Kathleen Beller (born February 19, 1956) is an American actress who was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Promises in the Dark (1979) and was well known for her role as Kirby Anders on the prime time soap opera Dynasty. She had a small role in The Godfather Part II, and a featured role in The Betsy.
Beller on the set of Touched in 1982
|Born||February 19, 1956|
Westchester, New York, U.S.
(m. 1980; div. 1986)
Thomas Dolby (m. 1988)
Beller started her career by appearing in several commercials. She debuted on television in 1971, taking over the role of Liza Walton Sentell in the daytime soap opera Search for Tomorrow which was originated by Denise Nickerson. She appeared on the show until 1974, when she quit to move from New York City to Los Angeles. After arriving, Don Most arranged for her to get an agent. Her film debut was a small role in 1974's The Godfather Part II, portraying an actress in a play that the young Vito Corleone and Genco Abbandando attended. Later on she was recognized more for her television work, appearing in TV movies and guest starring in television series, notably the soap Dynasty. She played Betsy in 1978's The Betsy, a role Beller hoped would end her television career and start her film career:
For a TV actress, getting that first feature film is a major step. So this is very important in my life. But, funnily, getting this part in The Betsy was actually the easiest part I ever got. I did one reading, one lunch to discuss the part with the director (Daniel Petrie) and that was that. I had the part. From now on, if I do any TV at all it will only be good TV. It's interesting how one feature film — and The Betsy isn't even released yet—can make such a difference in a career. On the strength of just being in The Betsy, I am finding it so much easier. Now I go in to read for a movie part, and they know me, the door is at least partly open.
Despite the optimism, the film was panned and did not further Beller's career. She blamed the role itself, which she said could have been played by anyone. Beller returned to television work, appearing in TV movies such as Mary White (1977) and Are You in the House Alone? (1978). she recalled the exhausting casting procedure of Mary White, which lasted daily for three weeks. Beller also continued to appear in films, playing a supporting role in the 1978 musical comedy Movie Movie, and portraying a cancer patient in the film Promises in the Dark (1979). She spent three months researching the Promises in the Dark role, and later recalled it as one of her favorite roles. Though the film was a commercial failure, the role earned Beller a Golden Globe nomination.
In 1981, Beller co-starred in the psychological thriller, No Place to Hide, her first adult role. Her character was initially going to be a teenager, but Beller insisted on playing someone more mature. Though she assumed this demand would cause her not to be cast, she won the role, which the film's director changed to a woman in her early twenties. In an interview to promote the film, Beller admitted that although she was 25 years old at the time, she still had trouble convincing people that she was older than sixteen. The following year, she played the female lead in the fantasy film, The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982). The film was a commercial success, grossing $39 million on a $4 million budget, although Beller later commented that she was dissatisfied with the film.
Beller is perhaps best remembered for her role from 1982 to 1984 as Kirby Anders Colby in the prime time television soap opera, Dynasty. She blamed her departure from Dynasty on the new writers who were hired in 1984, explaining that they had "lost interest in her character and that when her contract ended, they decided not to renew it". Beller herself said that "[she'd] come back if they wanted [her]". She reprised the role for Dynasty: The Reunion in 1991.
After her run on Dynasty, Beller starred in a 1985 TV thriller, Deadly Messages, which Beller said differed from her earlier thrillers by "[not taking] itself too seriously". In an interview she explained her tendency to portray victims in films is encouraged by "the color and size of [her] big brown eyes", "the way [she interprets] roles" and "the episodic roles [she] did while [she] was growing up". Her casting in the film was an unusual one: according to the actress, she received a call from her agent about a script, read it immediately, and drove to the studio an hour later, expecting a meeting. When she arrived, however, she was asked if she could start working right away. She took the role because of "the whirlwind casting", and the fact that she had not worked for seven months, since a guest spot on Glitter.
Beller also played Mary Caitlin Callahan on the short-lived school drama, The Bronx Zoo.
