Catherine Bach will always be remembered as sultry county girl Daisy Duke in the series "The Duke of Hazzard," but there's more to the actress than the character she is always associated with.
At 67 years old, Catherine Bach is still active in show business, currently playing the character Anita Lawson in the long-running soap opera "The Young and The Restless."
Aside from acting, she sometimes takes part in autograph signings and is preoccupied with her jewelry brand, Catherine Bach Signature Line. But beyond her successes, the actress has also dealt with hardships. Here's a glimpse into her personal life and career.
Catherine Bach and husband Peter Lopez at Benefit Opening of The Who's "Tommy" - July 15, 1994 | Photo: Getty Images
Born on March 1, 1954, in Warren, Ohio, USA, Bachman was Bernard Bachman and Norma Jean Kucera's only daughter and Philip Bachman's only sister.
She attended and graduated from Stevens High School in Rapid City, South Dakota, and later studied arts at UCLA, where she supplemented her income by making clothes.
Soon later, Bach decided to pursue a career in acting, and in 1974, she appeared in "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot." It wasn't until five years later that the talented star landed her breakout role in "The Dukes of Hazzard."
John Schneider and Catherine Bach at the Anaheim Convention Center at Anaheim, California on September 29, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images
"THE DUKES OF HAZZARD"
From 1979 until 1985, the sitcom graced national television with the fun adventures of the Duke boys of Hazzard County. Bach, who played Daisy Duke, became a trendsetter with her staple shorts that became an '80s fashion craze.
In a previous interview, Bach revealed how much she adored her character because of Daisy's ability to do tasks better than a man. "She wasn't acting tough," Bach said of the character. "She just was."
Initially, the showrunners wanted a blonde Dolly Parton lookalike to play the role, which was nothing like Bach, a half Mexican and half German woman.
In addition, her agency fired her at that time for being nothing like television material. "I was told, 'We're never going to make money off you. Aside from doing a movie here and there, we don't see a television series in your future," Bach shared.
Her husband, however, was connected with the show's writer, Bob Clark. He must have told Clark about his wife because he called back and offered her to audition for Daisy Duke.
Bach didn't think she stood a chance to play the role, but it turned out otherwise. After her audition, everyone in the room remained silent. "Then everyone, we're talking 30 people, got up and started clapping," she recalled. "They just connected with my vision of how this part should be played."
PLAYING DAISY DUKE
When Bach started her acting stint on the show, she did more than just read scripts alongside John Scheider and Denver Pyle. In fact, she was the brain behind the famous daisy duke shorts.
In a previous interview, Bach revealed that the show's creators wanted her to wear a poodle skirt that paired with the tablecloth. She shared:
"I thought, 'We need a costume change.' So I got my jean shorts that I could never get even, with cowboy boots and a little top. They loved it!"
Behind the scenes, Bach was a doting mother and a loving wife. The actress, who was previously married to David Shaw from 1976 to 1981, tied the knot with entertainment lawyer Peter Lopez in August 1990.
Unfortunately, her marriage to Lopez ended in tragedy after he was discovered shot dead in an apparent suicide in April 2010. In a 2013 interview with The Huffington Post, Bach opened up about her husband's demise. She said:
"Let me preface this suicide by saying that every suicide is different and unique in its own way because every person is unique in their own way."
Catherine Bach and husband Peter Lopez attend opening night of "Annie Get Your Gun" in New York, 1999 | Photo: Getty Images
Bach explained she was still confused about why her husband had done that because they had no problems. She pointed out that he didn't take drugs, he seldom drank, and that they were financially stable.
"I've read a lot of research about it, some research coming out of Harvard," she said. "It was just in the New York Times Magazine Sunday supplement talking about unexplained suicides could be traced to childhood abuse."
So that made some sense to her about her husband. The actress said she believes he had a great deal of abuse when he was a kid that he never truly got over.
Sophia Lopez, Catherine Bach and Laura Lopez at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on October 17, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images
"I wasn't ashamed of [speaking out]," Bach said. "I was just completely focused on taking care of my children and taking care of myself so I wouldn't fall apart."
Bach said she prayed a lot and went to Church to get through her husband's death. She also joined grief group therapy and thought of her children to stay strong.
The actress takes care of her daughters, Laura and Sophia, whom she shared with her late husband. On September 29, 2019, Bach was spotted at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. She was all smiles as she posed for photos with Schneider.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.
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