Katherine LaNasa is an American actor, former ballet dancer, former choreographer, and interior designer. She developed an interest in dancing at the early age of 12 and successfully choreographed many dance routines during her tours. She studied acting for 2.5 years under Sanford Meisner, before plunging into the world of Hollywood. She is best known for her performances in TV series such as ‘NBC’s 'Three Sisters' and 'Deception' and films such as 'The Campaign' and ‘The Frozen Ground.’ She has made guest appearances in some of the most popular TV series, such as ‘Two and a Half Men,’ 'NYPD Blue,’ 'Grey's Anatomy,’ 'ER,’ 'House M.D.,’ 'Justice,’ and 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.’
Childhood & Early Life
Katherine LaNasa was born on December 1, 1966, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Anne, an artist and Dr. James J LaNasa Jr., a plastic surgeon. She grew up in Audubon Street, with her younger brother, Steven LaNasa. She has a mixed ethnic background and is of Italian, Sicilian, Cajun, French, English, Scottish, Spanish, Catalan, and German descent.
She developed a flair for dancing during early childhood. To build a strong foundation and master this art form, she was enrolled at the prestigious ‘North Carolina School of the Arts’ in Winston-Salem, at an early age of 14, where she studied ballet.
After her apprenticeship with ‘Milwaukee Ballet,’ she began performing professionally. She traveled around the world with different troupes, including Salt Lake City’s ‘Ballet West’ and New York City’s ‘Karole Armitage Ballet.’ She was also the artistic director and principal dancer of ‘Umbrella Forest Dancers.’
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She moved to Los Angeles when she was in her early 20s and was still a ballet dancer. She decided to switch careers after getting inspired by Sydney Pollack's documentary on Sanford Meisner. She was 23 and pregnant with her first child at that time. She found out about Sandy Meisner’s whereabouts and joined the ‘Neighbourhood Playhouse School of Theatre’ in New York, eventually training under his mentorship for 2.5 years.
In 1989, after assisting theater and ‘Broadway’ director John Carrafa, as a choreographer in the movie ‘Rooftops,’ she landed her first role in a feature film, when she was cast as a waitress in ‘Catchfire’ (1990). Her first choreographed theater show, ‘Rocking This Ship,’ was staged in 1989.
During the 1990s, she appeared in guest roles in a number of popular TV series, such as 'Seinfeld,’ ‘3rd Rock from the Sun,’ 'Touched by An Angel,’ and ‘The Practice.’ It was not until the next decade that she got some prominent roles to play. She got her first lead role in ‘NBC’s comedy series 'Three Sisters' (2001–2002), which featured her as ‘Bess Bernstein-Flynn Keats.’ Even though the series was canceled after two seasons, hers is considered to be one of its most popular characters.
Based on her performance in ‘Three Sisters,’ she was cast in various recurring roles, in shows such as 'Judging Amy' (2003–2005), 'The Guardian' (2002–2003), 'NYPD Blue' (2002), ‘Big Love’ (2009–2011), Love Monkey (2006), and 'Longmire' (2012–2013). She was also part of ‘HBO’s ‘12 Miles of Bad Road,’ which was supposed to be aired in 2007–2008. The series was caught in an unfortunate incident, due to which only six of its 10 episodes were filmed and it was never aired.
Her more recent TV works are ‘Deception’ (2013), ‘Satisfaction’ (2014–2015), ‘Devious Maids’ (2016), ‘Imposter’ (2017), ‘Dynasty’ (2018), and ‘Future Man’ (2019).
It would not be incorrect to state that Katherine’s career is divided into two parts: one that consists of her career before her performance as ‘Bess’ and the other after the role. She could only manage to get a few insignificant roles in movies such as ‘Brain Donors’ (1992), Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Schizopolis’ (1996), ‘Kiss and Tell’ (1996), and 'Honey, I Shrunk the Audience' (1994), after her debut on the big screen in 1990.
She got most of her popular works in the second part of her career, being part of movies such as 'The Campaign' (2012), 'Valentine's Day' (2010), ‘Jayne Mansfield's Car’ (2012), and 'The Frozen Ground' (2013).
She was also the executive producer of the controversial 2016 film ‘Love is All You Need.’ She also appeared in the movie, as ‘Vicki Curtis.’
Family & Personal Life
On June 17, 1989, 22-year-old Katherine got married to 53-year-old actor Dennis Hopper, at the ‘Wayfarers Chapel,’ Rancho Palos Verdes, California, in a ceremony attended by around 100 guests. Her father was not too pleased with the union at first. However, he gave in to his daughter’s wishes later. On September 11, 1990, the couple had a child, Dennis’s third and Katherine’s first, named Henry Lee Hopper. However, the couple got divorced in April 1992.
She met actor French Stewart while making a guest appearance in one of the episodes of '3rd Rock from the Sun' in 1996. After dating for a year, the couple got married on May 19, 1998. The couple owned and managed various zoos in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Unfortunately, the couple split in December, 2009.
On August 18, 2012, she and former ‘Melrose Place’ star Grant Show tied the knot in a rainbow-themed wedding held at ‘The Oak Grove’ at the ‘Ribbit Tree & Plant Nursery,’ Topanga, California. The couple had a daughter, Eloise McCue Show, on March 21, 2014.
Katherine owns and operates her own interior designing business, ‘Casa LaNasa.’
She is a vegetarian and loves Indian food, especially “saag.” She also likes trying new recipes of soup, her favorite being the Vietnamese soup “Pho.”
She loves dogs and owned three dogs when she was with ex-husband French Stewart.