Cathy O'Donnell Biography

Birthday: 1923-07-06
Place of Birth: Siluria, Alabama
Wiki Biography: In Alabama until age 12, Ann Steely attended high school and college in Oklahoma City, then worked as a stenographer to finance a trip to Hollywood, where luck soon favored her with a contract under Samuel Goldwyn. Recognizing her talent and appeal through a thick Southern accent, Goldwyn arranged rigorous voice and theatrical training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and elsewhere, gave her an Irish-sounding stage name and cast her in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). This film's success boded well for Cathy's career, and soon she was starred in the now-classic They Live by Night (1949). However, her rise in films was checked when, at age 23, she married 48-year-old Robert Wyler, older brother of director William Wyler, with whom Goldwyn was feuding. The irate Goldwyn abruptly canceled her contract; thereafter she had no lasting association with any studio or producer. Her most memorable roles of the 1950s were in classic film-noir such as Detective Story (1951), which typifies her sincere, believable performances as a sweet girl-next-door whose radiant inner beauty shone through an exterior not quite fitting the Hollywood glamor mold. Her last film was Ben-Hur (1959), and she worked in TV into 1961. Belying Goldwyn's opinion, her marriage to Wyler proved happy though childless. Her death on their 22nd wedding anniversary followed a long struggle with cancer.

Cathy O'DonnellPhotos & Pictures


Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
The Best Years of Our Lives Wilma Cameron 1946 Biography, 0, 0
The Amazing Mr. X Janet Burke 1948 Drama, Horror
They Live by Night Keechie 1949 Crime, Romance
Side Street 1950 Crime, Drama
Detective Story 1952 Crime, Drama
The Man from Laramie 1955 Fantasy, 0
Ben-Hur Tirzah 1959 0, 0
Ben Hur Tirzah 1959 Action, Adventure, Drama