Award-winning actress Catherine Oxenberg is most known to TV audiences as vixen Amanda Carrington in the hit primetime serial “Dynasty” (1984-1986), a role that brought her two Soap Opera Digest Awards, and as British secret agent Ashley Hunter-Caddington in the syndicated series “Acapulco H.E.A.T.” (1993). More recently, she netted a Movieguide Award for her inspirational performance in the made-for-TV film The Miracle of the Cards (2001). Other memorable work include the highly successful indie film The Omega (1999, opposite husband Casper Van Dien), The Collectors (1999, TV), The Flying Dutchman (2001, TV) and The Vector File (2002, TV), among others.
Off camera, the former model was voted one of Harper’s Bazaar’s “America’s 10 Most Beautiful Women” in 1985 and measures 33 1/2B - 23 - 33 1/2 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine). The fluent speaker of French and Spanish, in addition to English, who received $15,000 per episode for “Dynasty,” $25,000.00 per episode for “Acapulco H.E.A.T” and $65,000.00 per episode for “I Married a Princess,” is a tough advocate for women’s issues and is zealous in her aspiration to advance the conditions of women who live in tyrannical cultures.
On a more private note, icy blonde Oxenberg was briefly married to producer Robert Evans (July 12, 1998 to July 21, 1998) before marrying actor Casper Van Dien in 1999. She is the mother of three daughters, India (father: unknown), Maya (father: Van Dien) and Celeste (father: Van Dien). Her romantic life has also been linked to John Kerry, whom she dated in 1989 after his first marriage ended and before he married Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Childhood and Family:
Born on September 22, 1961, in New York, New York, Catherine Oxenberg is the eldest daughter of Howard Oxenberg (a clothing manufacturer) and H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth Jelisaveta of Yugoslavia. Her maternal grandparents were Prince Paul, the former Regent King of Yugoslavia, and Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark. She has one sister, Christina Oxenberg (novelist, born in 1962), and one half-brother, Nicholas Balfour (born in 1970), from her mother’s next marriage.
A native New Yorker, Catherine, known by family as Kitty, grew up in London where her first Shakespearean acting tutor was Richard Burton, with whom her mother once became engaged. Returning to America, she attended St. Paul’s School, from which she graduated Summa cum Laude, and was admitted to Harvard University. She moved to Columbia University and studied psychology, philosophy and mythology after choosing to pay her own way during college and begin modeling.
On July 12, 1998, in Beverly Hills, Kitty married producer Robert Evans, but the marriage was annulled after only nine days. She then tied the knot with her current husband, actor Casper Van Dien, on May, 8 1999, in Las Vegas at an Elvis wedding. The couple renewed their wedding vows in January 2005 with Casper’s mother, Rev. Diane Van Dien (an Inter-Faith Minister), leading over the ceremony. Kitty and Casper have two daughters, Maya Van Dien (born on September 20, 2001) and Celeste Van Dien (born on October 3, 2003). Besides, Kitty has one more daughter, India Oxenberg, who was born on June 7, 1991 in Los Angeles, California, by an unidentified father.
The Miracle of the Cards
New York-born, London-raised Catherine Oxenberg got her start working as a model and did cover shots for such publications as Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Glamour, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Los Angeles magazine and Interview. Her acting career took place in 1982, when she won the role of Princess Diana in the CBS television film The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana. Her potential directly won Oxenberg an agent, and she was immediately cast by Aaron Spelling in his popular ABC series “Dynasty.” Impressively playing vixen Amanda Carrington, the long-lost daughter of Alexis Carrington (Joan Collins), from 1984 to 1986, Oxenberg picked up two Soap Opera Digests in the categories of Outstanding New Actress in a Prime Time Serial and Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Prime Time Serial.
Oxenberg continued to star in multiple television films and miniseries, such as Still Crazy Like a Fox (1987), Roman Holiday (1987), Trenchcoat in Paradise (1989) and Swimsuit (1989). In 1988, she made her big screen debut with a supporting part opposite Hugh Grant and Amanda Donohoe in The Lair of the White Worm, a horror helmed by Ken Russell. Next, she worked with Australian actor Cameron Daddo in the miniseries “Bony” (1990, as Angela Hemmings), starred as Fiona Matthews McDonald in the BBC mini “Ring of Scorpio” (1990) and co-starred with Chris Mulkey in the FOX TV pilot K-9000 (1991).
After taking break to have a baby, Oxenberg reprised her role as Princess Diana, in the made-for-television film Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After (1992). The following year, she returned to series TV and gained boost as Ashley Hunter-Coddington, a British secret agent, in the 1993 syndicated weekly “Acapulco H.E.A.T.” She also took on the starring role of Simone Hollister in the CBS film Treacherous Beauties (1994).
Following another short hiatus, this time to complete comedy improvisation with the Groundling’s Theater, Oxenberg could be seen in such television films as director Dom DeLuise’s comedy Boys Will Be Boys (1997, with John Voight), the family Catch Me If You Can (1998, starred Tim Matheson), Time Served (1999, opposite Jeff Fahey and Louise Fletcher), Arthur’s Quest (1999), Sidney Furie’s The Collectors (1999) and The Time Shifters (1999). Meanwhile, she resurfaced on the silver screen with a supporting role in the highest grossing independent movie of the year The Omega (1999), which starred Michael York and husband Casper Van Dien.
The next year, Oxenberg rejoined her husband and worked with Michael Pare in Sanctimony (2000, TV). It was followed by roles in Perilous (2000, with Bruce Boxleitner), A Friday Night Date (2000), The Flying Dutchman (2001, along side Rod Steiger and Eric Roberts) and The Vector File (2002, starred with her daughter, India, and her husband). In 2002, she nabbed a Movieguide for Most Inspirational Television Acting for her starring role in Mark Griffiths’ The Miracle of the Cards (2001). She again took time off to have two more children and did not appear in another television film until 2004’s Sci-fi Premonition, in which she was paired with husband Van Dien.
In 2005, Oxenberg made a guest appearance in an episode of “Out of Practice,” playing Claudia Penchant. The same year, she collaborated with her husband to star and produce the reality series “I Married a Princess,” about their personal and professional life.
- Movie Guide: Most Inspirational Television Acting, The Miracle of the Cards, 2002
- Bambi: 1986
- Soap Opera Digest: Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Prime Time Serial, Dynasty, 1985
- Soap Opera Digest: Outstanding New Actress in a Prime Time Serial, Dynasty, 1985