Catherine Bach: Get to Know the Real Daisy Duke

When it comes to iconic actors and actresses of TV fame, Catherine Bach is one of the most memorable stars of them all. Famed for her role as Daisy Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard, she also played Margo Dutton in African Skies.

Catherine Bach / John Schneider, Catherine Bach and Tom Wopat / Catherine Bach / Catherine Bach
Source: Getty Images

In more recent times, fans have enjoyed Catherine’s performance as Anita Lawson in The Young and the Restless, and she’s played in plenty of other shows, as well as a long list of films. Here’s the full story of her extraordinary life so far.

She Was Born in Ohio

As many viewers might assume, Catherine Bach made a name for herself as Southern Belle, Daisy Duke, but she wasn’t born or raised in a southern state. She was born in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, on March 1st of 1954.

Catherine Bach poses for a studio portrait.
Source: Tumblr

She was the daughter of Norma Jean Kucera, who worked as an acupuncturist, and Bernard Bachman, a rancher, and her family had Mexican, German, and Californian roots going back many years. However, the family didn’t spend too long in Ohio, and young Catherine would soon be on the move.

She Grew Up in South Dakota

Despite being born in Cleveland, Catherine didn’t spend much time there as a child. Her father was in the Air Force at the time of her birth, stationed in Ohio. However, the family soon left the state and went back to their home ranch in South Dakota.

Catherine Bach climbs a tree to hold hands with a chimp.
Photo by Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

It was in South Dakota that Catherine spent most of her childhood and began to grow up. Her grandparents lived nearby in the city of Faith, and she attended Stevens High School in Rapid City, South Dakota, too.

A Love of Acting from an Early Age

It didn’t take long for Catherine Bach to take an interest in acting. She was interested in the idea of becoming an actress from a young age. So, after graduating high school, she went to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and there, she studied drama as a major.

Catherine Bach poses for a studio portrait.
Source: CBS

In her spare time, to make some extra money on the side, she got into the habit of making clothes for friends and local theater groups. This helped her make some more connections in the theatrical world and show off her determination and drive to succeed in life.

Her Professional Debut as a Child

Even before she’d set off to study drama at UCLA, and many years before she became widely-known to TV audiences, Catherine had already made her professional acting debut. She appeared as one of the children in a classic musical production, The Sound of Music.

All the Von Trapp children gathered to open presents
Photot by Bettmann/Getty Images

It was only a small role, but it was the start of something special for Catherine. From that point on, it seemed that she was destined to have a career in show business and that early appearance on stage helped her confidence and self-belief for the many auditions and roles that would follow in the future.

Her First Screen Role

Catherine Bach’s very first on-screen role came in The Midnight Man, a 1974 neo-noir mystery film. The film was directed by Burt Lancaster and also stared Lancaster in a leading role. Catherine played the role of Natalie, who was actually the main murder victim in the film’s story.

Bach in a still from The Midnight Man.
Source: Pinterest

The film was shot in South Carolina in 1973. Her next screen appearance came in the 1974 movie, Thunderbolt, and Lightfoot, which starred Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges. Catherine played Melody, which was one of the main female roles in the movie.

Hearing About The Dukes of Hazzard Through Her Husband

Countless people know Catherine due to her role in The Dukes of Hazzard, but it was only by coincidence that she even heard about the show and had a chance to try out for it in the first place. In an interview, she revealed that it was all thanks to her husband at the time, David Shaw.

Catherine Bach and David Shaw during Look Magazine Party.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Shaw worked as a contractor and liked to hire out-of-work actors or struggling writers. He hired a man named Bob Clark to paint the family home, and Clark was actually working on the initial idea for The Dukes of Hazzard at the time with the show’s creator, Gy Waldron.

Not Quite Perfect for the Part

Bob Clark explained the idea of the show to David and Catherine. He added that the team was looking for someone to take on the role of Daisy Duke, and they had a very specific idea of the type of girl they needed.

Bach poses for a studio portrait.
Source: CBS

“They were looking for a particular type of girl – lots of blonde hair and an hourglass figure,” explained Catherine in a newspaper interview. Despite not being quite the right fit, Bob told Daisy that she should still give it a try and meet with the casting team.

She Was Hired Straight Away

Catherine decided to go for it. Even though her own agency had fired her a little while earlier and said that her look was “too exotic” for TV, she wanted to prove people wrong and still felt like she could have a successful career in show business.

