Stage and Screen Actor,
Writer & Producer
Inducted May 19, 2012
Most famous for her role as femme fatale (Samantha Jones) in the TV sitcom, Sex and the City, Kim Cattrall has played in a variety of roles on screen, but her first love is the legitimate theatre. On one of her visits back to the Comox Valley she addressed Dorothy Salter’s drama class, explaining to the students that the interaction of a live audience helps her build the character she is performing.
Kim was a very young competitor when Eleanor Phillips was asked to prepare her for a Speech Arts Festival in Nanaimo. Eleanor recalls that Kim, even at 10 years of age, had a beautiful speaking voice and was just a lovely little girl with a vivid personality.
The Cattralls had immigrated to Little River in 1956 when Kim was only three months old. When she was ten, the family returned to England for a time. This allowed Kim the opportunity to stay with an aunt in London so she could attend the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. When the family returned to the Comox Valley, Kim acted in plays produced by her father, which were performed at the Civic Theatre, now known as the Sid Williams Theatre, or the ‘Sid’.
Kim continued to compete in Drama Festivals in Nanaimo, Victoria and the Kiwanis Festival in Vancouver, always with selections from Shakespeare, always winning and continuing on to the Provincial Level. After the Provincial competition in 1970, it was noted that at age 13 she already had four honours awards, three scholarships and numerous first prizes in both junior and senior competitions.
Kim attended the local Vancouver Island Summer School of the Arts, which opened at Vanier School in 1968. Two years later she went to the summer programme at Notre Dame University in Nelson, BC and later one summer at the Banff School of Fine Arts before graduating from G.P. Vanier High School in 1972. On the recommendation of instructors from both Notre Dame and Banff, she auditioned and was accepted to the New York American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Kim, at age 16, was one of the youngest students ever to be admitted to the school.
Within two weeks of graduating Kim was hired by Otto Preminger for a role in the movie “Rosebud”. When the filming was over, she remarked in a newspaper article, “When I started school in New York, I thought I knew a bit about theatre, but the real fun is discovering how much you really don’t know and that you never stop learning things about the business. Of course working in Rosebud was exciting, at least I have an idea what it is like to do a big thing like that but now I’ve got to pay my dues.”
Kim has an extensive list of roles she’s played in television, film and on the stage. She played the Vulcan wife of Spock on Star Trek, a role in Police Academy and in a Disney film, “Ice Princess”. She has a life long love of the work of Rudyard Kipling and played his wife Caroline in the film, “My Son Jack.” But she is best known for her role as Samantha in the TV series Sex and the City. As a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts, Kim can vote in the Oscar selections.
She has been nominated for a Genie Award, won a Golden Globe (2002) for Sex and the City, the Banff World Television Festival Award (2008), a Genie Award (2010) and the Razzie Award (2010) for her part in a spoof on the Downton Abbey Series. In December 2001, People Magazine listed Kim as one of the ‘25 Most Intriguing People of the Year’.
When she received the 2008 Cosmopolitan Magazine, ‘Ultimate Woman of the Year’ Icon Award, she remarked, “I will never ever get used to receiving these awards because I always think of an icon as someone so much more important than I am and especially some of the women in this room. They are saving people’s lives – I mean – I make people laugh, hopefully, and entertain them and I love to do that, bit I am really inspired by these men and women who really give so much of their lives to really change the world.”
When Sex and the City focused an episode on Breast Cancer it gave her new insight on the disease, resulting in Kim working with the Canadian Cancer Society, modeling the ‘Target Tee’ and narrating a documentary on Breast Cancer.
In the fall of 2011 she returned to theatre, co-starring with Canadian actor, Paul Gross in a new production of Noel Coward’s ‘Private Lives’. After a successful run in Toronto the play opened on Broadway in November, 2011.
Her induction into the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement turned into a week of activity for Kim Cattrall. On Wednesday, May 16 it all began with a visit to the Berwick Seniors Village. This was followed with a stop at her former high school (G. P. Vanier) to present bursaries to two drama students and have lunch with staff members of the school. In an interview following the bursary presentations Cattrall commented, “I thought it was time for me to give back at this time of my life. I’ve been so lucky and successful. Yes, I’ve worked hard, but I feel that… it’s really the moment for me to make a significant contribution to the next generation of Canadian artists.”
On Thursday, May 17 she visited Don Road, where she grew up in Little River. It is now also known as Kim Cattrall Walk, following a ceremony of dedication. On Friday, May 18 a commemorative plaque was unveiled for Kim in the Sid Williams Theatre, honouring her career as a performing artist. Saturday, May 19 she was inducted into the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement with a formal ceremony in Sid Williams Theatre. Her plaque was unveiled by the Theatre’s fountain. This area is reserved for future inductees who excelled in the performing arts.
Although she splits her time in New York and England, Cattrall said no matter where she is, the Comox Valley remains her home. “When I get off the plane at CFB Comox I take a breath in and I call it sweet air,” she noted. “There’s a sweetness in the air that you just don’t have in Vancouver. For me it’s just Vancouver Island, and I know I’m home.”
We'd like to acknowledge the Comox Valley Echo (Judy Hagen, Hunt For History) and the Comox Valley Record for their research and articles about these Comox Valley Walk of Achievement Honourees.
Special thanks to Bruce McPhee whose support enabled us to create this website and the Honouree signage along Fifth Street in Courtenay, BC.