Catherine O'Hara

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Catherine O'Hara
CATHERINE OHARA.jpg
Born Catherine Anne O'Hara
(1954-03-04) March 4, 1954 (age 60)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Comedian, actress
Years active 1974–present
Notable work(s) Second City Television
Spouse(s) Bo Welch
(m.1992–present)
Children Matthew Welch
Luke Welch

Catherine Anne O'Hara (born March 4, 1954) is a Canadian-American actress, writer and comedian. She is well known for her comedy work on SCTV and her roles in the films After Hours, Beetlejuice, Home Alone, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, and also in the mockumentary films written and directed by Christopher Guest, including Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration.

Early life[edit]

O'Hara was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Born into a large family of Irish descent,[1] she was raised Roman Catholic.[2] 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.

Career[edit]

Catherine started her comedy career in 1974 as a cast member of The Second City in her native Toronto.[3] 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.[4][5] 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.[6] 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's star on Canada's Walk of Fame

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[edit]

Personal life[edit]

A naturalized U.S. citizen,[7] O'Hara married production designer Bo Welch in 1992, with whom she has two sons, Matthew (b. 1994) and Luke (b. 1997).[2] 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 Guest's film A Mighty Wind.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1980 Double Negative Judith Also known as Deadly Companion
1980 Nothing Personal Audrey
1983 Rock & Rule Aunt Edith Voice
1985 After Hours Gail
1986 Heartburn Betty
1988 Beetlejuice Delia Deetz
1990 Little Vegas Lexie
1990 Dick Tracy Texie Garcia
1990 Betsy's Wedding Gloria Henner
1990 Home Alone Kate McCallister
1992 There Goes the Neighborhood Jessica Lodge Also known as – Paydirt
1992 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Kate McCallister
1993 The Nightmare Before Christmas Sally & Shock Voice
1994 The Paper Susan
1994 Wyatt Earp Allie Earp
1994 A Simple Twist of Fate April Simon
1995 Tall Tale Calamity Jane
1996 Waiting for Guffman Sheila Albertson
1996 The Last of the High Kings Cathleen
1997 Pippi Longstocking Mrs. Prysselius Voice
1998 Home Fries Beatrice Lever
1999 The Life Before This Sheena Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
1999 Bartok the Magnificent Ludmilla Voice; direct to video
2000 Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big Voice; short film
2000 Best in Show Cookie Fleck American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Canadian Comedy Award for Film – Pretty Funny Female Performance
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2001 Speaking of Sex Connie Barker
2002 Orange County Cindy Beugler
2003 A Mighty Wind Mickey Crabbe Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast
Seattle Film Critics Award for Best Music
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2004 Surviving Christmas Christine Valco
2004 Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Justice Strauss
2005 Game 6 Lillian Rogan
2005 Chicken Little Tina Voice
2006 Over the Hedge Penny Voice
2006 Monster House Mom Voice
2006 Brother Bear 2 Kata Voice; direct-to-Video
2006 Penelope Jessica Wilhern
2006 For Your Consideration Marilyn Hack Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Online Award for Best Supporting Actress (tied with Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls)
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress (3rd place)
2006 Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses Rowena Voice; direct-to-video
2009 Away We Go Gloria Farlander
2009 Where the Wild Things Are[8] Judith Voice
2010 Killers Mrs. Koenfeldt
2010 Winx Club 3D: Magical Adventure Roxy
2011 Un monstre à Paris Madame Carlotta Voice
2012 Frankenweenie Susan Frankenstein / Gym Teacher / Weird Girl Voice
2013 A.C.O.D. Melissa
2013 The Right Kind of Wrong Tess Post-prduction
2013 Rememory Carolyn Filming
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1976 The Rimshots Television film
1976–1977 Coming Up Rosie Myrna Wallbacker
