While it might seem far fetched to say, Catherine O’Hara can certainly claim to be one of the greatest Canadian entertainers to have moved to the United States and then achieved significant success in comedy, acting, screenwriting, and voice acting. The Emmy Award-winning writer is best known for her time as a member of the improvisational comedy troupe, The Second City, as well as for her work in Beetlejuice (1988), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), and the first two Home Alone films. Join us as we take a look at her career and other achievements.
Catherine O’Hara was born on the 4th of March, 1954, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is the sixth of seven children born to her parents, who are said to be Catholics and of Irish descent. Her younger sister is Mary Margaret O’Hara, a singer, songwriter, and actress, best known for her 1988 album Miss America and has also appeared in films like The Events Leading Up to My Death (1991) and Black Widow (2005).
O’Hara received her high school education at Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Institute. It was here that she first met Robin Duke, who like her went on to become a comedian. In 1974, at the age of 20, O’Hara began her comedic career by joining the cast of the improvisational comedy enterprise, The Second City. Here, she became an understudy for comedian Gilda Radner. The pair worked closely together for a while before Radner left Toronto for New York after she was recruited by Lorne Michaels to join the late-night variety show, Saturday Night Live (SNL).
In the late 70s, Catherine O’Hara featured heavily on her troupe’s sketch comedy show, Second City Television (SCTV), as she began doing voice-over work for a number of cartoon characters. In 1981, she joined the cast of SNL but however, quit the show before she even got the chance to appear on air, choosing to return to SCTV where she went on to win an Emmy Award for outstanding writing in 1981 as she continued to pursue other endeavours.
Movies and TV Shows
The other endeavours in which Catherine O’Hara began to pursue after quitting SNL included acting and singing. In the mid-70s, the comedian had made her television acting debut in the sitcom Coming Up Rosie (1975-77). While she went ahead to take other small roles here and there in the coming years, her first major acting role was in the film Double Negative (1980). Her performance here helped her land other roles in films like Martin Scorsese’s After Hours (1985), Heartburn (1986) which starred Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, Beetlejuice (1988), Dick Tracy (1990), and the blockbuster hit films Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), as well as, There Goes the Neighborhood (1992).
During the 1990s, O’Hara appeared as herself on Saturday Night Live (1991, 1992) and The Larry Sanders Show (1992) as she also starred and voiced characters in TV shows like The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Tales from the Crypt (1994), The Outer Limits (1997), and Oh Baby (1999). In the 2000s, she appeared on Six Feet Under (2003-2005), Curb Your Enthusiasm (2009), and the animated sitcom Glenn Martin, DDS (2009-2011) among many others.
In recent times, Catherine O’Hara has appeared in Schitt’s Creek (2015-present), Modern Family (2015), the animated web series Skylanders Academy (2016), and the Netflix show A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017-2019).
Catherine O’Hara Net Worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Catherine O’Hara has an estimated net worth of $8 Million. The talented Canadian, who is now a naturalized citizen of the United States, was able to amass her wealth through her various careers in the entertainment business. O’Hara is an actor, a comedian, voice-over artist, screenwriter, writer, and singer-songwriter. On the singing and songwriting front, which many people do not know that she does, she famously wrote and performed songs in Christopher Guest’s mockumentary film, A Mighty Wind (2003).
Catherine O’Hara is happily married to American production designer and director, Bo Welch. The couple wedded in 1992, after having met for the first time on the set of Beetlejuice in 1988, where he worked as a production designer. They have since started a family and welcomed two sons; Matthew, who was born in 1994 and Luke, born in 1997.