Saturday, November 8, 2008

KATHARINE, CATHERINE AND OTHER GREAT CATE/KATES

I was recently reading a chapter in the Time Out book 100 Films To Change Your Life in which Geoff Andrew (don't worry, I'd never heard of him before either) suggested that for those who choose to take up film directing, having a surname that begins with the letter K puts them at a clear advantage. Some of his hard evidence: Kazan, Keaton, Kieslowski, Kubrick, Kurosawa and so on.

Garbage, I say. But here's some more junk food for thought, loosely tied to the letter K. For women with creative aspirations, does being named Katharine (which is of Greek origin and means "pure"), Kate or some variation on that general theme, give you a leg up in the talent department? Puede ser. For your consideration... (Note: I've purposedly left out Kate Capshaw, Kate Moss and women named Karen, a Scandinavian-derived form of Katherine that would make this post both unwieldy and longer than my attention span at the moment.)

Katharine Hepburn I recently watched a double bill of 1938's Holiday and 1967's Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, and I realized that Great Kate spent her entire career playing the same character. Herself? No wonder she was so good at it!

Katherine Helmond She practically invented the sexy grandma persona on the '80s sitcom Who's The Boss?.

Catherine O'Hara The under-the-radar Canuck came thisclose to an Oscar nomination for 2006's For Your Consideration. Her time will come.

Catherine Zeta-Jones Chicago revealed the previously untapped depth of her talent. She sings! She dances! She wins an Oscar! Why Timbaland hasn't called is beyond me?

Cate Blanchett (above) Was it a mere coincidence that she won an Oscar for playing another Kate (Hepburn)?

Kate Burton The secret to the thespian skills of Richard Burton's daughter? Is it in her genes, or is her name to blame?

Kate Bush England's greatest female singer-songwriter? Arguably.

Kate Hudson She's yet to deliver on the promise of her Oscar-nominated Almost Famous breakthrough, but I'm keeping the faith that Goldie Hawn's daughter will surprise us yet.

Kate McGarrigle Mom to Rufus and Martha Wainwright, ex-wife to Louden Wainwright III, and with her sister, Anna, an acclaimed singer-songwriter in her own right.

Kate Nash The 21-year-old British singer already has two great singles, "Foundations" and "Pumpkin Soup," to her name. Her future's so bright, let's hope she has a great pair of shades.

Kate Nelligan She's underused, that's for sure, but the Oscar-nominated actress has just as much going for her as any A-list leading lady of a certain fiftysomething age.

Kate Pierson The true vocal talent behind--actually, in front of--the B-52's helped Iggy Pop land his lone Top 40 hit, 1990's "Candy."

Kate Winslet Thirty-three years, five Oscar nominations. You do the math.

Katey Sagal Did you know that the Married...With Children mom is also an accomplished singer who has backed up Bob Dylan, Bette Midler, Olivia Newton-John and Kiss and released a decent album, Well..., in 1994?

Katie Holmes Before she married a laughing stock and became one-half of the Tom & Katie (Freak)Show, she was best known as a pretty good actress, having perfectly nailed teen angst for five season's on Dawson's Creek.

Kathy Baker Three Emmy wins for the '90s TV drama series Picket Fences can't be wrong.

Kathy Bates From Misery and an Academy Award to her current status as Hollywood's best supporting actress.

Kathy Griffin Don't hold her life on the D-list against her. If Hollywood were kinder to female stand-ups, Ellen would be earning $20 million a film instead of making small talk with the likes of Paris Hilton on a daytime talk show.

Kathleen Battle Note to all divas-in-training: If you're going to be a temperamental pain in the butt, at least have the talent to be worth it.

Kathleen Noone An Emmy-winning soap star who travels between daytime and primetime with great ease.

Kathleen Quinlan See Kate Nelligan.

Kate Spade She's neither an actress nor a singer, but she makes killer handbags for people who are.

Kathleen Turner Although she's been flirting with obscurity in recent years, Michael Douglas former frequent leading lady was the Angelina Jolie of her '80s heyday.

Kitty Wells The Queen Of Country music still reigns and, at 89, is still living, too.

Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien The late artist otherwise known as Dusty Springfield.
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