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 1947 Drama, Romance
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
Ben Hur Tirzah 1959 Action, Adventure, Drama
Ben-Hur Tirzah 1959 Action, Adventure, Drama