John Schneider, Catherine Bach, and Tom Wopat pose for a studio portrait.
Source: CBS

So, she went to an audition and read for the part of Daisy Duke. And despite not being a Dolly Parton look-a-like or having blonde hair, she wowed the production team and was given Daisy’s role later that same day.

She Made Her Own Costume

After being given the part of Daisy, Catherine joined up with the production and was given her first outfit. The producers wanted her to wear a red-and-white checked skirt, a white turtleneck, white boots, and a blonde wig.

Bach in her iconic Daisy costume.
Source: CBS

They really wanted to go with the Dolly Parton vibe, but Catherine wasn’t in agreement. She asked if she could bring her own outfit to try, and the team agreed. She then got to work choosing clothes that fit the role perfectly, creating the iconic Daisy Duke look of cut-off denim shorts, high heels, and a simple T-shirt.

An Iconic Character Was Born

The character really came to life when Catherine Bach stepped onto the set in her Daisy Duke outfit. The producers loved the look and agreed to let her keep it, forgetting all about the blonde wig and white turtleneck.

The cast of the Dukes of Hazzard pose on set.
Source: CBS

The outfit really helped Catherine make the character her own, and it also played a big part in establishing Daisy as such an iconic character. In the end, the term “Daisy Dukes” became a common part of pop culture to refer to cut-off denim shorts, and it’s all thanks to Catherine’s savvy fashion sense.

The Outfit Caused Some Scandals

Daisy Duke’s outfit was clearly an instant hit, but there was still some controversy around it. In an interview, Catherine admitted that feminists and journalists have questioned the skimpiness of the outfit and asked Catherine if she wasn’t upset with being displayed in such a revealing way.

Bach sticks out of the car window on the set of The Dukes of Hazzard.
Source: CBS

But Catherine had her principles. She also felt that the outfit was a little unsuitable in certain scenes and even asked to wear something else for a restaurant scene. But then the producers told her to actually visit a local restaurant, where she saw that nearly all the girls inside were wearing mini-skirts too, realizing that her outfit wasn’t so unusual after all.

She Starred in Every Season of the Show

Along with her fellow stars like John Schneider as Bo Duke, Tom Wopat as Luke Duke, Denver Pyle as Jesse Duke, and James Best as Sheriff Rosco, Catherine Bach helped to make The Dukes of Hazzard a global hit.

Schneider, Bach, and Wopat pose ontop of their car from the show.
Source: CBS

She starred as the main cast member in every single season of the show and the 1997 made-for-TV reunion special, plus the Hazzard in Hollywood TV film, too. In the end, she appeared in all but one episode, with “To Catch a Duke” in season three being the only one she missed.

A Very Famous Poster

As the show continued and became so successful, the production team wanted to capitalize on its success. They particularly wanted to make the most of Daisy Duke’s sex appeal, so they decided to create a poster of Daisy, but Catherine didn’t like their plans.

Bach poses for a poster.
Source: CBS

The team originally wanted to have Catherine posing in a bikini, covered in oil with wet, slicked-back hair and long fingernails. Catherine wasn’t into the idea, saying that it didn’t match her character or herself as an actress. She got the original design canceled and made her own, selling five million copies and even finding an unexpected admirer in the form of Nancy Reagan.

Staying in Shape

Many people have wondered about Catherine’s diet and personal routine to stay in such great shape for the full duration of The Dukes of Hazzard, as she became known during the show’s run for her flawless figure and fabulous curves. So how did she do it?

John Schneider, Catherine Bach and Tom Wopat in a promotional portrait for 'The Dukes of Hazzard'.
Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Well, in an interview, Catherine revealed that she didn’t actually need to worry about her diet too much or avoid certain foods due to her love of dance. During the show’s run, she would take two 90-minute dance classes on every free day she had, helping her stay in amazing shape while also having fun.

The Million Dollar Legs and the Californian Vessel

Catherine’s slender legs were a big part of her character’s sex appeal, and, as part of a publicity stunt, she actually had them insured for a million dollars! This was widely talked about at the time and helped elevate Catherine’s status in the general public’s eyes even more.

