Catherine O’Hara is undoubtedly one of Canada’s most prominent and loved comedic actors. Raised in Toronto, Catherine kick-started her career at the Second City Theatre, rose to fame with her dazzling performances as a cast member on SCTV, and landed one her most successful career pinpoints as mother to Macauley Culkin’s Kevin McCallister in Home Alone. Years later, Catherine made another great entrance in her Emmy Winning role as Moira Rose on Schitt’s Creek.
The series was co-created by her longtime collaborator Eugene Levy and his son Dan Levy, but we have Catherine to thank for the cultural icon of Moira Rose; Dan credits her with constructing the socialite’s unique personality, from the unmistakable accent to the over-the-top wardrobe (even her bébés, the wigs). In 2020, after their final season, Schitt’s Creek became the first show to sweep all seven major comedy categories at the Primetime Emmy Awards, including Catherine’s win for Outstanding Lead Actress. It was the culmination of a six-season run that saw Moira Rose rise to cult status.
What was it about the oddball matriarch that so many devoted fans latched on to? Perhaps Catherine explained it best herself in an interview: “that self-delusion that we all have, especially in hard times, when we think we’re holding it together. Instead of a futile bitterness, I wanted there to be a weird optimism.”