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Catherine O Hara Biography

Catherine Anne O'Hara 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; as well in the mockumentary films written and directed by Christopher Guest including Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration.

O'Hara was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario in a large Irish Catholic family. She started her acting career at age 20 as a cast member of The Second City in Toronto. She was an understudy for Gilda Radner until she left for Saturday Night Live. Two years later, this theatre troupe created the television series SCTV, on which she became a regular performer. Her memorable characterizations on the show included Las Vegas scorcher (I wanna bear your children!) 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 many films in the past two decades, including Martin Scorsese's After Hours, as well as parts in two Tim Burton films: Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, which also co-starred O'Hara's fellow Whose Line Is It Anyway? castmate Greg Proops. She played Kate McCallister in the first two Home Alone films. 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.

A naturalized U.S. citizen, she married production designer/director Bo Welch in 1992 and 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 Dextrocardia with situs inversus.
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