Wednesday, April 2, 2008

184th Post - Death of Karen Begin/Darian O'Toole

I read this afternoon of the death of radio personality Darian O'Toole. Her real name was Karen Begin, although sometimes she spelled her first name as "Karin".

I met her in 1990 and got to know her a little bit. We went to the same Hallowe'en party in Kentville that year. I wouldn't call that a date, and I doubt if you would, either.

But we did have quite a few phone conversations for about 6 weeks there. She'd go on about the people at the station she didn't like, her on-air partner at the time (she liked him, and he works for a local newspaper nowadays), and the like. I knew she was very ambitious, and felt that she had the talent to back up this ambition.

She left that Kentville radio station in 1991 (I have a thing for dates, ok?) a short time after her second "spat" with Kiefer Sutherland took place. He claimed not to know her at all; she asserted that they met while he was filming "The Bay Boy" in 1984 or so. Footage of background extras on the set of the film showed a much younger Karen, or at least Karen said that person was she.

I have a tv appearance or two of her on an old vhs tape from the spring of 1991. If I can ever find that tape, assuming it still plays properly, I'll dub it to dvd for posterity's sake.

This was a considerable period of time ago, when I knew her and we'd talk in the evenings. I enjoyed those chats. Something like an old boyfriend re-entered her life and she said she'd rather be with him than become interested in me. Pretty much end of story. It hurt at first, quite a bit to tell the truth; but life goes on and things happen for a reason and all that tommyrot.

I still have a couple of hand-written letters from Karen at home. I think I know where they are. I think I may dig them out over the next day or two and re-read them for the first time in years.

Karen is from Dartmouth, across the harbour from Halifax. I am guessing that her funeral, or a funeral of some sort, or a memorial service, will take place there, as her parents continue to live there. If I see an obituary online, I'll post the link in this blog.

People have been googling "Darian O'Toole" all day since the news broke and chancing upon this blog because I mentioned Karen a week or so back. I am sorry that I don't have more information to report than that she died in an Oakland hospital on March 31st from a respiratory failure while recovering from a broken leg.

If I do hear anything else, which is unlikely, I'll report it here.

My condolences to Karen's family.

Bevboy, who will miss the raven-haired radio wench.


Gerry said...


Please post arrangements when you get them.

I gave Karen her name "Darian O'Toole" back around 1993-94 when I originally hired her to do the Saturday night dance-music (Disco) show on Big 98. Darian O'Toole rhymed nicely with "Dancing Fool".

Anyway, after a couple weeks doing the Saturday night show I realized she was my morning person.

If anyone is intersted, that's how Karen got her radio name.

Plus, if anyone knows how to get ahold of Shawn, please post...


Bevboy said...

Shawn Rosvold?

I got a few e-mails from him yesterday.

Shall I tell him you would like to get in touch with him?


Bevboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Jerry Lehane III Mars people animals fossils . I'll continue to post comments about Darian on message boards and since I only know toward the very end of her career and saved her emails to me as we only exchanged info from 2006-07,while I posted to her myspace up until last month(March).I usually posted positive things to cheer her and encourage her.We were trying to plan her comeback in mass media.If any biographers need that info I'm avail Jerry Lehane III (302)731-9930 She was very hungry for publicity and begged me to help her,so we had a mutual understanding.I would help her regain her former fame and she'd use me as a ghostwriter.She would want me to tell all,and I can prove it. [IMG][/IMG]

Daryl said...

Please post any funeral arrangements when you get them.

I was Karen's roomate back in the late 80's. We worked at Magic 97 together. It was during the Keifer days, so life was certainly interesting to say the least. Life with Karen was never dull. I am sure she is clipping somebody with her quick wit right now wherever she is.

My condolences to her family.

Gerry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bevboy said...

I'll try to do better than that. I'll mention this blog to him and see if he wants to post a reply to this. If that doesn't work out, I'll be happy to pass along your e-mail address, sir.

I heard some news about Karen's funeral today from a very reliable source. When it is confirmed in the paper, I'll post the link as a new blog entry.


Gerry said...

Thanks. If you would, please delete my last post. Thanks again.

Bevboy said...

I have contacted Shawn Rosvold and passed along your e-mail address. I apologize for misspelling his last name the other day.

I have also deleted the post that contained your e-mail address.


Krista Guerrero said...

Hi, I used to work with Darian at Big 98.1. There are a few staff memebers that would like info on her funeral. Please pass is on when you have the information or give my email to Shawn.


Bevboy said...

Hi, Krista.

There will be a funeral mass for her in Dartmouth, soon. She will be or has been cremated in California.

I do not have the details of the funeral mass yet. Her obituary has not appeared in the paper just yet. I hope it is there tomorrow.

I will check again first thing Saturday morning. If it is there, I'll post the link on the blog immediately.


Gerry said...


Thanks for the help, I hooked up with Shawn today.

Hi there Krista, say hi to the old Big gang for me.

Bevboy said...

My pleasure, Mr. McCracken.

I will check the paper first think in the ayem. If Karen's obituary is in there, I'll immediately link to it from the blog.

Glad you hooked up with Shawn. I have been getting so many e-mails about Karen the last couple of days.

I hope someone writes a book about her some day. She packed a lot of living into 40 short years.

And, people: Please take some time to read other blog posts not related to Karen. I try to make this blog interesting for all.


craftyone said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Xavi said...

I have to admit this news came as a shock to me. I knew her as the Raven Haired Radio Wench in Kentville. I'd been wondering what happened with her & then today I saw the Frank magazine article. Is there a way that we can pass condolences to her family? Thank you for any information you can provide.

Bevboy said...

Hi, JC. I think it's post #190 where there is a picture of Karen circa 1990. Check it out if you haven't already.


Xavi said...

That picture in post 189 is the Karin I remember. I suspect she used the I in Karin because it makes the name more memorable; either way I will never forget her.

Karen P said...

I was Karins best friend in high school (Prince Andrew High). We met in 1983 and were best friends all though high school and the immediate years after. Although we kept in contact through the years, our lives took differant avenues. During those high school years we were always together. Many memories of our escapades come floating back to me. Karin was always fun to hang out with - never a dull moment - she made life fun! Many stories to tell. Yes, she spelled her name "Karin" in high school too. I will dearly miss her. Karin you were a great best friend. I have alot of teenage memories spending time with Karin at her house with her family. I will always remember her.....

Bevboy said...

I posted the arrangements for Karen's funeral as post #202 on April 21.


craftyone said...

Hey Karen, Long time no see. I will let Jack, Paul and John know about your post as I am sure they will be happy to heard from you. There was always lots of fun High School memories and stories to tell. Take care. Johanna

Joanne (Calnan) Hopkins said...

I knew Karen in High School(Prince Andrew High), we spent 3 years with a group of us that were inseparable, we had a blast, karen always made classes fun, I have fond memories of her. I moved away that summer (military brat) and we lost touch, but I always wondered where she was. I am saddened to hear of her death, she was a special lady, but at least I have fond memories of High School with her.
Joanne Hopkins