Catherine O'Hara

“Insecurity is such a waste of time.”

Catherine O’Hara, Canadian actress and screenwriter, 1954

Born in Toronto and best known for her Emmy-winning performance as the hilarious former soap opera actress Moira Rose on Schitt’s Creek, Catherine O’Hara is not just a talented comedienne, but she has also won an Emmy for her writing on the ground breaking Canadian sketch comedy series SCTV

O’Hara grew up in a large, Catholic family in Etobicoke. She has said they were raised to make each other laugh. Although she was popular, she never attended her high school prom. After graduating, in a well-calculated move, O’Hara got a job waitressing and the improv comedy club Second City Theatre. Before long she was named understudy to Gilda Radner, and she joined the club at age 20. Known for her uncanny celebrity impersonations, she was part of the original cast of the SCTV in 1976. After the show was picked up in the United States, the exposure led to a stint at Saturday Night Live. She met American set designer Bo Welch and moved to Los Angeles. They married in 1992 and had two sons.

Over the years O’Hara has appeared in countless comedic roles, most memorably as the frazzled mother in Home Alone, as an unwelcome house guest in Beetlejuice, and as one half of an aging hippie folk-singer couple (with Eugene Levy) in Best in Show. She also has a large body of voiceover work, including playing one of the monsters in Where the Wild Things Are.

O’Hara was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017, and she received the Governor General’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award in 2020.


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