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an award-winning narrator of more than 250 audiobooks who was beloved for her musicality, color and range, died on Wednesday, January 10 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital. She was 48 years old. The cause was complications from cancer. Born and raised in New York City, Katherine ("Katy" to family and friends) was educated at the Town School (where her mother was a teacher), and the Calhoun School. After graduation, Katherine trained to be an actress in London. She studied at the British American Drama Academy (BADA) and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). After graduating from LAMDA, she appeared on stage in London, New York and Frankfurt. Katherine lived in London for 12 years, but eventually returned to New York in 2000. She played Laura in a 2003 production of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. For her acting, Katherine dropped the "J" from her surname, appearing as Katherine Kellgren. As a youth, Katherine developed a passionate admiration for the audio recordings of Sir John Gielgud performing in the works of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. When her father was ill from the effects of Parkinson's disease, she often read to him. In this way, she gravitated to the world of audiobooks. Over the years, Katherine lent her voice to several popular series, such as L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack seafaring adventures; Maryrose Wood's The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place; and Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness. She also recorded classic literature such as Henry James's The Golden Bowl, Bram Stoker's Dracula, tales by Beatrix Potter and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (as well as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). She especially liked recording young-adult literature. She was extraordinarily diligent about researching accents, pronunciations and songs that resulted in a vibrant, dynamic, fully characterized sound world. Katherine was a four-time winner of the Best Female Narrator Audie Award, and won a total of 13 Audie Awards. Among her titles are five recipients of the American Library Association's Odyssey Honor, as well as numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards, Publishers Weekly Listen Up Awards, and ForeWord Magazine's Audiobook of the Year. She was named a Voice of Choice by Booklist Magazine and is on AudioFile Magazine's list of Golden Voices. In 2017, she was inducted into Audible's Narrator Hall of Fame. Katherine was a devoted museumgoer, rare-book collector and lover of Italy, particularly Venice. She made frequent trips to London to see her many friends. She is survived by her husband, David Cote, her mother, Alice, her brother, Eric, her sister-in-law, Meg Black, and her uncle, Roger Payne. She was predeceased by her father, Bengt, and her brother, Nicholas. A memorial service is being planned for a future date.

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Published in New York Times on Jan. 17, 2018.
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18 entries
January 12, 2020
I just finished listening to one of the books Katherine narrated, and decided to find out a little about the narrator. I was so sad and shocked to find Katherine had passed away a year ago - almost to the day. My deepest condolences to her friends and family. ❤❤❤
Hayley Rivers
July 13, 2019
I just found out today that Katherine had passed away. I am just devastated for everyone- her family, her fans, the authors. Katherine was an amazing talent with few peers. I was introduced to many wonderful books because i followed Katherine's voice . I didn't care what the book was, i just knew i wanted to hear her vibrant, joyful, and brilliant voice. Her performances only could have come from a beautiful heart. I will always have a little piece of grief in my soul knowing she is gone.
Becca Ahlquist
November 11, 2018
I am still immensely saddened by the fact we shall not hear her take on new books. I didn't know her except through her narrations and never thought I would feel such a profound sense of loss by her passing. She gave me such a sense of joy when listening to her. I read/listen to escape life for awhile. I will never again escape so completely. This world is an immensely sadder place without her. She made every character so original,alive and different sounding I am still amazed every time I listen to her narrations. I listen every 4 months or so. God Bless. You are sorely missed.
Patricia Denbo
October 17, 2018
Wanting to write to the immensely gifted Ms. Kjellgren, I was saddened beyond tears to find she had passed. The world lost a fabulously talented woman. One I will be forever grateful for. Thank you, Ms. Kjellgren for all you brought to the stories you read. Your narration and character creations brought these "people" to life and enriched my life by doing so.
You will be missed, but I am glad to have your stories to turn to.
Tracey Padron
October 14, 2018
Heartfelt sadness from a grateful book listener. Katherine added, and continues to add, many hours of pleasure to days of illness and aloneness! Bless her and you all!
Leora Gaster
March 28, 2018
Wowing the patrons at the East Meadow Public Library
Ms. Kjellgren was our guest at the East Meadow Public Library August of 2015. We all fell in love with her-our hearts go out to her family
Donna Ballard
February 15, 2018
To David, Alice and Eric - my deepest condolences.
Sadler Hayes
January 25, 2018
Sad news indeed. Katy and I were at LAMDA together. We were the two sopranos in our year. Many happy memories. I'm so glad she had a great voice career and found love. RIP.
Hellena Taylor
January 22, 2018
Like a huge number of people I only knew her voice or really I should say her voices. She was without a doubt a master at narration bringing the characters to life and feeling like I was listening to a whole cast of characters. Her accents never wavered and her timing was perfection. I wish I had known her but thank you for sharing such a treasure with all of us.
Beth Barnard
January 20, 2018
While I never had the opportunity to know her personally, I was a great admirer of her talent. She was exceptional and she will be missed, by her loved ones, as well as by her many fans.
J. D. Rodda
January 19, 2018
Such very sad news. Our deepest condolences. Alex and Mel Schierman
Alex Schierman
January 18, 2018
Such a huge loss to the world. Her voice has been my friend for many years. My thoughts are with her family and friends.
W Williams
January 18, 2018
My deepest sympathy to the family.
Patty Donovan
January 17, 2018
The Turtil family sends our most heartfelt, deepest condolences on this most tragic loss.

Emily Turtil
January 17, 2018
I am so devastated to learn of Katy's passing . Her award winning narration brought my husband L. A . Meyer's BLOODY JACK series to so many and made his main character JACKY come alive for all.
Katy was so hard working and such a fun person. We will so miss her and offer our deepest condolences to her husband David Cote, her mother Alice, and her brother Eric Kjellgren,
Annetje L. Meyer
January 17, 2018
Deepest condolences to David and the entire family.
Michael Rose
January 17, 2018
Sending deepest condolences to David Cote and family in this terrible time of loss.
Sarah Schulman
January 17, 2018
I will remember your bright smile and unique style. You are gone too soon. RIP
Dana Segal
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