Catherine Oxenberg

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Catherine Oxenberg
Born (1961-09-22) September 22, 1961 (age 58)
Years active1982–present
FamilyChristina Oxenberg (sister)

Catherine Oxenberg (born September 22, 1961) is an American actress. Best known for her performance as Amanda Carrington on the 1980s prime time soap opera Dynasty, she is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and Howard Oxenberg.

Early life[edit]

Oxenberg was born in New York City, but grew up in London. She is the eldest daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia (born 1936) and her first husband Howard Oxenberg (1919–2010), a Jewish[1] dress manufacturer and close friend of the Kennedy family. Her sister is Christina Oxenberg. Princess Elizabeth is the only daughter of Prince Paul of Yugoslavia (who served as regent for his cousin's eldest son King Peter II of Yugoslavia) and Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark. Through her mother, Catherine is a first cousin once removed of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, and Prince Michael of Kent, and also a second cousin once removed of Queen Sofía of Spain and Charles, Prince of Wales, making Catherine a third cousin of Felipe VI of Spain and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.[2] Through her maternal grandfather Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, of the House of Karađorđević, Catherine is also a great-great-great-granddaughter of Karageorge, who started the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1804.

Catherine Oxenberg's maternal grandmother, Princess Olga, was the daughter of Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia and Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, himself the son of another Romanov grand duchess, Queen Olga Konstantinovna of the Hellenes and her Danish-born husband King George of Greece, brother of Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom and the Empress Maria Fyodorovna. Princess Olga was the sister of Princess Marina, who married Prince George, Duke of Kent (an uncle of Queen Elizabeth II); and Olga/Marina were also paternal first cousins of the Duke of Edinburgh (husband of Queen Elizabeth II) through their respective fathers Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, who were brothers.[2]

As of 2011, Oxenberg was 3936th in the line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms.[2]

Oxenberg was educated at the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in Kensington, London, St. Paul's School, Harvard University, and Columbia University.[3][4]

Acting career[edit]

Oxenberg made her acting debut in the 1982 made-for-television film The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana, in which she played Diana, Princess of Wales. In 1984, Oxenberg joined the hit ABC prime time soap opera Dynasty — then at its height of popularity[5] — in the role of Amanda Carrington. Oxenberg left Dynasty in 1986, following a salary dispute after the end of her second season, and the role was recast with Karen Cellini.[6] Though Oxenberg's publicist insisted that the actress left Dynasty voluntarily, several media outlets reported that she was fired.[7][8][9]

Oxenberg was the guest host on the May 10, 1986, episode of Saturday Night Live, making her the only descendant of a royal family to host the show. Oxenberg starred as Princess Elysa in the 1987 television film Roman Holiday. She also appeared in The Lair of the White Worm in 1988, and reprised the role of Diana, Princess of Wales in the TV film Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After in 1992. From 1993 to 1994, she starred in the short-lived series Acapulco H.E.A.T..[citation needed]

Oxenberg was portrayed by Rachael Taylor in the 2005 telemovie Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure, a fictionalized retelling of the behind-the-scenes goings-on during the production of Dynasty. In 2006, Oxenberg appeared in the TV special, Dynasty Reunion: Catfights & Caviar, in which she was reunited with her former Dynasty castmates to reminisce about the series.[10][11]

In 2019, Catherine Oxenberg produced and narrated Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother's Fight to Save Her Daughter where Andrea Roth portrayed her.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Conan O'Brien mentioned in a 2000 commencement speech that Oxenberg is listed directly ahead of him in the Class of 1985 Harvard freshman Facebook.[13] A contemporary Harvard Crimson piece indicates that she was at least initially in the Class of 1983, dubbing her "queen of the Facebook".[14]

Oxenberg's first marriage was to the producer Robert Evans, in Beverly Hills, California, on July 12, 1998, but the marriage was annulled nine days later.[15][16]

