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The acclaimed actress has been starring as the loving mother and wife "Annie Cambden" on The WB's drama series "7th Heaven" since 1996. Born in Manhattan and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Hicks' starring role on 7th Heaven is her fourth television series regular role. In fact, her character on 7th Heaven was named the Best Role Model For Women in a poll conducted by a national magazine. Hicks previously starred in the series Winnetka Road, Tucker's Witch and the popular daytime drama Ryan's Hope. However, it was her Emmy-nominated role as Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn: The Untold Story that made her one of television's most visible and popular actresses. Additional television credits include Redwood Curtain, Once More With Feeling, Running Against Time, Happy Endings and the time-travel drama For All Time. She has made a similar impact as a versatile actress in theatrical films, comedies, dramas and even the horror genre. Hicks' feature credits include Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, directed by co-star Leonard Nimoy, Turbulence, She's Out of Control, The Razor's Edge, with Bill Murray, and the cult favorite Child's Play. She also starred in Francis Ford Coppola's Peggy Sue Got Married and Sidney Lumet's Garbo Talks. On Broadway, Hicks starred with Jack Lemmon in the world premiere of Tribute, and has performed in numerous regional theater productions. Hicks combined a dedicated training in acting with an impressive academic background. With a double major in Theology and English Literature at Notre Dame University, Hicks first became interested in acting after observing several of the school's stage productions. She later moved to New York and subsequently won an acting fellowship to Cornell University and received a Master of Fine Arts degree. When not working on her series, Hicks enjoys spending time with her husband, special effects wizard and director Kevin Yagher, and their daughter, Catie ( born in 1992). Catherine Bethany Hicks was born on August 6, 1951 in Manhattan, NY and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. She now lives in L.A. with her husband Kevin Yagher and her daughter Catie. Catherine is a strong Catholic and she's left-handed.
More fun facts about Catherine Hicks
Height 5' 3" (1.60 m)
Cathy was a cheerleader at Gerard High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and graduated in 1969.
She Is 11 years older than her husband
One of the only four Cast Members to be on every episode of 7th Heaven
Graduated from Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN
Won an acting fellowship to Cornell University and received a Master of Fine Arts degree.
Double majored in theology and English literature at Notre Dame University.
Appeared in the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). Her television co-star on "7th Heaven" (1996), Stephen Collins, appeared in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).
Measurements: 34-22-34 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
Sister-in-law of Jeff Yagher and Megan Gallagher.
Has two things in common with her "7th Heaven" (1996) co-star Beverley Mitchell: each is an only child, and both are former cheerleaders.
Catherine Hicks, Star of 7th Heaven
She moved to Los Angeles and earned an Emmy nomination for her starring role in the TV movie Marilyn: The Untold Story. Catherine can be seen every Tuesday night on the WB network’s most successful show 7th Heaven. A lifelong Catholic, Catherine is married and has a daughter.
BRN: 7th Heaven has been the most successful show for the WB Network. What do you think is its appeal for viewers today?
CH: With all of the wreckage of divorce-ridden households all around us, I think this family that stays together in good times and bad is very healing. For those who are in broken homes our 7th Heaven family is something hopeful to look at - a role model. Everyone is trying real hard these days to do family life right and people want their lives to be like 7th Heaven. The show projects a sense of normalcy, stability and faith. Secondly, over and over again I have heard from the fans the same comment. They always say that 7th Heaven is the one show that we can all sit down on the sofa and watch together as a family.
BRN: What is the best thing about starring on a hit TV series?
CH: Being on a primetime drama is very rigorous. It is an environment where I have been able to draw on all my years of hard work and training. It’s been very demanding, but in the middle of it all I have seen my kills as an actress blossom. I sort of know I'm good. (laughs) And I know I’m doing what I am supposed to be doing.
BRN: What is the biggest challenge of starring on a hit TV series?
CH: To keep doing my homework and not get lazy. To keep on truckin'. Because the work is so demanding, it's really hard at times being a Mom to my daughter, and at the same time being a daughter to my own Mom who is elderly and a widow. I get stressed and worn down. And when I do I can become petty, critical, and competitive with the other actors on the show.
BRN: How do you handle those feelings?
CH: I try to count my blessings. I make myself stop and think of some of the real problems in the world, for example like the daily horrors endured by people in the Sudan. Compared to some people’s lives, my problems are very small. We all need to pray more. I pray daily. I go to morning Mass when I can. When I can I also go to a prayer group at my parish.
BRN: It must help to know that you are working on a show that brings so many people so much encouragement and inspiration?
CH: Definitely. It also helps me to recall why I am working and the miraculous way I got this job. I don't need to work to survive, but I do need to work to take care of my Mom. The show has allowed me to pay for a little house for her and to have someone come in and help her out. Just before I got the show things were getting very desperate. I prayed very hard for a job so that I wouldn’t have to sell her little house. The odds weren’t good for me. No actress works like this in Hollywood after a certain age, and I had been out of the loop and hadn't worked in two years. Then one day the phone rings and its Aaron Spelling offering me the job on 7th Heaven. It was a miracle.
