Kathleen Wilhoite’s story as a performing artist began when she joined her church choir at All Saints by the Sea in the first grade. Two years later, when she was on stage at the Santa Barbara County Bowl as part of a back-up choir with The Carpenters, she still remembers vividly the power and connection she felt between audience and performer standing in that spotlight, staring out at the crowd. After that, she knew what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
She graduated high school and enrolled in the USC Drama School. Within two months, she landed her first movie role in Private School. Throughout the 1980s, she appeared in a number of film and TV projects as both leads and second leads where her brash sexuality and unconventional style was eagerly put on display. Most noticeably, she played opposite Charles Bronson in Murphy's Law, Jane Fonda in The Morning After, Robert De Niro in Angel Heart , Amy Irving in Crossing Delancey, Patrick Swayze in Road House, Debra Winger and Nick Nolte in Everybody Wins, and, again with Nolte and with Susan Sarandon in Lorenzo's Oil.
While her acting career flourished, she continued to expand her musical skills: a contract with Polygram Records, which inspired a brief sojourn to Texas, then to Nashville, flying back and forth to New York and Los Angeles to maintain her acting career, during which she was fortunate to play a variety of offbeat roles in such movies as Nurse Betty staring Renee Zellweger and Pay It Forward staring Helen Hunt. After that record deal fell through, she signed with V2 Records based out of New York and kept her name active on the credits list for over two decades. Eventually, she moved back to Los Angeles and landed a number of challenging roles on such shows as L.A. Law , ER, Gilmore Girls, more recently, Yellowstone, and The Resident, portraying a wide variety of characters – from drugged-out moms to mentally-challenged crime victims to grieving widows, cantankerous neighbors, alcoholics, car mechanics, farmers, sufferers of many catastrophic diseases, including a woman with a brain-eating amoeba who gets hit by an ambulance.
In the late 1980s, Kathleen was chosen by cartoonist Cathy Guisewite to give vocal life to her "Cathy" creation on animated TV. In the 1990’s, she played the title role in the animated series Pepper Ann. Currently, she appears as Sue Peltzer in Summer Camp Island, created by Julia Pott for Cartoon Network and HBO Max.
Married to record producer/drummer/Marketing executive David Harte and the mother of three grown children, Kathleen has released and toured behind two CD’s - "Pitch Like a Girl” and "Shiva.” In sync with both her edgy acting and music style, she wrote and performed an autobiographical one-woman show, "Stop Yellin'," directed by Kathy Najimy, in which she sang her own music and performed monologues.
She lucked into teaching acting and theater production at Columbia College Hollywood, replacing a friend who was cast a play in New York and fell in love with teaching and directing. She decided to make it official and get her master’s degree in Theater Arts Pedagogy and has been teaching ever since.
She spends most of her free time writing plays, novels, and screenplays. She has a humorous piece in Andrea Buchanan’s book, Live and Let Love published by Gallery Books, a division of Simon and Shuster, and is currently converting Clown Baby, a play she wrote, into a feature film that she plans to co-direct, COVID-permitting, in the near future.