Catherine Bach

Active - 1972 - 2016  |   Born - Mar 1, 1954 in Warren, Ohio, United States  |   Genres - Action, Adventure, Drama, Crime, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American actress Catherine Bach was born in Ohio, but spent most of her high school years in South Dakota with her father. As soon as she finished high school, Catherine flew to California to pursue the acting career she'd been dreaming about since seeing her actor uncle, Tony Verdugo, in a stage production. Supporting herself with various day jobs, Catherine took dancing lessons, made the audition rounds, and eventually attained a few TV bits and movie roles. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1973) was her most widely seen film role, principally because of what she didn't wear in it; but her best role was an all-too-brief appearance in The Midnight Man (1974), as Natalie Clayborne, the troubled college coed at the center of a mystery involving blackmail and murder.

In 1978 Bach was cast along with John Schneider and Tom Wopat as the "Dukes of Hazzard" in the weekly CBS TV series of the same name. The series was a comedy adventure about a hillbilly family, their souped-up automobile (The General Lee), and their corrupt antagonist, Boss Hogg. As Daisy Duke, Catherine spent most of her time in T-shirts and cutoffs, and thus the actress became a favorite of the young-college-boy set. Within a few months of Dukes of Hazzard's debut, the Catherine Bach poster was outselling the Farrah Fawcett and Suzanne Somers posters in quite a few cities. Catherine stayed with Dukes until its cancellation in 1985, even weathering the "siege of 1981," when her costars Schneider and Wopat left over contract differences and were briefly replaced by two lookalike actors. Like many 1970s TV stars, Catherine Bach found the movie offers, poster contracts, personal appearances and talk-show gigs slowly evaporating as her series faded from the public's memory. Though she did appear from time to time in various productions including Cannonball Run II, Criminal Act, Rage and Honor, she returned to her signature role of Daisy Duke for a handful of reunion shows. In 2006 she appeared on an episode of the USA detective series Monk.

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  • Is of German and Mexican descent.
  • Relocated to California in 1970 and studied acting with coaches Milton Katselas and Anna Strasberg. 
  • Worked at a Woolworth's department store until she landed acting jobs.
  • Designed her own wardrobe for the character of Daisy Duke on the series The Dukes of Hazzard—her now-signature cut-off denim shorts—reportedly because she disliked her original costume, a poodle skirt and frilly blouse.
  • While on the series The Dukes of Hazzard, her legs were insured for $1 million.
  • Became a spokesperson for the World Wildlife Fund and testified before Congress on behalf of the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994.
  • Along with husband Peter Lopez, founded the organization C.O.A.C.H. for Kids in 1998; it offers free medical services, via mobile clinics, to children and their families residing in low-income areas of Los Angeles County.