BRN: What role did your faith play in your upbringing?
CH: My father was Jesuit trained, and not only an intelligent Catholic but prayerful. I have beautiful memories of him taking me outside when I was little and showing me the beautiful sunsets and saying that they reminded him of the prayer, “Glory to God in the highest.” He also set an example for me of Scripture reading, which not many Catholics were doing back then. I remember as a child going to many novenas. We would pray the rosary together as a family sometimes too.
BRN: BRN: In the Scriptures, Jesus gives us many images to express who he is. He called himself the Bread of Life, the Good Shepherd, the Light of the World, the Lamb of God - what image most speaks to you and why?
CH: Christ the healer. The people that He healed first touched him by their faith, when so many didn't believe in Him. I have reflected often on the loneliness of the Savior. He was there in the Temple day after day loving and teaching people and yet no one knew who he was. No one was getting it. He must have felt very isolated and alone.
BRN: Who are your heroes of faith and why?
CH: St. Thomas More. I like him because he tried not to die. He didn’t pursue persecution, but when it found him he showed himself to be a man of courage and convictions. He shows us not to be afraid to talk about God in a nation that doesn't believe. I also love St. Therese of the Little Flower. I have read her Story of a Soul. I love the mystic tradition in the Church. Holiness is a sign that our faith works. Wherever there is genuine holiness and mysticism, God must be present. I have a real friendship with St. Anthony. I've always been scatterbrained. At least two times a day I lose something and turn to him for help and he comes through for me.
On The Industry
BRN: Too many Christians have learned to look askance at the arts and have washed their hands of them. What gifts have you found through the arts?
CH: I can only speak in cinema. And it’s true that today I don't see a lot of beauty. What we call profound and beautiful in American cinema is not that. But I wouldn’t expect Catholics to take on an attitude of suspicion of the arts. That is really a fundamentalist attitude. We are smarter than that. There have been many films that I love because they have moved and inspired me like A Man for All Seasons. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Camelot. The Trouble With Angels. Apocalypse Now. If people don’t like what is out there now in entertainment there are a wealth of great old films they can rent and enjoy and grow from.
BRN: What would you say to young people who are thinking of careers in the arts?
CH: Don’t be afraid. If you stay close to God your faith will help you on what may be a very lonely path of pursuing a career. It’s one thing to paint pictures on the side or be in community theater as a hobby. To make it in the real world is very difficult. But if that’s what you were made to do than you have to follow your heart. I know too many unhappy business people – doctors and lawyers and executives - who all have a closet talent and never thought they could do anything with it. They gave up their dream out of fear. When I was a student studying drama, I remember noting that creative people who were out there being creative were very free and happy people. I thought there must be something to that.
Catherine Hicks: Modern Mom Role Model
We've all heard the song: “Here's a story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls...” Add in four boys, a daughter's ex-boyfriend, “Happy” the dog and a role as preacher's wife and you have Catherine Hicks as America's favorite on-screen mom: 7th Heaven's Annie Camden.
The role model for the modern mom-as-complete-woman, Hicks has been hailed as the Donna Reed of the new millennium, and continues to receive accolades for bringing true quality programming back to television.
A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, Hicks previously starred in the series Winnetka Road, Tucker’s Witch, The Bad News Bears and Ryan’s Hope. Despite these starring roles, it was her brilliant Emmy-nominated portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn: The Untold Story, that made her one of television’s most visible and popular actresses. Hicks proved her popularity hasn’t taken a back seat to her acting when her character was recognized as the Best Role Model for Women in a national poll.
Hicks professes a deep respect for the development of theater and the individual actors that have helped shape what the art has become. A deep and varied actress herself, Hicks has demonstrated her versatility through numerous theatrical films which span the scope of movie genres from comedies to dramas and even the horror medium. Hicks’ feature credits include the box-office record-setting Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Turbulence, She’s Outta Control, Razor’s Edge and the cult favorite, Child’s Play. She has also starred in Francis Ford Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married and Sidney Lumet’s Garbo Talks. On stage, Hicks has done a number of regional productions in addition to teaming with Jack Lemmon on Broadway in the world premiere of Tribute.
Catherine Hicks combined a dedicated training in acting with an impressive academic background. With a double major in theology and English literature from Notre Dame, Hicks first became interested in acting after observing several of the school’s stage productions. She later moved to New York where she attended Cornell, applied herself to formal theatre training and earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Acting.
As generous and kind off-screen as on, Hicks is preparing to begin shooting her eighth season as the family’s steadfast mom. ABILITY Magazine’s Chet Cooper recently sat down with Hicks at her Los Angeles home to talk about her real-life plans as a full-time mom to 11 year-old Catie, cooking and the impact that one person can have on helping the hungry.
Chet Cooper: The topic is trains, planes and...
Catherine Hicks: Automobiles! (laughs) Oh, I love trains. We went on a road-trip with my daughter, Catie, just a few weeks ago to take her to visit her grandparents’ farm. We were driving, but the trains we saw were just awesome and the mountains were amazing.
CC: You’ve recently been named the entertainment role model by a poll of US women. Where did this all start?