Oxenberg met actor Casper Van Dien during the filming of the 1999 TV movie The Collectors, and they worked together again in the 1999 Evangelical Christian thriller The Omega Code. On May 8, 1999, they married at Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2005, the couple appeared in their own reality series, I Married a Princess, which aired on the Lifetime Television channel in the United States and on LIVINGtv in the United Kingdom. Van Dien filed for divorce from Oxenberg in 2015.[17][18]

Oxenberg is the mother of India Riven Oxenberg (born 1991), whose father was not publicly revealed to be convicted drug smuggler William Weitz Shaffer (b. 1946)[19] until October 28, 2017, when Shaffer confirmed he and their daughter India had been in contact for years, even while he was in prison.[20] Van Dien had a son and a daughter from a previous marriage: Casper Robert Mitchum Van Dien and actress Caroline Grace Van Dien. Van Dien and Oxenberg have two daughters together: Maya Van Dien (born 2001) and Celeste Alma Van Dien (born 2003).

While Oxenberg and Van Dien were married, and before she involved India in the NXIVM cult, she was a celebrity ambassador (with Van Dien) for the non-profit organization Childhelp.[21]

Oxenberg acknowledged, in November 2017, that she had interactions with Keith Raniere and his NXIVM organization, bringing her daughter India into NXIVM in 2011 for what she thought would be "a self-help, business-oriented program".[22] Oxenberg confirmed that her daughter became heavily involved in the cult, and that she had initiated what proved to be a failed intervention for India.[22] In August 2018, Oxenberg revealed that India had left NXIVM in June, after the arrest of Raniere, and they were working on their relationship.[23] In August 2018, Oxenberg's book Captive: A Mother's Crusade to Save Her Daughter from a Terrifying Cult was published.[24]


Year Title Role Notes
1988 The Lair of the White Worm Eve Trent
1990 Overexposed Kristin
1999 The Omega Code Cassandra Barashe
2000 Sanctimony Susan Renart
2008 Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Tech 2 uncredited
Year Title Role Notes
1982 The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana Lady Diana Spencer TV movie
1984 Cover Up Michelle Lloyd Episode: "Pilot"
1984 The Love Boat Monika Blackbird 2 episodes
1984–1986 Dynasty Amanda Carrington 53 episodes
1986 The Love Boat Carrie Barton 2 episodes
1987 Still Crazy Like a Fox Nancy TV movie
1987 Roman Holiday Princess Elysa TV movie
1989 Swimsuit Jade Greene TV movie
1989 Trenchcoat in Paradise Lisa Duncan TV movie
1990 Bony Angela Hemmings TV movie
1991 Ring of Scorpio Fiona Matthews McDonald TV movie
1991 K-9000 Aja Turner TV movie
1992 Sexual Response Kate TV movie
1992 Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After Princess Diana TV movie
1993 Rubdown Jordy TV movie
1993–1994 Acapulco H.E.A.T. Ashley Hunter-Coddington 22 episodes
1994 Treacherous Beauties Simone Hollister TV movie
1995 The Nanny Sydney Mercer Episode: "Oy Vey, You're Gay"
1998 Catch Me If You Can Tina Walcott TV movie
1999 Boys Will Be Boys Patsy Parker TV movie
1999 Arthur's Quest Morgana TV movie
1999 Time Served Sarah McKinney TV movie[25]
1999 The Collectors Det Bailey TV movie
1999 Thrill Seekers Thrill Seekers Spokesperson TV movie
2000 Road Rage Forest Service Woman TV movie
2000 Baywatch Erika Episode: "Bad Boyz"
2001 The Flying Dutchman Lacy Anderson TV movie
2001 The Miracle of the Cards Marion Shergold TV movie
2002 Perilous Sasha TV movie
2002 The Vector File Margaret TV movie
2005 Starship Troopers Female pilot (voice) Video game
2005 Premonition Kate Barnes TV movie
2005 Out of Practice Claudia Penchant Episode: "Brothers Grim"
2006–2007 Watch Over Me Leandra Thames 64 episodes
2010 The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation Dottie McGovern TV movie
2015 Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf Reinhardt TV movie
2019 Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother's Fight to Save Her Daughter Herself/Narrator TV film; Also executive producer
2019 E! True Hollywood Story Herself Episode: "NXIVM: Self Help of Sex Cult?"


