Kathleen Wilhoite is an American actress who is popularly known for playing the character of ‘Arabella McGee’ in the American 1986 thriller film ‘Murphy's Law’ directed by J. Lee Thompson. She worked in many films and television shows, either in lead or in second lead roles, in the 1980s. Apart from being an actress, she is also a successful singer-songwriter. She began singing as a little girl and quickly started writing songs as well; she became the youngest member of the Santa Barbara Songwriters Guild at the age of just sixteen. Kathleen has either appeared as an actress or has contributed to background playback in over seventy films in her illustrious career and has also made her name in the television industry working in over thirty-five televisions shows. Despite all the success she has enjoyed, her acting career has not always been smooth; she has faced many challenges which she successfully combated to bounce back. Though she is hailed for her natural beauty and sex appeal, she has actively resisted being stereotyped as a sex symbol and has done several challenging roles in her career, playing tough characters in shows like ‘L.A. Law’ as ‘Rosalie Hendrickson Stulwicz’ and ‘ER’ as Chloe Lewis’.
Kathleen Wilhoite developed an interest in singing at a very tender age. She began singing in her church choir group when she was in her first grade. As she grew up, music became more prominent in her life, and she started performing on stage and also joined a backup choir group ‘The Carpenters’ at the Santa Barbara County Bowl. During these years Kathleen took lessons in piano and started writing lyrics as well.
Soon she started taking part in her high school's theater productions. Kathleen was part of the ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Girls’, a harmony group where she sang and wrote songs and also became the youngest member to be a part of the Santa Barbara Songwriters Guild at the age of 16. After finishing her schooling, she became more inclined towards acting than singing and she decided to join the USC Drama School.
In 1983, she got her first ever chance to act in a movie and signed for the film ‘Private School’, playing the role of ‘Betsy’. After making her debut in the film industry, Kathleen never had to wait for her next chance as the offers kept coming in and she appeared in several films and television shows throughout the 1980s. She appeared in several television projects where she acted as well as sang playback, such as ‘AfterMASH’, ‘Family Ties’, ‘The Jeffersons’, ‘Cagney & Lacey’, ‘CBS Schoolbreak Special’, ‘Heart of the City’, and 'Throb’.
During this period Kathleen Wilhoite also appeared in some movies alongside top artistes like Charles Bronson in ‘Murphy's Law’ in 1986, Jane Fonda in ‘The Morning After’ in 1986 and Robert De Niro in ‘Angel Heart’ in 1987. During the 1990s, she took up some challenging roles such as in ‘ER’ as ‘Chloe Lewis.’
After making a name for herself as an actress, she decided to focus on her singing career but her contract with Mercury Records fell through. Undaunted, she continued her acting career with several supporting roles on television and movies like ‘Nurse Betty’, ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’, and ‘L.A. Doctors’. She also brought her singing career on track during this time by releasing two albums: ‘Pitch Like a Girl’ under Daves' Record Company and ‘Shiva’ under Ruby Ray Records. Later in 2006, she performed in a one-woman show titled ‘Stop Yellin’, which contained autobiographical monologues and performances from her two albums.
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Kathleen Wilhoite was born in Santa Barbara, California, on June 29, 1964. She went to Santa Barbara Jr. High School in 1977 and later attended USC Drama School to pursue an acting career.
Kathleen married producer/drummer David Harte in 1997, and together they have three children.