O'Hara in 2006.
March 4, 1954 |
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Occupation||Actress, writer, comedian|
|Spouse(s)||Bo Welch (m. 1992)|
Catherine Anne O'Hara (born March 4, 1954) is a Canadian-American actress, writer, and comedian. She is known for her comedy work on Second City Television and films such as After Hours (1985), Beetlejuice (1988), Home Alone (1990), Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992), and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), and also in the mockumentary films written and directed by Christopher Guest, including Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and For Your Consideration (2006).
O'Hara was born in Toronto, Ontario, into a large family of Irish descent. She was raised Roman Catholic. She is the sixth of seven children. She attended Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Institute, where she first met Robin Duke, who went on to her own comedy career.
Catherine started her comedy career in 1974 as a cast member of The Second City in her native Toronto. She was an understudy for Gilda Radner until Radner left for Saturday Night Live. Two years later, this theatre troupe created the sketch comedy show SCTV, for which O'Hara became a regular performer. Her memorable characterizations on the show included Las Vegas scorcher Lola Heatherton, buzzer-happy game show contestant Margaret Meehan, raunchy nightclub comedian Dusty Towne, soap opera seductress Sue Ellen, and stage actress Sue Bopper Simpson.
In the late 1970s, O'Hara also provided voice-overs for a number of cartoons, which would continue throughout her career. During a short time in the early 1980s when SCTV was in between network deals, she was hired to replace Ann Risley when Saturday Night Live was being retooled in 1981. However, she quit the show without ever appearing on air, choosing to go back to SCTV when the show signed on with NBC. Her SNL position was then given to fellow Canadian Robin Duke, who had also replaced O'Hara for a season on SCTV.
O'Hara began her career on television, apart from SCTV, in the mid-Seventies. She has appeared in the 1976 television film The Rimshots, the children's television series Coming Up Rosie for a year, and television specials, such as Witch's Night Out and Intergalactic Thanksgiving. But it was her performances on SCTV that earned her fame in Canada, which is why she returned to the show, not only as an actress, but as a writer for both SCTV and SCTV Network 90, which earned her an Emmy Award for outstanding writing and two Emmy Award nominations. She also has written for SCTV Channel. O'Hara has appeared in a number of television series and television films, and continues to work in television. During the Nineties, she made guest appearances on Tales from the Crypt, Oh Baby, Morton & Hayes and The Larry Sanders Show. She served as actress and director on Dream On and The Outer Limits, the revival of the Sixties series of the same name. In the past decade, O'Hara has guest-starred on top-rated television series including Six Feet Under and Curb Your Enthusiasm. In May 2008, it was announced that she had signed on to star in the upcoming ABC dramedy Good Behavior. Her role on the 2010 television film Temple Grandin earned her three award nominations: a Primetime Emmy Award, a Satellite Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
O'Hara has also had a successful career in film. She made her feature debut in the 1980 film Double Negative, which also starred her SCTV co-stars John Candy, Eugene Levy, and Joe Flaherty. Throughout the Eighties and Nineties, O'Hara appeared in many supporting roles, including Martin Scorsese's After Hours and Heartburn, with Meryl Streep. She had more notable roles in Beetlejuice, the blockbuster hit Home Alone and its sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. In 1992, O'Hara worked alongside Jeff Daniels in the comedy There Goes the Neighborhood. O'Hara continued to appear in many films during the Nineties and the beginning of the twenty-first century. She received roles in four of Christopher Guest's mockumentary films, three of which earned her awards and nominations: Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration. Her role in 1999's The Life Before This won her a Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. She also appeared in episodes 6, 10 and 11 on the tenth and final series of the UK Whose Line is it anyway? In 2006, she starred with Christina Ricci in the fantasy feature Penelope. O'Hara has served as a voice artist in a number of animated movies, including The Nightmare Before Christmas, Chicken Little, Over the Hedge, Monster House, Brother Bear 2, and Frankenweenie.