Studied drama at age 13 in Bristol, England. In the mid-1980s, Beller announced she wanted to become a midwife, and told a reporter that she had "attended eight births so far". Beller was married to actor Michael Hoit from 1980 to 1986. She has been married to musician Thomas Dolby since July 2, 1988; they have three children.
|1974||The Godfather Part II||Girl in 'Senza Mamma'|
|1978||The Betsy||Betsy Hardeman|
|1978||Movie Movie||Angie Popchik|
|1979||Promises in the Dark||Elizabeth "Buffy" Koenig||Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture|
|1981||Fort Apache, The Bronx||Theresa|
|1982||The Sword and the Sorcerer||Princess Alana|
|1989||Time Trackers||R.J. Craig|
|1971–1974||Search for Tomorrow||Liza Walton Sentell||TV series|
|1975||Baretta||Carla||"The Coppelli Oath"|
|1975||Crime Club||Pam Agostino||TV film|
|1975||Hawaii Five-O||Elena Mendoza||"The Waterfront Steal"|
|1976||Medical Center||Sharon||"You Can't Annul My Baby"|
|1976||At Ease!||Stacy Ramsey||TV short|
|1976||Visions||Ruth Schwartz||"The Great Cherub Knitwear Strike"|
|1977||The Six Million Dollar Man||Little Deer||"To Catch the Eagle"|
|1977||Something for Joey||Jean Cappelletti||TV film|
|1977||Barnaby Jones||Julie Enright||"Run Away to Terror"|
|1977||Mary White||Mary White||TV film|
|1978||Having Babies III||Dawn||TV film|
|1978||Are You in the House Alone?||Gail Osborne||TV film|
|1980||Mother and Daughter: The Loving War||Renie||TV film|
|1980||Rappaccini's Daughter||Beatrice||TV film|
|1981||No Place to Hide||Amy Manning||TV film|
|1981||Manions of America||Maureen O'Brian||TV miniseries|
|1982||The Blue and the Gray||Kathy Reynolds||TV miniseries|
|1982–1984||Dynasty||Kirby Anders||Series regular|
|1985||Deadly Messages||Laura Daniels||TV film|
|1985||Murder, She Wrote||Mary Carver||"Funeral at Fifty-Mile"|
|1986||Blacke's Magic||Carla Gasparini||"Breathing Room"|
|1987||Cloud Waltzing||Meredith Tolliver||TV film|
|1987–1988||The Bronx Zoo||Mary Caitlin Callahan||Main role|
|1989||Murder, She Wrote||Maria Deschier||"When the Fat Lady Sings"|
|1991||Dynasty: The Reunion||Kirby Anders||TV miniseries|
|1991||Danger Team||Cheryl Singer||TV film|
Awards and nominations
|Year||Award||Category||Title of work||Result|
|1980||Golden Globe||Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture||Promises in the Dark||Nominated|
- Hughes, Mike (February 16, 1985). "Kathleen Beller's on fast forward". The Santa Fe New Mexican. p. D-2.
- "Young TV star wants to be young movie star instead" by Dick Kleiner, El Paso Herald-Post, October 20, 1977, p. E-7
- "Kathleen Beller Serious About Her Film Work" by Dick Kleiner, Indiana Gazette, October 21, 1978, p. 6
- "No Place to Hide role lets Kathleen Beller act her age" by Jerry Buck, Wilmington Morning Star, March 4, 1981. p. 5C
- Schemering, Christopher (September 1985). The Soap Opera Encyclopedia (1st ed.). Ballantine Books. pp. 80–84. ISBN 978-0-345-32459-7.
- Michals, Bob (February 21, 1985). "Deadly Messages Places Beller In Jeopardy Again". The Palm Beach Post.
- Carter, Alan (October 18, 1991). "The Dynasty reunion". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- "Dynasty: The Reunion (Part 1 of 2) (TV)". Paleycenter.org. Paley Center for Media. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
- "Dynasty: The Reunion (Part 2 of 2) (TV)". Paleycenter.org. Paley Center for Media. Retrieved August 8, 2019.