Catherine Mary Stewart is a Canadian actress, best known for her performances in science fiction cult movies, such as ‘The Last Starfighter’ and ‘Night of the Comet.’ She has proved her versatility with comedy films ‘Mischief’ and ‘Weekend at Bernie’s.’ Born and raised in Alberta, Canada, she went to London to study dance and performing arts. She was offered her first role in the musical sci-fi film ‘The Apple,’ when she was still in school. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting and got a role in the television soap opera ‘Days of Our Live,’ which was followed by more movie offers. Stewart has worked in several movies, including ‘World Gone Wild,’ ‘Samurai Cowboy,’ ‘A Christmas Snow,’ among many others. Her notable television appearances include TV movies, such as ‘Passion and Paradise,’ ‘The Sea Wolf,’ ‘Perfect Harmony,’ and miniseries ‘Sins,’ ‘Hollywood Wives,’ among others. In a career spanning three decades, she has worked in more than fifty productions, including films, television, and theater, in England, Canada, and the US. Stewart presently resides in New York with her husband, Richard Allerton, and their two children.
Childhood & Early Life
Stewart was born Catherine Mary Nursall on April 22, 1959, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to John Ralph Nursall, a biology professor, and Mary Stewart, a physiology teaching assistant. Both her parents taught at the ‘University of Alberta.’ She has English and Scottish ancestry.
Stewart has two brothers – Alan and John Nursall. Allan is a Canadian scientist and also works as science news reporter for the Canadian TV series ‘Daily Planet,’ and presents the ‘Alan Nursall Experience’ on ‘Discovery Channel.’ John is a freelance writer and producer-director of television series, documentary films, and interactive multimedia.
Stewart studied at the ‘Strathcona Composite High School’ in Edmonton. She studied theater in school, but had no inclination to pursue acting as a career. She enjoyed dancing, and at the age of 18, she went to London for further dance training.
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While studying dance, acting, and singing at London’s ‘Performing Arts School,’ Stewart got her first lead role of a young singer ‘Bibi’ in the musical science fiction film ‘The Apple.’ Even though she did not aspire to become an actor, she enjoyed this performing experience, and continued with acting. ‘The Apple’ opened ‘The Montreal World Film Festival – 1980.’ Over time, it has become a cult movie.
Stewart moved to Los Angeles in 1981, and was offered the role of ‘Kayla Brady’ in the soap ‘Days of Our Lives.’ She was part of the show from January 1982 to December 1983. In 1984, she got the lead role of ‘Maggie Gordon’ in ‘The Last Starfighter.’ This was her first movie after moving to Los Angeles. At that time she was working in the soap ‘Days of Our Lives,’ so she shot for the TV show during the day while the movie was shot at night. This movie went on to become a cult classic.
‘The Last Starfighter’ was followed by ‘Night of the Comet,’ , wherein she played ‘Regina Belmont,’ one of the last survivors of Apocalypse. This low budget, science fiction horror comedy film was commercially successful and also proved a cult classic.
Next, Stewart appeared in the comedy movie ‘Mischief’  in the role of ‘Bunny Miller,’ and then as ‘Gwen Saunders’ in another successful comedy film ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ .
In 1988, Stewart appeared as ‘Angie’ in the film ‘World Gone Wild.’ She also guest starred in various television series, including ‘Hotel,’ ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents,’ ‘Knight Rider,’ ‘The Outer Limits,’ among others, and in TV movies such as ‘Murder by the Book’ , ‘Perfect Harmony’ , ‘Ordeal in the Arctic’ , among many. Her performance in the TV movie ‘Passion and Paradise’ , wherein she worked with Armand Assante and Rod Steiger, fetched her accolades.
Working in diverse projects gave her the opportunity to perform alongside artists such as Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Robert Stack, and Karl Malden. She co-starred with Anthony Hopkins, Candice Bergen, Rod Steiger, and Angie Dickinson in the 1985 film ‘Hollywood Wives.’ In ‘Sins’ , she played younger version of Joan Collins’ character. In the acclaimed TNT movie ‘The Sea Wolf’ , Stewart worked with Charles Bronson and Christopher Reeve.
After the birth of her two children, Stewart cut down on work in the mid-90s to devote more time to her family. Once her children grew up, she returned to acting. She appeared in ‘Life Time’ TV movies, such as ‘My Daughter’s Secret’ , ‘Dead at 17’ , ‘My Neighbor’s Secret’ ; and ‘Hallmark Channel’ movies, such as ‘Sharpshooter’ , ‘Generation Gap’ , ‘Class’ , etc.
In the feature film ‘A Christmas Snow’ , Stewart portrayed the role of ‘Kathleen’ and reprised the role in the successful stage production of the same in Branson, Missouri, in 2011.
Her recent work includes her role as ‘Mrs. Dorothy Phan’ in ‘Imitation Girl’ , as ‘Rachel Becker’ in ‘Death’s Door’ , and as ‘Jill Hanson’ in ‘Love on the Vines’ .
Family & Personal Life
In 1983, Stewart married actor John Findlater, but the couple divorced in 1985.
She married film producer Richard Allerton on June 9, 1992. The couple has two children, daughter Hanna Mary Allerton, born on July 27, 1993, and son, Connor McKay Allerton, born on July 29, 1996. The family resides in Brooklyn, New York.