On June 9, 2007, O'Hara was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. On February 28, 2010, she spoke at the Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
Celebrities impersonated on SCTV
A naturalized U.S. citizen, O'Hara married production designer Bo Welch in 1992, with whom she has two sons, Matthew (b. 1994) and Luke (b. 1997). She is the sister of critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Mary Margaret O'Hara, though she is a singer-songwriter in her own right, having written and performed songs in Christopher Guest's film A Mighty Wind.
|Rock & Rule||1983||Aunt Edith (voice)|
|Dick Tracy||1990||Texie Garcia|
|Betsy's Wedding||Gloria Henner|
|Home Alone||Kate McCallister|
|There Goes the Neighborhood||1992||Jessica Lodge||Internationally re-titled "Paydirt"|
|Home Alone 2: Lost in New York||Kate McCallister|
|The Nightmare Before Christmas||1993||Sally/Shock (voice)|
|Wyatt Earp||Allie Earp|
|A Simple Twist of Fate||April Simon|
|Tall Tale||1995||Calamity Jane|
|Waiting for Guffman||1996||Sheila Albertson|
|The Last of the High Kings||Cathleen|
|Pippi Longstocking||1997||Mrs. Prysselius (voice)|
|Home Fries||1998||Beatrice Lever|
|The Life Before This||1999||Sheena|
|Bartok the Magnificent||Ludmilla (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|Best in Show||2000||Cookie Fleck|
|Speaking of Sex||2001||Connie Barker|
|Orange County||2002||Cindy Beugler|
|A Mighty Wind||2003||Mickey Crabbe|
|Surviving Christmas||2004||Christine Valco|
|Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events||Justice Strauss|
|Game 6||2005||Lillian Rogan|
|Chicken Little||Tina (voice)|
|Over the Hedge||2006||Penny (voice)|
|Monster House||Mrs. Walters (voice)|
|Brother Bear 2||Kate (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|For Your Consideration||Marilyn Heck|
|Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses||Rowena (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|Away We Go||2009||Gloria Farlander|
|Where the Wild Things Are||Judith (voice)|
|A Monster in Paris||2011||Madame Carlotta (voice)||English dub version|
|Frankenweenie||2012||Susan Frankenstein/Gym Teacher/Weird Girl (voice)|
|The Right Kind of Wrong||Tess|
|Wayne and Shuster||1975||Various||1975 Show #2|
|Coming Up Rosie||1976–77||Marna Wallbacker|
|Witch's Night Out||1978||Malicious (voice)||CBC/NBC television special|
|Please Don't Eat the Planet||1979||Ma Spademinder (voice)||Television short|
|Easter Fever||1980||Scarlett O'Hare||CBC television special|
|From Cleveland||Various||"pilot"; series not picked up
Also served as writer
|You've Come a Long Way, Katie'||Mini-series|
|The Steve Allen Comedy Hour||1981||Various||1 episode - 29 May 1981|
|The New Show||1984||Various||Season 1 - 3 episodes|
|SCTV||1976–84||Various||Main; Seasons 1 & 2 - 50 episodes
Main; Season 4 - 27 episodes (renamed SCTV Network 90)
Guest; Season 6 - 5 episodes (renamed SCTV Channel)
Also served as writer for seasons 1, 2, 4 & 6
Served as writer for The Best of SCTV
|George Burns Comedy Week||1985||Episode - "The Dynamite Girl"|
|Trying Times||1987||Rebecca||Season 1, episode 3 "Get a Job"|
|The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley||1988||Miss Malone (voice)||Main role; season 1 - 13 episodes|
|I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood||1989||Nancy Mae||HBO television special|
|Andrea Martin... Together Again||Various||Television special
Also served as writer for special material
|The Dave Thomas Comedy Show||1990||Season 1, episode 5|
|Dream On||Irma||Season 1, episode 12 "555-HELL"
Served as director for season 2, episode 3 "And Your Little Dog, Too"
|Morton & Hayes||1991||Amelia von Astor||Season 1, episode 2 "Daffy Dicks"|
|The Larry Sanders Show||1992||Herself||Season 1, episode 9 "The Talk Show Episode"|
|The Hidden Room||1993||Laurel Brody||Season 2, episode 12 "The First Battle"|
|Tales from the Crypt||1994||Geraldine Ferrett||Season 6, episode 1 "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime"|
|The Outer Limits||1997||Becka Paulson||Season 3, episode 15 "The Revelations of Becka Paulson"
Served as director for season 4, episode 9 "Glyphic"
|Oh Baby||1999||Roberta Hunter||Season 1, episode 20 "Discrimination"|
|MADtv||2000||Woman on Blind Date||Season 5, episode 24|
