Catherine Anne O'Hara (born March 4, 1954) is a Canadian-American actress and comedienne. 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. Most lately, she has appeared in the 2010 film Killers and the HBO movie Temple Grandin, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award.
Life and career
O'Hara was born in Toronto, Ontario in a large Irish family, and was raised Roman Catholic. She 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 she 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 did voice-overs for a number of cartoons, which would continue throughout her career. During a short time in the early 80s 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 has appeared in numerous films in the 1980s and the 1990s, including After Hours, Beetlejuice, Home Alone, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. From 1997 to 2006, she starred in the Christopher Guest mockumentary films Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. On June 9, 2007, O'Hara was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. In May 2008, it was announced that she has signed on to star in the upcoming ABC dramedy Good Behavior. On February 28, 2010 she spoke at the Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
A naturalized U.S. citizen, O'Hara married to production designer/director Bo Welch since 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. She has a condition known as situs inversus, a congenital condition in which the major visceral organs are reversed or mirrored from their normal positions.
Celebrities impersonated on SCTV
|Year||Film title||Character or role|
|1980||Easter Fever (TV)||Scarlett O'Hare (voice only)|
|1983||Rock & Rule||Aunt Edith (voice only)|
|1990||Home Alone||Kate McCallister|
|Betsy's Wedding||Gloria Henner|
|Dick Tracy||Texie Garcia|
|1992||Home Alone 2: Lost in New York||Kate McCallister|
|There Goes the Neighborhood||Jessie Lodge|
|1993||The Nightmare Before Christmas||Sally and Shock (voice only)|
|1994||Little Giants||Young Boy's Mother|
|A Simple Twist of Fate||April Simon|
|Wyatt Earp||Allie Earp|
|1995||Tall Tale||Calamity Jane|
|The Outer Limits (TV)||Becka Paulson|
|1996||The Last of the High Kings||Cathleen|
|Waiting for Guffman||Sheila Albertson|
|1997||Hope (TV)||Muriel Macswain|
|Pippi Longstocking||voice of Mrs. Prysselius|
|1998||Home Fries||Mrs. Lever|
|1999||Late Last Night (TV)||the Shrink|
|Bartok the Magnificent||voice of Ludmilla|
|The Life Before This||Sheena|
|2000||Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big||voice|
|Best in Show||Cookie Guggelman Fleck|
|2001||Speaking of Sex||Connie Barker|
|Committed (TV Series)||Liz Larsen|
|2002||Orange County||Cindy Beugler|
|2003||Six Feet Under||Carol Ward|
|A Mighty Wind||Mickey Crabbe|
|2004||Surviving Christmas||Christine Valco|
|The Wool Cap||Gloria|
|Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events||Justice Strauss|
|2005||Chicken Little||Tina (voice only)|
|2006||For Your Consideration||Marilyn Hack|
|Monster House||DJ's Mother (voice only)|
|Brother Bear 2||Kata (voice only)|
|Over The Hedge||Penny (voice only)|
|Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses||Duchess Rowena (voice only)|
|2009||Away We Go||Gloria Farlander|
|Where the Wild Things Are||Judith (voice only)|
|Glenn Martin, DDS (TV series)||Jackie Martin (voice only)|
|Curb your Enthusiasm (TV series)||Bam Bam Funkhouser|
|2010||Temple Grandin (TV)||Aunt Ann|
- Finn McCoul (1993)
- "Inductee: Mary Margaret O'Hara". CBC News.
- "Catherine O'Hara". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
...and grew up in a large Catholic family of seven children.
- Second City Toronto Alumni
- http://www.cbc.ca/thehour/video.php?id=2037 Catherine O'Hara on CBC's 'The Hour'
- http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/220072 Catherine The Great
- http://rickmoranisfanpage.com/Articles/secondcityshoots.html SCTV Shoots For First
- http://www.tvsquad.com/2008/05/02/oh-good-catherine-ohara-to-star-in-abc-pilot/ Catherine O'Hara to star in ABC pilot
- Catherine O'Hara Biography (1954-)
- "The Hour - 2 Minutes: Catherine O'Hara". CBC.ca.