1978 Witch's Night Out Malicious Voice; television film/television special
1976–1979 SCTV Various 50 episodes
1979 Intergalactic Thanksgiving Ma Spademinder Voice; television short
1980 You've Come a Long Way, Katie Mini-series
1980 Easter Fever Scarlett O'Hare Voice
1980 From Cleveland Various Television film
1981 The Steve Allen Comedy Hour Various 1 episode
1981–1982 SCTV Network 90 Various 27 episodes
1984 The New Show Various 3 episodes
1983–1984 SCTV Channel Various 5 episodes
1985 The Last Polka Lemon Twin Television film
1985 George Burns Comedy Week Episode: "The Dynamite Girl"
1986 Dave Thomas: The Incredible Time Travels of Henry Osgood Marie Antoinette Television film
1987 Really Weird Tales Theresa Sharpe Segment: "I'll Die Loving"
1987 Trying Times Rebecca Episode: "Get a Job"
1988 The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley Miss Malone 13 episodes
1989 I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood Nancy Mae Television film
1989 Andrea Martin... Together Again Dee Lee
Jane
Kitten
Holly Faun
Marcie
Television film
1990 The Dave Thomas Comedy Show 1 episode
1990 Dream On Irma Episode: "555-HELL"
1991 Morton & Hayes Amelia Von Astor
Mimi Von Astor
Episode: "Daffy Dicks"
1991–1992 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: 16.17(Musical Guest R.E.M) 18.5(Musical Guest 10,000 Maniacs)
1992 The Larry Sanders Show Herself Episode: "Talk Show"
1993 The Hidden Room Laurel Brody Episode: "The First Battle"
1994 Tales from the Crypt Gearldine Ferrett Episode: "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime"
1997 The Outer Limits Becka Paulson Episode: "The Revelations of 'Becka Paulson"
Nominated — Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role in a Dramatic Series
1997 Hope Muriel Macswain Television film
1998 Whose Line Is It Anyway? Herself Improv comedy game show. Episodes six, ten and eleven of series ten.
1999 Oh Baby Roberta Hunter Episode: "Discrimination"
1999 Late Last Night Shrink Television film
2000 MADtv Woman on Blind Date 1 episode
2001 Committed Liz Larsen
2002 Bram & Alice Ms. O'Connor Episode: "Pilot"
2003 Odd Job Jack Claudia Johnson Episode: "Broke & Broker"
2004 The Wool Cap Gloria Television film
2003–2005 Six Feet Under Carol Ward 4 episodes
2008 Good Behavior Jackie West Television film
2009 Curb Your Enthusiasm Bam Bam Episode: "Funkhouser's Crazy Sister"
2009 Made in Hollywood Herself Episode: #5.4
2010 Temple Grandin Aunt Ann Television film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2011 Producing Parker Irene Kovak Guest role, 1 episode.
2009–2011 Glenn Martin, DDS Jackie Martin 38 episodes
2012 30 Rock Mrs. Parcell Guest role
2012 Leslie Leslie Episodes: "New York, 1995 – Part 1"; "New York, 1995 – Part 2"
2012–2013 Jake and the Never Land Pirates Miss Jacques Voice role
2013 To My Future Assistant Magda Television film
2015 Schitt's Creek Moira Rose Lead role
Director
Year Title Notes
1991 Dream On Episode: "And Your Little Dog, Too"
1998 The Outer Limits Episode: "Glyphic"
Writer
Year Title Notes
1976–1979 SCTV 52 episodes
1980 From Cleveland Television film
1981–1982 SCTV Network 90 28 episodes
Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Show (SCTV Network 90)
Nominated — Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program (SCTV Network 90)
1983–1984 SCTV Channel 3 episodes
1987 Really Weird Tales Television film; segment: "I'll Die Loving You"
1988 The Best of SCTV
1989 Andrea Martin... Together Again Television film; special material

Awards and nominations[edit]

Wins[edit]

Nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Onstad, Katrina (April 12, 2005)"Inductee: Mary Margaret O'Hara". CBC News. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Catherine O'Hara". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved August 12, 2010. 
  3. ^ Second City Toronto Alumni "The Second City". secondcity.com. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Catherine The Great". thestar.com. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  5. ^ "SCTV Shoots For First". rickmoranisfanpage.com. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ Catherine O'Hara Biography (1954–)
  8. ^ "O'Hara calls up her inner Wild Thing". CBC News. October 16, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 

External links[edit]