If you grew up in the ‘80s, you have probably seen her face. Or at least her legs, with nothing but ripped jean shorts and high heels. Yes, we are talking about Daisy Duke, or rather about Catherine Bach, as is her real-life name. You recognize her for her famous, sexy role in the action-filled series “The Dukes of Hazzard”, but how much do you really know about this hot brunette?
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Early life and Education
Catherine Bachman was born on 1 March 1954, in Warren, Ohio USA. Her mother was an acupuncturist, Norma Jean Kucera, and her father was a rancher Bernard Bachman. She is of German-Mexican descent, and her mother comes from one of the earliest families that landed in California, the famous Verdugo family.
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Her parents met in Europe, but divorced a couple of years after Catherine was born. Catherine mostly grew up in Faith, South Dakota, USA, on her grandparents’ ranch. She matriculated from Stevens High School in Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1970, and enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), choosing drama as her major. Because her allowance wasn’t enough to pay her tuition, she made clothes for theatre groups for money, and that was her way of survival at the time, indicating that her family had a very low income, despite once being notable and famous.
Starting Her Career
She debuted her acting career at a very young age, as one of the children in a production of “The Sound of Music”.
However, her first appearance on television screens was in “The Midnight Man”, Burt Lancaster’s murder mystery that was shot in upstate South Carolina in 1973 – Bach played the small role of Natalie Claiburn, the murder victim. In the next year she landed the role of Melody in Michael Cimino’s “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”, next to Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges.
The role that skyrocketed her career was that of Daisy Duke in “The Dukes of Hazzard”, that aired from 1979 to 1985. She first heard of the audition for the main role in this action-comedy TV show through her then husband, David Shaw; the producers were looking for a woman who resembled Dolly Parton, which sounded nothing like her, but she decided to try due to her love of motorcycles.
As it turned out, she charmed the casting crew and was hired instantly. She also brought numerous changes to the character’s original draft, for example, Daisy Duke was supposed to wear a white turtleneck, poodle skirt and go-go boots. Bach had other ideas, so she brought her own homemade outfit, which was a T-shirt, a pair of cut-off denim shorts and high heels – a style which later became iconic.
The poster of her posing as a Daisy Duke that she designed later sold over five million copies. In fact, her Daisy Duke character got her so much recognition, especially due to Bach’s good figure, that she decided to insure her legs for $1 million! All in all, Catherine appeared in a total of 145 episodes and stole the hearts of many, becoming the face many will remember for the age to come.
“The Dukes of Hazzard” Aftermath
Bach’s acting career continued featuring in a number of smaller films and TV shows, such as “You Again”, “Chapman”, “Hawaii Five-0” “African Skies” and “Monk”. She also did the voice acting for Daisy Duke in the 2004 video game “The Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee”, but when she was asked to cameo in the 2005 film remake of “The Dukes of Hazard” that starred Jessica Simson, she refused the offer for reasons unknown.
However, she still happily talks about her Daisy Duke days, as she once declared: ‘Sure it was a lot of fun, couldn’t you tell? It was great to come to work every day. I’m friends with everyone to this day. John Schneider is probably my best friend of all.
He’s like my brother.’ Still, she claims that she’s never seen the “Dukes of Hazzard” movie from 2005. Bach finally found her place in the acting world again when she joined the cast of “The Young and the Restless”, the CBS daytime soap opera, in the 2012. She plays the recurring role of Anita Lawson to the present day. Bach also launched her own independent diamond jewelry line at Debenhams in 2002.
In 1976 Bach married David Shaw, who is the step-son of the actress and singer Angela Lansbury. The marriage lasted until 1981, when the couple filed for divorce for unknown reasons, but apparently there was never any drama involved.
In 1990 Bach remarried, and her new spouse was entertainment lawyer Peter Lopez, the founder of the law firm “Kleinberg Lopez Lange Cuddy and Klein”. Lopez worked with many famous names, most notably pop star Michael Jackson, even saving Jackson from bankruptcy at one point! His other clients included Julio Iglesias, Michael Buble, Andrea Bocelli and The Eagles.
The marriage seemed to be a happy one, and the couple had two daughters, Sophia and Laura. However, everything changed on 30th of April 2010, when the 60-year-old Lopez was found shot dead. His death was proclaimed suicide, which shocked everyone in and out of the family, as Lopez never even hinted towards depression.
In an interview, Bach said that ‘Peter was happy to the very last second. Something terrible happened to him – I just know him so well. He did this to protect my daughters and myself. There must have been some bad business, and he saw this as his only way out of my life and the daughters that we created together.’ To this day, Bach holds the same belief about her late husband and misses him dearly, often going to church to pray for him. She had a few relationships after his death, but so far she hasn’t tied the knot again and claims she doesn’t plan to.
Bach is fond of hot rods, growing-up with the car culture of South Dakota. She thoroughly enjoys watching car shows, and loves playing with her own motorcycles in the garage during the cold winter days.
She even visits the Midlands often so she could open the Motorhome and Caravan Shows at the NEC. Apparently her models cost somewhere between $350,000 and $500,000. She is best friends with ex-Beatle member Ringo Starr and his wife Barbara Bach (despite the surname, the two are unrelated, as Barbara was born a Goldbach), as well as Barbara’s sister Marjorie, and the trio helped her tremendously after the passing of her husband.
It’s said that she makes around $2,000 per episode from “The Young and the Restless”. Bach’s net worth is estimated at around $10 million as of February 2020, a big leap forward from the time when she had to hand-sew clothes to survive and get through college.
Bach has a height of 5ft 8ins (1.75m), her weight is around 150lbs (68kgs), and her vital statistics are 38-28-37. Her hair is light brunette and her eyes are brown. She is considered a very beautiful woman, who is rarely seen without a smile on her face.