  1. ^'s%20jewish%2C%20so%20I've%20always%20considered%20my%20sister%2C%20Catherina%2C%20and%20I%20to%20be%20authentic%20Jewish%22
  2. ^ a b c David Lewis, William Addams Reitwiesner, Persons eligible to succeed to the British Throne as of 1 Jan 2011 at, accessed January 17, 2019
  3. ^ Communications, Emmis (June 1986). Orange Coast Magazine. Emmis Communications.
  4. ^ Mills, Nancy (December 13, 1992). "The Royal Unraveling". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  5. ^ 1984-1985 Ratings - Dynasty was the #1 American series during the 1984-1985 season.
  6. ^ Eder, Shirley (August 19, 1986). "Dynasty To Do Without Its Princess". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, United States: Knight Ridder. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  7. ^ Swertlow, Frank (July 16, 1986). "Hollywood Freeway: CBS Gets Ready with New Focus on Bourke-White". Los Angeles Daily News. p. 1 Valley, L.A. Life. Retrieved October 8, 2018 – via
  8. ^ "Dynasty Gives Actress The Heave-Ho". San Francisco Chronicle. July 16, 1986. p. 47. Retrieved October 8, 2018 – via
  9. ^ "Dynasty Will Switch Amandas". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Associated Press. July 16, 1986. p. C10, Television. Retrieved October 8, 2018 – via NewsBank.
  10. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (May 2, 2006). "A Look Back at Dynasty and the Excess of the 1980s". The New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  11. ^ Keck, William (April 24, 2006). "Forsythe rules his Dynasty". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  12. ^ "Lifetime's Trailer For 'Escaping The NXIVM Cult' Shows Seduction And Anguish". Deadline. August 24, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  13. ^ YouTube - Conan O'Brien's Speech to the Harvard Class of 2000.(Pt 1 of 2) Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  14. ^ Paul Barrett (September 13, 1982). "Pictures of Catherine". Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  15. ^ Archerd, Army (July 1998). "Evans and Oxenberg saying 'I do'". Variety. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
  16. ^ Archerd, Army (July 1998). "Evans and Oxenberg untie knot". Variety. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
  17. ^ Blair, Kevin (September 28, 2015). "Starship Troopers Star Casper Van Dien Files For Divorce From Actress Wife Catherine Oxenberg". StarPulse. Archived from the original on October 2, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  18. ^ "Casper Van Dien: I'm Divorcing Catherine Oxenberg". TMZ. September 25, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Bruins, Hein (February 7, 2019). "Descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark". Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  20. ^ Johnson, Richard (October 27, 2017). "India Oxenberg's dad speaks out about daughter involved in cult". Page Six, New York Post. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  21. ^ "Celebrity Ambassadors". Archived from the original on May 10, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  22. ^ a b Kelly, Megyn (interviewer) (November 2, 2017). "A Mother's Fight". Megyn Kelly Today. Season 1. Episode 29. NBC. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  23. ^ McNeil, Liz; Dodd, Johnny (August 7, 2018). "Catherine Oxenberg Says Her Daughter Who Has Left Nxivm Is 'Moving Forward'". People. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  24. ^ Oxenberg, Catherine; Stoynoff, Natasha (2018). Captive. Gallery Books. ISBN 9781982100650.
  25. ^ Mick Martin, Marsha Porter, The Video Movie Guide 2002 (2001), p. 1132

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Prince Dušan of Yugoslavia
Line of succession to the British throne Succeeded by
Maya Van Dien