|Committed||2001||Liz Larsen||Main role; season 1|
|Bram & Alice||2002||Ms. O'Connor||Season 1, episode 1 "Pilot"|
|Odd Job Jack||2003||Claudia Johnson||Season 1, episode 9 "Broke & Broker"|
|Six Feet Under||2003–05||Carol Ward||Season 3, episode 1 "Perfect Circles"
Season 3, episode 2 "You Never Know"
Season 3, episode 3 "The Eye Inside"
Season 5, episode 1 "A Coat of White Primer"
|Curb Your Enthusiasm||2009||Bam Bam||Season 7, episode 1 "Funkhouser's Crazy Sister"|
|Glenn Martin, DDS||2009–11||Jackie Martin (voice)||Main role; 2 seasons|
|Leslie||2012||Leslie||2 webisodes from the first season of web channel WIGS
"New York, 1995" (2 webisodes)
|30 Rock||Pearline||Season 7, episode 2 "Governor Dunston"|
|The Greatest Event in Television History||2013||Muriel Rush||Adult Swim special
Episode 3 "Too Close for Comfort"
|Schitt's Creek||2015||Moira Rose||Main role
New sitcom for CBC Television
|The Last Polka||1985||Lemon Twin||HBO television film|
|Dave Thomas: The Incredible Time Travels of Henry Osgood||1986||Marie Antoinette|
|Really Weird Tales||1987||Theresa Sharpe||Segment: "I'll Die Loving"
Also served as writer
|Late Last Night||1999||Shrink|
|The Wool Cap||2004||Gloria||TNT television film|
|Good Behavior||2008||Jackie West||ABC television film|
|Temple Grandin||2010||Aunt Ann||HBO television film|
|To My Future Assistant||2013||Magda|
Awards and nominations
- 1982 – Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Show (SCTV Network 90) *(episode: Moral Majority Show)
- 1995 – Gemini Awards: Earle Grey Award
- 2000 – Genie Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (The Life Before This)
- 2001 – American Comedy Awards for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Best in Show)
- 2001 – Canadian Comedy Awards for Pretty Funny Female Performance in Film (Best in Show)
- 2003 – Seattle Film Critics Awards for Best Music (A Mighty Wind)
- 2004 – Florida Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Ensemble Cast (A Mighty Wind)
- 2006 – National Board of Review for Best Supporting Actress (For Your Consideration)
- 2007 – Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Supporting Actress (For Your Consideration)
- 1982 – Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program (SCTV Network 90) *(episodes: Cycle Two, Show Two and Christmas Show)
- 1983 – Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program (SCTV Network 90) *(episode: The Christmas Show)
- 1998 – Gemini Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role in a Dramatic Series (The Outer Limits)
- 2001 – Satellite Awards: Golden Satellite for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical (Best in Show)
- 2004 – Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards for Best Ensemble Acting (A Mighty Wind)
- 2004 – Satellite Awards: Golden Satellite for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical (A Mighty Wind)
- 2006 – Gotham Awards for Best Ensemble Cast (For Your Consideration)
- 2007 – Independent Spirit Awards for Best Female Lead (For Your Consideration)
- 2007 – Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards: Critics Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress (For Your Consideration)
- 2010 – Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (Temple Grandin)
- 2010 – Satellite Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Temple Grandin)
- 2011 – Screen Actors Guild Awards: Actor Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (Temple Grandin)
- Onstad, Katrina (April 12, 2005)"Inductee: Mary Margaret O'Hara". CBC News. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- "Catherine O'Hara". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- Second City Toronto Alumni "The Second City". secondcity.com. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- "Catherine The Great". Toronto: thestar.com. June 2, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- "SCTV Shoots For First". rickmoranisfanpage.com. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- Waldman, Allison (May 2, 2008) "Oh, good! Catherine O'Hara to star in ABC pilot". aoltv.com. Retrieved October 14, 2011. Catherine O'Hara to star in ABC pilot
- Catherine O'Hara Biography (1954–)
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