARING FROM HARD ROCK TO 'PENZANCE' STARDOM". The New York Times.
- "NEW FACES TO WATCH" (PDF). Cash Box: 8. September 12, 1981.
- "Neverland - Kennedy Center - Cast And Credits". jimsteinman.com. Retrieved 2020-03-10.
- Genzlinger, Neil (March 23, 2004). "THEATER IN REVIEW; Words Can Never Harm Him, But Cardiac Arrest Can". The New York Times.
- Mackay, Kathy (October 11, 1982). "Gilbert and Sullivan's Most Improbable Pair? Robby Benson and Rocker Karla DeVito". People.
- Roston, Tom (October 12, 2008). "The odd career twist of a former screen heartthrob". The Los Angeles Times.