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Cathy O'Donnell

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Article 2

Meet Miss Cathy O'Donnell

PM New York, December 1, 1946

Cathy O'Donnell, 23-year-old ex-secretary, has finally realized her lifelong ambition to be a movie actress, making her screen debut in The Best Years of Our Lives. "I didn't like office work," she said. "It was torture. I got to thinking I'd just as soon die if I had to stay in it much longer. I like life now. All the daydreams I had as a little girl are coming true...When I was a little girl during the depression I lived with my aunt in Greensboro, Ala. It was a beautiful town. Nobody struggles there, nobody fights. Nobody was trying to get any place particularly. The old people who remembered the Civil War were always telling me how the North ruined the South after the Civil War. I wanted to hear voices like Joan of Arc and lead an army up to the North. I wasn't going to hurt anyone. I was just going to take their money and give it to the South. But I never heard a voice so I gave it up...No, I've never been in love. I think that's awful. It wasn't that I wanted someone very handsome. I wanted someone who was really sensitive. Nothing phony, because then I'd catch them. I don't think I'd like anyone who was really very wealthy. And I would never like an actor. They're too conceited. Most actors are a little too interested in how they look. I don't care how a man looks particularly. That's all superficial. I like him to have a lot of strength--inner strength. I was very frightened and shy at the beginning of The Best Years. But Mr. Wyler, he has this wonderful sympathy for you. He got me over this shyness by being mean. As soon as he was mean I was all right. He wouldn't let me get away with anything. He sort of made me stand on my own feet, which was good. He imitated me whenever I'd put my finger to my mouth and look shy. I'll don't think I'll ever do that again."

© 1946 PM New York

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