M. Y. O. B.
“I had this bet going with my friends that if I dyed my hair blond, I’d get better parts, and I won.” Katharine Towne, prior to her involvement on the NBC series “M.Y.O.B.”
An American actress who is also the daughter of famous screenwriter Robert Towne, Katharine Towne is probably best known to TV viewers as Riley Veatch, the teenager who was searching for her birth mother, in “M.Y.O.B” (2000). She is also memorable for her guest starring roles in the popular series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1999) and “Undeclared” (2001). On the big screen, Towne has taken parts in several famous wide screen films, including She’s All That (1999), The Bachelor (1999) and What Lies Beneath (2000). Recently co-starring as Leah Cahan in Something New (2006), she is scheduled to play a role in the forthcoming Looking For Sunday (2007).
On a more private note, Towne was once married to actor Charlie Hunnam. After the divorce, she began a relationship with actor Ethan Embry, with whom she reportedly is engaged.
Childhood and Family:
In Hollywood, Katharine Payne Towne was born on July 17, 1978. Skip, or Kate, Katharine’s nickname, is the daughter of acclaimed screenwriter Robert Towne (born on November 23, 1934) and Julie Payne. Skip, who in her childhood enjoyed staying home to make beaded necklaces, is also the granddaughter of actors John Payne and Anne Shirley. Skip’s parents divorced in 1981. She studied in Crossroads High School, in Santa Monica, California, before moving to Los Angeles with her father, where she took an acting class.
She met actor Charlie Hunnam (born on April 10, 1980) in the auditions for “Dawson’s Creek” in 1999. They were married in 1999, but later divorced in 2002.
Katharine made her film debut with the supporting role of Marjorie in the independent film Girl (1998). A big fan of the TV series “Boy Meets World,” she played a small part in Without Limits (1998), played Savannah in the Robert Iscove’s popular teen romance She’s All That (1999), Becky in Doug Liman’s Go (1999) and Sinead Laren in the dark comedy But I’m a Cheerleader (1999). She acquired a bigger role when director Gary Sinyor cast her as Monique, one of Chris O’Donnell’s bride candidates, in the romantic comedy The Bachelor (1999). Still in 1999, Towne made her TV debut as Sunday, a strong and dangerous vampire, in an episode of the popular TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1999).
In the new millennium, Towne’s supporting turn as Sal in the made-for-TV movie The Near Future (2000) impressed director Don Roos, who soon cast her in the teen TV series “M.Y.O.B.” (2000). Starring as Riley Veatch, a teenager searching for her birth mother, Towne convinced audiences that she was more than a supporting actress. The comedy series also starred Paul Fitzgerald, Amanda Detmer and Colin Mortensen.
Shifting to the big screen, Towne was seen in Longshot (2000) before she was cast as Morgan in The In Crowd (2000). She then took the role of Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer’s daughter, Caitlin Spencer, in Robert Zemeckis’ horror film What Lies Beneath (2000) and was seen as Chloe in Danny Comden’s unsuccessful film Sol Goode (2001). After playing Holly in Town & Country (2001), Towne took small turns as Cynthia Jenzen in Mulholland Dr. (2001) and Nadine in Ivan Reitman’s big hit alien film Evolution (2001). Her small screen performance in the TV movie Close to Home (2001) was ensued by her guest star appearance as Rebecca in the teen TV series “Undeclared” (2001).
In the following year, Towne was cast in the starring role of Samantha, a sci-fi writer, in the Lori Fontanes-directed thriller Scream at the Sound of the Beep before playing the supporting role of Jody in the drama comedy The Anarchist Cookbook (2002). She also landed the small role of Erin Vanderbilt in the box-office film Sweet Home Alabama (2002), but her part ended up on the cutting floor.
In 2003, Towne took part in the TV movie Splitsville before appearing in a starring role in LD 50 Lethal Dose (2003). She followed it up with roles in Easy Six (2003, as Sally Iverson, opposite Julian Sands) and Trespassing (2004), as well as supporting roles in the comedies Mr. Dramatic (2005, played Elizabeth) and Barry Dingle (2005, portrayed Joanna Wojohowsky).
Recently, Towne was cast as Leah Cahan in the wide screen film Something New (2006), Sanaa Hamri’s romantic comedy about the love story of an African-American woman. She will also play Elizabeth, Michael Weston’s girlfriend, in the forthcoming film directed by Mark Piznarski, Looking for Sunday (2006).