Catherine Oxenberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Catherine Oxenberg
Catherine Oxenberg 1987.jpg
Oxenberg in 1987
Born (1961-09-22) September 22, 1961 (age 60)
New York City, U.S.
Years active1982–present
Children3 (including India)
FamilyChristina Oxenberg (sister)

Catherine Oxenberg (born September 22, 1961) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Amanda Carrington on the 1980s prime time soap opera Dynasty. Oxenberg is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and Howard Oxenberg. She twice played Diana, Princess of Wales on screen, in The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana (1982) and Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After (1992) and has appeared in many other films.

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 maternal grandmother, 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. Princess Olga was the sister of Princess Marina, who married Prince George, Duke of Kent (an uncle of Queen Elizabeth II); and Olga and 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]

Film and television[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]

In the Class of 1985 Harvard freshman face book, Oxenberg is listed directly ahead of Conan O'Brien.[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]

In June 1991, Oxenberg had a daughter, India Riven Oxenberg, whose father was later revealed to be the convicted drug smuggler William Weitz Shaffer.[15] Shaffer and India were in contact during her childhood, even while he was in prison.[16] In December 1992, Oxenberg was living with her daughter in Coldwater Canyon.[17]

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.[18][19]

Oxenberg met the actor Casper Van Dien during the filming of the 1999 TV movie The Collectors, and they worked together again the same year in the Evangelical Christian thriller The Omega Code. On May 8, 1999, they were married at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Van Dien had a son and a daughter from a previous marriage, Casper Robert Mitchum Van Dien and Caroline Grace Van Dien. Van Dien and Oxenberg have two daughters, Amanda Maya Van Dien (2001) and Celeste Alma Van Dien (2003). 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.[20][21]

While Oxenberg and Van Dien were married, and before India joined NXIVM, Oxenberg and Van Dien were celebrity ambassadors for the non-profit organization Childhelp.[22]

Oxenberg acknowledged, in November 2017, that she had 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".[23] 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.[23] In August 2018, Oxenberg revealed that India had left NXIVM in June, after the arrest of Raniere, and they were working on their relationship.[24] In August 2018, Oxenberg's book Captive: A Mother's Crusade to Save Her Daughter from a Terrifying Cult co-written by former People Magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff[25] was published.[26]

In 2020, Oxenberg was featured in The Vow, a documentary series for HBO, directed by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, which follows Oxenberg’s attempts to rescue her daughter India.[27] Oxenberg also appears in Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult a documentary series for Starz, directed by Cecilia Peck and Inbal B. Lessner, which features India speaking out about her experiences for the first time.[28]


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
2014 Sleeping Beauty Queen Violet
2020 Acquitted by Faith Beth Stills
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[29]
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 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 or Sex Cult?"
2020 The Vow Herself 7 episodes
2020 Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult Herself 4 episodes

For playing Amanda Carrington, Oxenberg won two Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1985, for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Outstanding Female Newcomer.[30]


Through her maternal grandfather, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia of the House of Karađorđević, Catherine Oxenberg is a great-great-great-granddaughter of Karađorđe, who started the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1804. Her 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.[2]


  1. ^ Mason, Christopher (1997). "Royals Rule". New York: 28. Christina Oxenberg: Dad's jewish, so I've always considered my sister Catherine and I to be authentic Jewish princesses.
  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 Commencement Speech to the Harvard Class of 2000 (Part 1 of 2) Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  14. ^ Paul Barrett (September 13, 1982). "Pictures of Catherine". Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  15. ^ Bruins, Hein (February 7, 2019). "Descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark". Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Scott, Vernon (December 5, 1992). "Catherine Oxenberg doesn't plan to make a career of..." United Press International. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  18. ^ Archerd, Army (July 1998). "Evans and Oxenberg saying 'I do'". Variety. Archived from the original on December 6, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
  19. ^ Archerd, Army (July 1998). "Evans and Oxenberg untie knot". Variety. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "Casper Van Dien: I'm Divorcing Catherine Oxenberg". TMZ. September 25, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  22. ^ "Celebrity Ambassadors". Archived from the original on May 10, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  23. ^ a b Kelly, Megyn (interviewer) (November 2, 2017). "A Mother's Fight". Megyn Kelly Today. Season 1. Episode 29. NBC. Retrieved February 8, 2019. {{cite episode}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  24. ^ McNeil, Liz; Dodd, Johnny (August 7, 2018). "Catherine Oxenberg Says Her Daughter Who Has Left Nxivm Is 'Moving Forward'". People. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  25. ^ Oxenberg, Catherine (July 2, 2019). Captive. ISBN 9781982100667.
  26. ^ Oxenberg, Catherine; Stoynoff, Natasha (2018). Captive. Gallery Books. ISBN 9781982100650.
  27. ^ Dickson, EJ (August 21, 2020). "How HBO's The Vow Tells the Non-Sex-Cult Side of NXIVM". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  28. ^ Pederson, Erik (October 13, 2020). "Seduced: Inside The NXIVM Cult: Trailer & Premiere Date For Four-Part Starz Docuseries". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  29. ^ Mick Martin, Marsha Porter, The Video Movie Guide 2002 (2001), p. 1132
  30. ^ "The Soap Opera Digest Awards History". Soap Opera Digest. Archived from the original on April 15, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2018 – via

External links[edit]

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