Catherine Bach is an American actress who has garnered fame for portraying Daisy Duke in the television series ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ and Margo Dutton in ‘African Skies’. Since 2012, she has been playing the recurring character Anita Lawson in the CBS soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless’. Originally from Ohio, Bach was raised in a ranch in south Dakota. She was a student at Stevens High School in Rapid City and later briefly attended UCLA, pursuing a degree in drama. Her first acting job was in a production of ‘The Sound of Music’. She had her screen debut in the 1974 crime comedy ‘Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’. Between 1979 and 1985, she played Daisy Duke in all seven seasons of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’. She reprised the role in the animated series ‘The Dukes’, several telefilms, and a video game. While she is mostly known for her television work, she has appeared in several B movies, including ‘The Midnight Man’, ‘Street Justice’, and ‘Driving Force’. Recently, she has done romantic comedies like ‘You Again’ and ‘The Breakup ‘Girl’.
Catherine Bach studied acting under the late James Best. Her first acting job was as one of the children in a production of ‘The Sound of Music’. In 1974, she had her cinematic debut in ‘Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’, which also starred Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, and Geoffrey Lewis. Her next film was ‘The Midnight Man’, in which she played a murdered co-ed. It was through her then-husband, David Shaw, that she came to know about the audition for ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’. When she got there, she realised that the producers were searching for a Dolly Parton-lookalike to portray Daisy Duke. Despite this, they gave her the job on the spot. ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ premiered on CBS on January 26, 1979, and ran for seven seasons before airing its final episode on February 8, 1985.
Disagreeing with the producers’ choice, Bach asked if she could wear her own clothes while portraying Daisy. The producers agreed, and that was how the character’s iconic look came about. She wore a homemade t-shirt, a pair of cut-off denim shorts, and high heels. She was photographed for a poster, which then sold five million copies. Even the then-First Lady Nancy Reagan seemed to have been a fan of it. During her tenure on the show, the producers took out a $1,000,000 insurance on her legs. She lent her voice to the same character in the 1983 animated series ‘The Dukes’ and the 2004 video game ‘The Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee’. She also portrayed the character in two TV movies, ‘The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!’ (1997) and ‘The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood’ (2000).
Between 1992 and 1994, she played Margo Dutton in Family Channel’s drama series ‘African Skies’. Set in the post-apartheid South Africa, the show revolves around two friends, one white and the other black, as they discover new adventures and help each other to get out of troubles.
In the 1987 action film ‘Street Justice’, she debuted as the female lead, portraying the role of Tamarra. She starred opposite Sam J. Jones in A.J. Prowse’s 1989 action film ‘Driving Force’. In 2010, she shared screen space with the likes of Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, and Betty White in the romantic comedy ‘You Again’. In 2015, she had a supporting role in the romantic comedy ‘The Breakup Girl’.
In 2012, Catherine became a member of the cast of the CBS soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless’. Her character, Anita Lawson, is an expert con artist and the mother of Chelsea Lawson (Melissa Claire Egan).
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Family & Personal Life
Born on March 1, 1954, in Warren, Ohio, USA, Bach is the daughter of a Mexican mother, Norma Jean Kucera (née Verdugo), and a German father, Bernard Bachman. She has a brother named Philip. Her mother was an acupuncturist, while her father was a rancher. She is a descendant of the Verdugo family, one of first landed families of California. She spent much of her childhood at a ranch in South Dakota and studied at Stevens High School. After graduating from there, she briefly pursued a drama degree at UCLA. During this period, she earned extra money by making clothes for friends and theatre groups.
Catherine has been married twice in her life. Her first husband is production manager and producer David Shaw, with whom she tied the knot on May 15, 1976. They were married until August 5, 1981, when their divorce was finalised. On August 8, 1990, she married fellow UCLA alumnus and producer Peter Lopez. The couple welcomed their first daughter, Sophia Isabella, in January 1996. She was followed by Laura Esmeralda in October 1998. On April 30, 2010, Lopez’s body was discovered on their lawn with a gunshot wound on his head. His death was later ruled a suicide.
In 1998, she and Lopez had set up a charity initiative called ‘C.O.A.C.H’, to provide free medical services to children and their families living in the low-income sections of Los Angeles. She was named the spokesperson for the World Wildlife Fund and appeared in front of the US Congress to testify for the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994.