Kari Michaelsen is an American actress and motivational speaker. As an actress, she is best known for her role as Katie Kanisky on sitcom Gimme a Break! (1981–1986). Born in Manhattan, Michaelsen followed her parents into show business. Her father, Arne Markusen, is a singer. Her mother, Roberta Stevenson, was a dancer. She sang on the soundtrack for Sesame Street and was performing in Off-Broadway plays by age 11.