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I can finally say that another childhood dream has come true! Growing up, I adored Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. Having a Disney role model to look up to as a young teen, who was strong, smart, witty and true to herself, and happened to be diverse, was so inspiring! Now to play her is such an honour.
—Karen David src

Karen David is the Canadian-British actress who portrays Jasmine on ABC's Once Upon a Time.


Karen David was born in Shillong, Meghalaya, India, with what she calls a "Chinese, Indian and a sliver of Jewish heritage", and was raised in Canada. At age 17, she moved to London to study at the Guildford School of Acting.

Upon finishing drama school, Karen joined the original cast of the West End musical Mamma Mia!. She made her professional acting debut as part of the ensemble and as understudy of Ali and Lisa. A.R. Rahman, who had been invited to see the show by the director Shekhar Kapur, asked Karen to assist him and Don Black in the development of the material for the Bollywood-themed musical Bombay Dreams. She performed songs on the show's U.S. and Canadian tour, and continued collaborating with Rahman at his Panchathan Record Inn and AM Studios in Chennai, India.

She appeared in two short television videos, Dancers: The Trailer, playing the role of Jenny, and The Paper Round, playing the role of a policewoman. She then landed a role in the musical Bollywood Queen, as a member of the R&B band at the story's center. Through 2004 and 2005, she played Scarlet in MTV's Top Buzzer.

Her other acting credits include Lyla, a main character in the London-based film Take 3 Girls, Steven Seagal's Flight of Fury, The Colour of Magic, and The Legend of Dick and Dom. She also appeared as the female lead in The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior. On television, she played the Spanish teacher, Francesca "Cesca" Montoya, in series six of BBC One's drama, Waterloo Road. While Waterloo Road was still airing, she landed the role of legend hunter Alexia Alderton in Pixelface, a CBBC children's comedy series about six video game characters and what they do when they are not inside their games.

Karen appeared on American television with a guest role on the Fox series Touch in 2012, playing Kayla Graham. In February 2013, she appeared in the two-part episode "Target" of the ABC series Castle, and later went on to star in the ABC television series Galavant as Princess Isabella Maria Lucia Elizabetta of Valencia, which premiered in January 2015. In August 2018, David joined the cast of the CW's Legacies as Emma Tig.[1]

In mid-2013, she married Swedish songwriter and music producer Carl Ryden at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes, California.


Well it was one amazing magic carpet ride that I will cherish for years to come!! Truly blessed to have been a part of @onceabcofficial and welcomed by such a lovely and supportive cast and crew. Congrats @adamhorowitzla and @jollychan4 for making such a special show for 7 years, crossing borders, and touching hearts around the world. Thank you gents and @abcnetwork a million times over for making a childhood dream come true playing Jasmine. To the amazing #OUAT fandom, thank you for welcoming me into the family and embracing my Jasmine/Shirin. Grateful for your love and kindness! 😘❤️ [8]


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    • So... as the title says I met Karen David at London Comic Con. But she's so lovely, she was really happy that I got a Galavant picture ...
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