Catherine O'Hara was born on March 4, 1954, in Toronto, Ontario, though her heritage may or may not be a contributing factor to the strange quality she brings to her dry comedic style on the Hollywood screen. While the inspiration for O'Hara's forthright straight-faced demeanor is unknown, she is arguably a one-of-a-kind presence in many American films.
O'Hara began acting in her hometown in 1974, when she first appeared on Second City Television, where she distinguished herself through impersonations. She performed on the program regularly during the mid-'70s, and also wrote for it beginning in 1976. Later that decade, she continued her television experience with voice-overs for cartoons, an endeavor she would revisit throughout her career in some notable roles.