July 17, 1978
Los Angeles, California, United States
Evincing an air of articulate self-possession that came across more as experienced sophistication than precociousness despite her relative youth, Katharine Towne was quite a catch in Hollywood: an attractive, smart and talented blonde hip to the ins and outs of the business. The eldest daughter of famed screenwriter Robert Towne, the actress initially wanted to be a writer, inspired both by her father's legacy and her own hatred of actors. Time and therapy led Towne to the realization that she was in fact a born actor; she had only been acting as a writer. From here she sought out training and soon began landing small supporting roles. Not many moviegoers caught her work in the festival screened independent "Girl" (1998), but her next feature "She's All That" (1999) was well-attended although her part was less than crucial. A similarly dialogue-light turn followed in Doug Liman's energetic "Go" that same year. She was featured to greater advantage in the silly romantic comedy "The Bachelor," playing chef Monique, a somewhat eccentric candidate to be the bride of Chris O'Donnell's commitment-shy titular character.Although she had filmed a role in the unaired David Lynch pilot "Mulholland Drive" in spring of 1999, Towne did not make her television debut until October 1999 with a fearsome turn as a venomous vampire able to find the heroine's weakness on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (The WB). She was set to star in the midseason replacement series "M.Y.O.B." on NBC, an edgy, acerbic take on high school comedy created by "The Opposite of Sex" director Don Roos. Not unlike Christina Ricci's despicable yet oddly likable character in that feature, Towne's take on sarcastic runaway Riley Veatch was remarkably multi-layered yet still bluntly funny. Shot in one-camera style, nearly all of the show featured Towne and her cutting voiceover dominated the series. The actress proved to be the most watchable aspect of the somewhat uneven program. Shortly after the June berth of "M.Y.O.B.," Towne hit the big screen again with roles in three summer 2000 releases, the sexual preference deprogramming comedy "But I'm a Cheerleader," the eerily Machiavellian social climbing tale "In Crowd" and the Michelle Pfeiffer-Harrison Ford supernatural mystery "What Lies Beneath." The following year, she was featured in the touching romantic comedy "Town & Country," starring her dad's pal Warren Beatty.