Catherine Bach poses for a portrait.
Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Not only that, but she was also chosen as the model for the bare-breasted figurehead of the Californian. This schooner was built in the 1980s and modeled after the US Revenue Marine cutter, Lawrence. The ship was later classed as the “official state tall ship” of California by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Taking a Break after Dukes Comes to an End

Catherine played Daisy Duke in the main show and various spin-offs of Dukes, including Enos and the animated cartoon, The Dukes. But, when the show finally ended in the 80s, she decided to take a break from acting for a while.

A studio portrait of Bach.
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

She only made a few minor appearances in movies during the rest of the decade, like the 1987 movie Street Justice and B-movies such as Driving Force and Criminal Act. These weren’t big-budget films, but they had cult followings, thanks mostly to Catherine’s presence and her Daisy Duke past.

Getting Back into the Acting Game

In the 1990s, after marrying her second husband, Catherine seemed to get a second wind and wanted to get back out into the acting world in a more serious way, so she started taking on various roles in both films and TV.

Catherine Bach arrives at an event.
Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage/Getty Images

She appeared in the 1990 film Masters of Menace and the 1992 movies, The Nutt House and Rage and Honor, but it was on TV that she was really about to make a big splash once again in the role of Margo Dutton on African Skies.

African Skies

African Skies was a Canadian adventure series that aired from 1992 through to 1994 on The Family Channel. The show focused on two teenage boys in South Africa and how their lives intertwined, with Catherine Bach playing a starring role as Margo, mother to one of the boys.

Catherine Bach sits in a movie set chair.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Catherine’s presence on the show helped it draw a crowd in the early episodes, and fans were eager to see how the star had changed over the years and what she could bring to a very different kind of role. She helped African Skies become a moderately popular drama, running for two seasons and 52 episodes in total.

The Young and the Restless

In more recent years, fans of Catherine Bach have been able to spot her in movies like You Again and The Breakup Girl and shows such as Monk, Almost Royal, and Hawaii Five-0. She also has a recurring role in The Young the Restless.

Bach, as Anita Lawson, from The Young the Restless.
Source: CBS

On The Young and the Restless, Catherine has been playing Anita Lawson since 2012. Mother to Chelsea Lawson, Anita is described as a “scheming” and “conspiring” character with a crafty and flirtatious side. She has appeared in several episodes over the last decade and played a part in some big storylines for the soap opera.

Catherine’s Personal Life Has Always Interested the Public

Since Catherine Bach burst onto TV screens as the sexy, sassy Daisy Duke, fans have wanted to know all about the woman behind the character. They wanted to know who she was, where she came from, dating, and everything else.

Catherine Bach poses for a portrait while climbing a tree.
Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images

So it’s no surprise that there have been many interviews and articles involving Catherine, with tabloids and magazines trying to find out as much as they can about the star’s personal life to share with their readers and her many fans all over the globe.

Her First Marriage to David Shaw

Bach married her first husband, David Shaw, back in 1976. She met him on the beach in the celebrity haven of Malibu, and she stated in an interview around the time that it was “love at first sight” for the pair.

Catherine Bach arrives at an event.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

They only needed three months of dating before they decided to tie the knot, and Catherine was totally in love at the time. She said, “I never doubted for a moment that we were right for each other,” and it seemed like the couple might last forever.

A Very Famous Mother-in-Law

The relationship between Catherine Bach and David Shaw got a lot of people talking. David himself wasn’t well-known as a star or celebrity, but he was the son of English actor and producer Peter Shaw and the stepson of Angela Lansbury, one of the most famous actresses of all time.

Angela Lansbury enjoys a cup of tea.
Photo by Paul Harris/Getty Images

Dame Angela Lansbury is one of the last living stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, famed for her roles in movies like The Manchurian Candidate, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Murder, She Wrote. David’s father, Peter, was her second husband, and the pair remained married until he died in 2003.

The Marriage Lasted Less Than Five Years

Like many people, Catherine was fully in love and committed at the start of her marriage to David Shaw, believing that he was the perfect man for her and hoping to spend the rest of her life by his side as husband and wife.

Catherine Bach at the Golden Globes.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Unfortunately, things didn’t quite turn out the way that the couple had originally hoped. Their marriage went downhill after a few years of being together, and they eventually decided to get divorced in 1981. Their marriage lasted a little over four and a half years in total.

Catherine’s Second Husband

After getting divorced, Catherine spent almost a full decade as a single woman, having a few relationships here and there before eventually meeting and falling in love with Peter Lopez. Peter was the man who would become her second husband in August of 1990.

