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Carpenter suffered from anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder which was little known at the time. She died at age 32 from heart failure caused by complications related to her illness.
Karen Carpenter appeared in a music video of the song, "Please Mr. Postman", filmed in Disneyland, which can be found on the DVD Gold: Greatest Hits (released in 2002), originally packaged as Yesterday Once More (released on VHS in 1985).
Karen and Richard Carpenter recorded a cover version of "The Rainbow Connection" in 1980, but it remained unreleased until 2004. Carpenter and Miss Piggy posed for a photo at ABC-TV during the break from filming on John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together.