Edit
Catherine O'Hara Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (31)  | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (4)

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Birth NameCatherine Anne O'Hara
Nickname Cath
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Canadian-American actress, writer, and comedienne, Catherine O'Hara first gained name recognition as one of the original cast members on the Canadian television sketch comedy--show SCTV (1976). The show recreated itself with SCTV Network (1981) and later, SCTV Channel (1983). On the series, O'Hara impersonated the likes of Lucille Ball, Tammy Faye Bakker, Gilda Radner, Katharine Hepburn, and Brooke Shields. O'Hara stayed with the show for its entirety (1976-1984) and after the series ended, she appeared in several films directed by Tim Burton, beginning with Beetlejuice (1988) and later, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Frankenweenie (2012). O'Hara also frequently collaborated with director and writer, Christopher Guest, appearing in his mockumentary films (three of which earned her awards and nominations): Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and For Your Consideration (2006). Recently, O'Hara can be seen on the Canadian television series Schitt's Creek (2015). Her work in the series earned two Canadian Screen Awards for Best Lead Actress (2016 and 2017).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anthony Ronald Vario

Spouse (1)

Bo Welch (25 April 1992 - present) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Her smile

Trivia (31)

Sister of critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Mary Margaret O'Hara.
She was part of the group Northern Lights who sang the song "Tears Are Not Enough" which was on the "We Are The World" album.
Crowned Queen of Comedy after her years as a regular on SCTV (1976), better known as SCTV. Catherine O'Hara has an almost religious cult following around the world.
A high school friend of Robin Duke at Burnhamthorpe Collegiate in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada. They first acted together in a school production of "Harvey".
Has 2 sons, Matthew Welch (born 1994) and Luke Welch (born 1997), with Bo Welch.
Is one of 7 children.
She is a naturalized a U.S. citizen.
Third generation Irish/Canadian/Catholic.
Wrote SCTV (1976)'s famous sketch "High-Q", considered one of the funniest sketches on SCTV (1976).
Composed the two songs she and her sister Mary Margaret O'Hara and friend Robin Duke performed in The Last Polka (1985).
Owns a cottage (along with her husband Bo Welch) in Muskoka, Ontario.
Learned to play the autoharp for her role in A Mighty Wind (2003).
Gave a tearful eulogy at the funeral for John Candy.
Went to the same high school as fellow Canadian entertainer Dave Foley.
Auditioned for the role of Jane Craig in Broadcast News (1987). Holly Hunter was cast instead.
Received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in June 2007.
Began working at Toronto's "Second City" in 1973 as a waitress. Her brother Marc O'Hara, and sister Mary Margaret O'Hara also had jobs there.
Does an excellent impersonation of Katharine Hepburn, as seen on SCTV (1976). (AKA: SCTV).
Often cast in Tim Burton films. He directed her in Beetlejuice (1988) and Frankenweenie (2012), and she provided voices for The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), which Burton produced. She also starred in _Lemony Snickets (2004) that he originally was set to direct.
Has a congenital condition called "Situs Inversus" in which the organs of the chest and abdomen are arranged in a perfect mirror image reversal of the normal positioning. Most people with situs inversus have no medical symptoms or complications resulting from the condition and it only occurs in less than 1 in 10,000.
Her acting mentor was Comedian Gilda Radner.
In 2013, she participated in "Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton" to perform "Sally's Song" from The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). She received a standing ovation when she entered the stage, as well as when she left.
Pictured on one of a set of five nondenominated Canadian commemorative postage stamps honoring Great Canadian Comedians, issued 29 August 2014. In addition to the main portrait, she is shown in her roles as Delia Deetz in Beetlejuice (1988), Marilyn Hack in For Your Consideration (2006), and Mickey Crabbe in A Mighty Wind (2003). Others honored in this set are Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Martin Short, and Olivier Guimond. Price of each stamp on day of issue was 85¢.
After securing Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern for Home Alone (1990), Chris Columbus felt confident enough to cast actors who were his heroes growing up, like O'Hara after seeing her work on SCTV (1976) as well as John Heard, and Tim Curry and Rob Schneider on Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) because they were all open to the films.
Revealed in 2014 that Macaulay Culkin, her on-screen son from Home Alone (1990) still calls her "Mom".
Stars in two Holiday classics, Home Alone (1990) and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), that are annually given a theatrically December-re-release in several countries around the world.
Has appeared in two unconnected adaptations of Daniel Handler's book series "A Series of Unfortunate Events"; As Justice Strauss in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) and as Dr. Georgina Orwell in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2016).
Turned down a part in Mascots (2016), by her frequent collaborator Christopher Guest, due to scheduling conflicts with Schitt's Creek (2015). It was his first film since The Big Picture (1989) she didn't star in.
Shares a 40-year friendship with Eugene Levy; together they have appeared in several projects: SCTV (1976), SCTV Network (1981), SCTV Channel (1983), Nothing Personal (1980), The Last Polka (1985),Double Negative (1980), I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood (1989), Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), Over the Hedge (2006), For Your Consideration (2006), A Mighty Wind (2003) and [80036165].
Appeared in three films with Joe Pesci: Betsy's Wedding (1990), Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
Her good friend John Candy passed away on her 40th birthday. She gave a tearful eulogy at his funeral.