Peter Lopez and Catherine Bach arrive at an event.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Born on 7 June of 1949 in San Francisco, California, Peter Lopez was in the world of show business, but not as an actor or performer; he was an entertainment lawyer, working with various celebrities and stars on their cases. He was co-founder of the Kleinberg Lopez Lange Cuddy & Klein law firm and best-known for being the lawyer of pop icon Michael Jackson.

A Long and Happy Marriage

For Catherine and Peter, it was true love right from the first days. The pair were thrilled together, and they had two children: little girls named Sophia and Laura. They were a delighted family, with both Peter and Catherine being highly successful in their professional lives and able to provide all they needed for each other and their daughters.

Catherine Bach and husband Peter Lopez pose together.
Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images

Many celebrities have difficult relationships, and many end up getting divorced and remarried several times. Still, Catherine seemed to have found her ideal man in Peter Lopez and settled with him. Unfortunately, the story of Catherine and Peter had a tragic end, 20 years after they got married.

A Terrible Turn of Events

Everything in Catherine Bach’s life had been going incredibly well. She’d enjoyed amazing success on screen in her TV and film work, and in her personal life, she was very happily married to her second husband, Peter Lopez, with whom she had welcomed two daughters into the world.

A studio portrait for Catherine Bach, Peter Lopez, and their daughters.
Source: Pinterest

However, on April 30 of 2010, all of that was about to change surprisingly and unexpectedly for Catherine and the rest of the family. On that fateful day, Bach’s husband tragically committed suicide, shooting himself in the head.

A Day Like Any Other

In a 2013 interview with the Huffington Post, Catherine opened up about the events of that day. She stated that the day started just like any other, explaining that the family woke up like normal, went to the kitchen, and ate breakfast as they always did.

Bach poses is at home looking out the window.
Source: Pinterest

Before leaving for work, Catherine kissed her husband and wished him a nice day, as usual. Everything seemed normal, and nobody, least of all Catherine, could have predicted the horrible events that would later unfold on that April morning back in 2010.

Catherine Never Saw it Coming

When asked if she’d noticed any signs of her husband’s mental state leading up to the suicide, Catherine explained that she never saw it coming. In her own words, she said, “He didn’t take drugs, he rarely drank, we were financially stable, so… why?”

Catherine and her daughter during Peter Lopez’s funeral.
Source: Twitter

Catherine also added that, in the years since her husband’s passing, she has read a lot of research papers and books on the subject of suicide to try and get a better understanding of how it all happened. The research has helped her accept what happened, but she still has questions that will never be answered.

A Day She’ll Never Forget

That April 30 is a day that Catherine will never be able to forget. She can still vividly remember the morning and the last words that she and her husband said to one another. She also remembers getting home later that day and calling out for him but getting no answer.

Catherine Bach and husband Peter Lopez during the Miramax Golden Globes Party.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

She then heard the gunshot from out behind the property and started to run towards the sound before stopping herself in case something dangerous was going on out there. A staff member at her house later found the body, and police were all over the property by the end of the day.

Gradually, She Managed to Move on

Catherine was naturally devastated after the loss of her husband, dealing with shock and depression for a long time. “We all fell apart,” she said when asked how she and her daughters felt in the wake of the event, but she also knew that she had to stay strong for her girls.

Catherine Bach and daughters Sophia and Laura attend an event.
Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

And as time went by, even though it has been difficult and continues to be hard for Catherine and her family, she has been able to move on and accept what happened. She credits her good friends and people around her for helping her get through such a tough time in life.

Finding Love Again

Despite the pain and difficulties she has experienced since her late husband’s suicide, Catherine has been able to find love again with a new man. In October 2015, she revealed that she was dating former police officer Peter Repovich.

Catherine Bach and Peter Repovich attended an LAPD Gala.
Photo by Brian Gove/WireImage/Getty Images

Catherine said that Peter had helped her move on and has “a lot of love in my life” thanks to him. She added, “We are very happy together. He is a very special guy.” In recent times, the star has kept her personal life fairly secret, but reports suggest that she and Peter are still dating at this time.

Busy Being a Loving Mother

As well as dating Peter and keeping up with her friends and professional engagements, Catherine is also a doting mother with a lot of love to give to her two daughters, Sophia and Laura, who are both now young adults. Laura just finished her psychology degree, while Sophia has been writing for TV shows like MacGyver.

Catherine Bach and daughters pose together.
Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images

Catherine always supports her daughters, recently spotted at Laura’s graduation ceremony at the University of Southern California. She often shares photos and updates about herself and her daughters for her fans to keep up with via her Instagram account.

What Else Is Catherine Doing These Days?

So, we know that Catherine is still working in the world of films and TV, albeit a little less active than she once did, and still makes appearances on The Young and the Restless in her role as Anita Lawson, but what else has she been up to?

Catherine Bach is out walking her dog.
Photo by Chris Wolf/Star Max/GC Images/Getty Images

Well, a lot of actors struggle to keep up as the years go by. Many lose a lot of the fortunes that they have built up over time through their TV and movie work, but Catherine has always been smart, sensible. She is an organized person with many income streams, so she’s still doing very well, with a diverse range of activities.

Her Own Line of Jewelry

Catherine has always had an interest in fashion, accessories, style, and beauty. Even from her younger days when she was still a drama student, she liked to make things on the side and created attractive outfits and accessories for people she knew.

Catherine Bach poses in her backyard.
Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

So it’s probably not too surprising to hear that she has created her own jewelry line. The Catherine Bach Signature Line of jewelry features designs and ideas from Catherine’s creative mind and was launched at the Debenhams department store chain in the UK and is available in the US and elsewhere.

Running Her Own Store in Nashville

In 2016, Catherine took the next step in her fashion business plans by setting up her store in Nashville, Tennessee. The store, known as Daisy Country, is an homage to all things Daisy Duke and Catherine Bach-related, featuring Catherine’s designs in clothing, jewelry, etc.

The exterior of Daisy Country store in Nashville.
Source: Pinterest

The store frequently impresses first-time visitors with its wide range of items, with Catherine explaining, “We’ve got everything from denim to t-shirts to dog collars and leashes. I have coffee cups and a little smattering of everything.” She also has plans to grow the store in the future as a hangout spot, with a game playing area, a karaoke station, and so on.

Catering to Fans Around the World via Her Website

Catherine Bach has many fans worldwide, as Dukes of Hazzard was a big hit in many different countries. Not everyone has the time or money to get out to Tennessee to visit her store in person, and that’s why she also runs her own Daisy Country website.

Bach poses with a male fan dressed as her Dukes of Hazzard character.
Source: Twitter

Previously listed as, the site has been Catherine’s online portal for many years, used to sell Daisy Duke posters, clothing, jewelry, and memorabilia from her career. It’s now a place where people can shop for various items and read blog posts written by Catherine, too.

Connecting with Fans at Events and Conventions

Catherine has always been respectful of her fans and grateful for their support. She’s always been a star who likes to give back to the people who helped make her such a success and enjoyed her work so much in roles like Daisy Duke, so she also takes time out of her schedule to visit events and conventions.

Catherine Bach stands in front of a poster from her past.
Photo by Viviane Moos/Corbis/Getty Images

Catherine attends these events with other celebrities from films and TV throughout the ages and poses for photos with fans, chatting to them and signing posters and props. She appears at Dukes Fan Fairs, which are shows fully dedicated to The Dukes of Hazzard, and travels across the US to meet her biggest fans.

Keeping the Legacy of Daisy Alive

Catherine Bach has done many amazing things, from running her own businesses to being a loving and supportive mother and continuing to amaze us on-screen in shows like The Young and the Restless. Still, she will forever most commonly be associated with Daisy Duke.

John Schneider and Catherine Bach at NostalgiaCon.
Photo by Manny Hernandez/Getty Images

Some actors try to shed these associations or grow resentful of their most famous roles, but Catherine has embraced her identity as Daisy. She has used it to her advantage, keeping the Daisy legend alive with her store, clothing, accessories, fan event appearances, and so on.

An Amazing Actress and an Inspiring Woman

Overall, Catherine Bach has led a remarkable life so far and continues to be an inspiration for many people worldwide. She wowed us all with her early appearances as Daisy before proving that she could do other things with her extra film and TV work in shows like African Skies.

Catherine Bach arrives at the premiere of 'Trumbo'.
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

A woman of many talents, she can act, sing, create, design, and more, and even though she’s not quite in the spotlight these days as she was before, she’s still an amazing person living her best life. Fans who want to keep up with her latest adventures can follow her on both Twitter and Instagram, too.