CH: I’m from the Midwest, Scottsdale, and grew up in a great home in the 50s—7th Heaven gives people what we naturally had in those days: nobody got divorced and everyone went to church.
CC: The family dynamic of today is very different.
CH: Absolutely. We’ve changed so much from the generations that came before us. People back then were so tough…so strong. My grandfather went blind at the age of 14. There was an accident with a horse and buggy and a spoke went right into his head and severed his optic nerve in an instant. He was an amazing man. I remember my mom saying that her dad was Willy Wonka, he invented the Cabin Roll.
Then, my mom almost died when I was born. She was badly hemorrhaging and lost a lot of blood. My dad donated so much blood that doctors later diagnosed him with kidney disease. The doctors told him he needed to be in a warm, dry climate and he had to move to Spain or Arizona. That’s how I ended up in Scottsdale.
CC: What were you like in high school?
CH: I was a cheerleader and always liked being in front of people. On a “Dad & Daughter Night” in high school we were doing lip syncing and dancing to Me and My Gal, by Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. For the first time I saw the way he handled an audience and I was blown away. He was spontaneous with them and had them in the palm of his hand. My dad had a gift.
CC: Is that when you began to consider acting?
CH: As much as I enjoyed cheerleading I never thought of the theater and I became an English major with a theology minor. My sophomore year in college I didn’t make cheer by one vote and depression set in. Then, on my way to yet another Saturday night beer party at Notre Dame, I stopped in at the art building and saw them doing Oliver. I just thought, “I’m going to a stupid beer party?” I was so impressed with what they were doing with their Saturday nights. But, it’s a long way to get from the balcony to the stage; it’s very intimidating.
CC: It looks as though you’ve made it out of the balcony.
CH: I was awarded a scholarship to Cornell for
acting, but even at reunions, I’m still not a drama major. I’ll always feel out of the loop. Ironically, I’ve done more than any of them. But, it’s all about what happened early on. I think for me, it’s too late. (laughs)
CC: How have you enjoyed the role as the “Donna Reed of the New
CH: I’m playing a mom—which I admittedly, really enjoy. What I really like about the show is that it has a half-hour feel that allows you to have sit-com humor, but in an hour format, so you also get to be serious and have the drama. It’s also great to have it be such a family show. 7th Heaven has really become a modern-day Little House on the Prairie where families get together on the living room couch to watch TV.
One of the big problems families are faced with today is the divorce rate and I’ve been very proud to be a part of a show that really demonstrates what it means to be a family. It’s about raising a family at a time that can be very difficult, but showing that it’s not psychotherapy.
CC: How did you come across the role of Annie Camden?
CH: Actually, Aaron Spelling approached me and offered me the part of Annie. It was perfect timing because I was needing to do some work so that we could keep our house in Coronado. Out of the blue, Aaron called.
CC: Had you worked with him before?
CH: He produced a short-lived series I did with Ed Begley Jr. and Josh Brolin called Winnetka Road. Earlier, around 1988, the regime in Hollywood had changed, and ever since then, it has become much more stressful. There is greater pressure to keep working. If you let any time pass, it becomes much harder to find work. We actors have become very disposable…and it’s definitely more difficult than when I began. I always knew it would take some old fan! (laughs)
CC: This is now your eighth season?
CH: Yes, and it’s probably my last.
CH: My husband and I took Catie to see 42nd Street the other night and the show was just incredible, but I realized I was ready to hang up my tap shoes. I’m excited to finish while I’m at the top of my career. It has nothing to do with the show though.
CC: Then why leave?
CH: I’m just getting tired of the lifestyle. The nature of our work is not very comfortable and I don’t want to spend my days sitting in a trailer in the middle of a parking lot.
CC: Any big plans for life after 7th Heaven?
CH: Absolutely—to be a mom. I want to be home with Catie every day. I’m tired of telling her I can’t pick her up from school because I have to work. You know, I had sailed a little in Ithaca. I realized that everyone has their own course in life, and sometimes the wind is totally dead and then it’ll pick up and take you to where you need to go. Have you seen Shakespeare in Love, with Gwyneth Paltrow?
CC: No, I haven’t.
CH: I always thought I wouldn’t like the movie, but it is so neat. My husband and I saw it the other night and it really hit me. You realize that since day one, in every tribe, there has been theater. There’s always been actors…there’s always been these fools that stand up and make people laugh or cry. And God bless them. It made me really appreciate the industry. It takes a certain few and that makes me proud to have been a part of it.
CC: Has Catie talked about following in your footsteps?
CH: I’m really not encouraging it. I don’t think kids in Hollywood stand a chance at growing up normal. It’s not natural for kids to be faced with such rejection over and over and over. Their esteem can only take so much. She is talented though! She was in a school play and afterward I was just saying, “You were great! You’re so great! You’re great!” She does have that energy: “On with the show!” she says. I think I would have a lot of fun as a stage mom. (laughs)
So, I’m looking forward to being a full-time mom and I’m also helping market the Easy Does It spice kit which will donate money to a charity fighting hunger. I’m proud to be involved in that.