Personal Quotes (15)

I'm pretty much a good Catholic girl at heart and I believe in family. I also have a basic belief that God takes care of me. I believe in prayer, even though I'm not that religious. I just have that foundation from my family. I mean when you think that you're just a human being and one of God's creatures, you can't take anything that seriously.
I lived in LA for a few months. It seemed like no one there had parents. Or if they did have parents, they would deny it.
I think the success of my work stems from being truthful.
I know. I'm lazy. But I made myself a New Years resolution that I would write myself something really special. Which means I have 'til December, right?
Night time really is the best time to work. All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone is asleep.
I never went to the prom or anything. I got asked by a couple of weird guys, but no one I wanted to show up at a formal with. Mostly I thought about being an actress. I wasn't conscious of wanting to be a comic actress. I wasn't really funny or anything, and I didn't think about it. It wasn't supposed to be ladylike for a girl to joke. To this day, I've found that it doesn't matter what a guy looks like if he's really funny. His sense of humor makes him attractive. On the other hand, you don't hear men saying, "No she's not pretty, but is she ever funny!"
[on doing voiceover work with Martin Short in Frankenweenie (2012)] In a live-action film, the focus is on the set and the lighting and everything that's there. In animation, it's all right in the headphones. As Marty says, it uses a different set of muscles. In this case, we were given some beautiful illustrations to guide us, and I think we just tried to honor that.
I think everyone is born funny. Sadly, some lives beat it out of them. I don't know what allows someone to keep being funny and actually make a career of it. I was encouraged to see the humor in life and have always been around people who think funny, but I know some hilarious people whose sense of humor saved them from their lives.
I started working in the 1970s, when women's lib was a daily subject. A lot of what women were fighting for then is a given now. In comedy it has gotten so much better. So many women are creating their own material. If anything, I think more about being older than being a woman in comedy. (2015)
I think the best dramatic actors know how to tap into their character's humor. I have more respect for those who take their comedy seriously.
[on stand-up comedians] They often make me wonder 'Don't these people have any friends they'd like to work with?' I love being surrounded by talented people who teach me so we can challenge each other, inspire each other. I feel very fortunate that I have gotten so many chances to work with fun gangs.
There are actresses who want to stick to one certain way, and there are actors like me who want to do a bunch of different characters. Don't fence me in! Don't lock me down! I want to do different things! I don't know who I am!
The films I get offered now are little independent movies, and they're way less money than I got when I was getting my first jobs in film.
There's no middle class in acting salaries in film anymore
[on Moira Rose, her character in Schitt's Creek (2015)] The exterior always helps make me feel like someone else. For Moira, I get my hair done, I get my makeup, I get those clothes on. They make me stand differently and walk differently. I explain the voice as souvenirs from all my world travel. I've taken a bit of all the people I've met in the world and I'm sharing it with you. [Does Moira's voice.] "Aren't you lucky?"

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed