Schitt's Creek made history in 2020 for a clean sweep of the Comedy category at the Emmys for the first time in television history. Part of that haul went to Catherine O'Hara for her role as matriarch Moira Rose. It was the first Emmy O'Hara won since 1982, a fact that might surprise fans that don't know her long and storied career. The 66-year-old actor has been working steadily in TV and film since the mid-1970s and has starred in major classic comedies. For all you Schitt's Creek fans out there who may not be up to speed on O'Hara's greatness, check out the below TV shows and movies starring Catherine O'Hara to get acquainted with just a few of her career highlights.
Fans may not know the Canadian-American actor has spent time working as a comedian, a writer, and a singer. In fact, her first Emmy was earned not for acting, but for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Show (for her work on the Canadian sketch show SCTV Network).
Moreover, O'Hara's improv comedy ability has made her a valuable member in ensemble casts and an actor who ends up in long-term collaborations with both directors and other actors. For instance, it's notable that of the 10 recommendations on this list, three include her
Schitt's Creek co-star Eugene Levy, three are for director Tim Burton, and two are for director Christopher Guest.
Check 'em out:
Saturday Night Live is better known in the states, but up in Canada, the big sketch comedy series was SCTV. The alumni that came out of the program are numerous: John Candy, Rick Moranis, Harold Ramis, and Martin Short, to name a few. But two of its most famous alums are the ones fans know best from Schitt's Creek: O'Hara and Levy.
Now, Netflix is producing
a documentary on the series, which means old episodes starring O'Hara might show up on the streamer too. For now, fans can check out the best of O'Hara's sketches on YouTube.
O'Hara starred in several comedies coming off her
SCTV fame. But her breakout role was as Delia Deetz, the mom of Lydia (Winona Ryder) in Beetlejuice. One of the most iconic films to come from 1988, O'Hara's memorable performance as the wacky artist (including her famous "Day-O" scene) are why the movie is still memorable all these years later. Beetlejuice is currently streaming on Peacock. 03
'Home Alone' & 'Home Alone 2'
Home Alone may have made Macaulay Culkin a household name, but the film wouldn't have had its heart without his mother, desperately trying to get back to her son for Christmas. That mom, Kate McCallister, was played by O'Hara, who then returned for the sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York.
Both films are
on Disney+ as part of the streamer's holiday offerings. 04
'The Nightmare Before Christmas'
Home Alone isn't the only holiday movie to feature O'Hara. She's done a ton of voiceover work in animated movies and TV series over the decades. The most famous is The Nightmare Before Christmas, in which she is the voice of Sally, Jack's rag-doll love interest. It was her second collaboration with Tim Burton, who previously directed her in Beetlejuice. The Nightmare Before Christmas is currently streaming on Disney+.
All told, O'Hara has done five films with Christopher Guest, all of which were mainly improvised by the actors as they filmed. The second of these five,
Best In Show, is one of the more famous ones. A mockumentary about those who participate in dog show competitions, O'Hara plays Cookie Fleck, the owner of a could-be prize winner Norwich Terrier. Best in Show happens to be one in which Levy plays her husband — wayyy before they were the Roses on Schitt's Creek. Best In Show is currently streaming on HBO Max.
O'Hara's third film with Guest,
A Mighty Wind, is a parody of the American folk music revival of the early 1960s. O'Hara starred as Mickey Crabbe, whose famous duet with Levy's Mitch Cohen, "A Kiss At the End of The Rainbow" is the linchpin of it all. The song was nominated for an Oscar, and Levy and O'Hara performed it at the 2004 Academy Awards in character. A Mighty Wind is currently streaming as a rental on Amazon Prime.
O'Hara returned to TV full time in the mid-aughts when she was cast in one of HBO's early prestige series,
Six Feet Under. The show is an ensemble piece focused on the Fisher family, owners of the Fisher & Sons Funeral Home. O'Hara had a recurring role starting in Season 3 as the neurotic motion-picture producer Carol Ward.
All five seasons of
Six Feet Under are streaming on HBO Max.
O'Hara collaborated a third time with Tim Burton on the
Frankenweenie full-length film, based on his original short film back in the 1980s. An animated parody of Frankenstein, O'Hara voices Susan Frankenstein, the young scientist Victor's mother, who is trying to bring his puppy back to life. Frankenweenie is currently streaming on Disney+. 09
'Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events'
The novel series,
A Series of Unfortunate Events, has been adapted for both big and small screen. O'Hara was a part of the first one for the big screen, which starred Jim Carrey in the lead role as Count Olaf. She played Justice Strauss, Count Olaf's kindly neighbor who also happens to be a judge.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events film is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. 10
'A Series of Unfortunate Events'
After the 2004 film failed to spawn a sequel, Netflix landed the rights to adapt
A Series of Unfortunate Events for series. Once again, O'Hara was part of it, this time in an entirely new role as Georgina Orwell, Count Olaf's ex-girlfriend who hypnotizes the Lucky Smells Lumbermill workers.
Both seasons of
A Series of Unfortunate Events are streaming on Netflix.