Kathleen Noone is a bit of an oddity in the acting world, owing to her popularity in both the realm of daytime dramas and primetime programming. It’s a feat worthy of celebration…as is the fast-approaching milestone that the actress is soon to greet.
Happy Birthday, Kathleen Noone!
And that’s because she was born on January 8, 1945, in Hillside, New Jersey, which means that this uber-talented lady is turning 76 years old today! An opportunity to join the Jimmy Dorsey Band resulted in a young Noone taking stock of her ambitions. Did she really want to pursue a career as a jazz singer? Or did she want to become something else?
The else won out. Now imbued with the idea that she must become a classically trained actress, Noone, a graduate of Ithaca College and West Virginia University, enrolled at Southern Methodist University.
She entered the institute with $50 to her name and left it with a Master of Fine Arts Degree and the Most Outstanding Graduate Actress accolade. Afterward, Noone spent a year teaching at the University of Miami. Then she spent the next 13 years toiling in repertory companies, acting in Off-Broadway plays, and was a co-founding member of the Scott Repertory Theatre, The Globe Theatre, and the Colonnaides Theater.
Noone made her television debut in 1975 via the CBS daytime drama As the World Turns. She remained at the serial for one year during which time she played Margaret Porter.
Between 1977 and 1989, Noone was on All My Children as the noble, long-suffering Ellen Shepherd. During the course of her tenure, Noone took center stage several times, especially once Ellen was paired opposite Mark Dalton (Mark LaMura), many years her junior. The romance was a rocky one, especially owing to the fact that Mark’s sister was the fiery Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) whom Ellen despised.
After 10 years and one previous nomination for a Daytime Emmy Award, Noone had finally taken home the gold in 1987 for her part in harrowing scenes confronting Mark about his drug problem. Soon after, she was relegated to back-burner status. In response, Noone exited the soap once her contract was up.
She relocated to Los Angeles, and begin hitting the audition circuit. A guest spot on Kate & Allie (1988) begat similar appearances in Quantum Leap (1989), Empty Nest (1990), and Hunter (1990). Then Noone received an offer to join the cast of Knots Landing.
For the next three years, she played anthropologist Claudia Whittaker, Greg Sumner’s (William Devane) sister and an all-around hell-raiser whom the scriptwriters presented as the solution to the problem wrought by Donna Mills’s decision to retire the Abby Cunningham character.
Noone’s subsequent credits include roles in feature films like Hearts Adrift (1996), What Love Sees (1996), and Skeletons (1997), and recurring roles on L.A. Law (1993-1994), Party of Five (1995-1999), and According to Jim (2001-2005).
Noone was also lured back to daytime on two occasions. First, she helped anchor Sunset Beach, Aaron Spelling’s first (and only) foray into daytime TV. Then, she spent six years playing Edna Wallace on Passions.
In addition to acting, Noone is the founder of Kathleen Noone’s Emotional Fitness, a company that provides spiritual counseling and offers seminars on topics such as how to create and sustain a successful career in the theatre and entertainment industry.
In her spare time, Noone enjoys softball (no doubt due in no small part to her father’s having once played baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers) and spending time with friends and family. Entertainment Hub would like to wish Kathleen Noone a very happy birthday.