O'Hara was born on February 24, 1942 in Sonora, California. Her father, John B. O'Hara, was a salesman, and her mother, Edith (née Hopkins), was a journalist and drama teacher, who founded and continues to run the storied 13th Street Repertory Company in New York City.
O'Hara, her singer/actress younger sister Jill O'Hara, and her singer/guitarist brother Jack O'Hara, grew up amid their mother's pursuit of a theatrical career. Edith O'Hara directed a children's theater in Warren, Pennsylvania, where the two daughters occasionally acted. Eventually, her parents divorced.
O'Hara spent a year at Carnegie Tech (now part of Carnegie-Mellon University) in Pittsburgh and a summer playing in stock theater, and then came to New York to study with Lee Strasberg and Sanford Meisner.
In 1964, O'Hara appeared on Broadway in the dramatic play Dylan at the Plymouth Theatre opposite Sir Alec Guinness, and in 1969 appeared in the musical The Fig Leaves Are Falling at the Broadhurst Theatre with Dorothy Loudon.
In 1970, O'Hara succeeded her younger sister, Jill (who had been nominated for a Tony Award) in the musical Promises, Promises. By the mid-1970s, Edith O'Hara was running the 13th Street Theatre in Greenwich Village (a major venue for off-off-Broadway and children's theater), and her brother Jack was in London, playing guitar and bass and singing with the band Eggs Over Easy, pioneering the pub rock scene in England.
O'Hara graduated to television, both in series and made-for-TV features, including starring roles in Brinks: The Great Robbery, The Return of the World's Greatest Detective, Blind Ambition and Blinded by the Light with Kristy McNichol.
She later worked in movies such as Career Opportunities, A Mother's Prayer, Mystic River, Matchstick Men, Extract and Devil. She was part of the ensemble cast for the first season of The Facts of Life and the entire run of My Sister Sam. She also had guest roles on television series such as Kojak, Charlie's Angels, Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected, Barney Miller, Law & Order, The X-Files, Beverly Hills, 90210, NYPD Blue, ER, CHiPs, House M.D., Boston Legal, Reba, Six Feet Under, and Big Love. She has also made appearances over the years on various TV game shows.
O'Hara had a recurring role as Doug Heffernan's mother, Janet Heffernan, on the 1998–2007 sitcom The King of Queens. She also had roles in the 2009 film, Extract, and the 2010 horror film, Devil.
More recently, O'Hara guest starred on Grey's Anatomy, Transparent, The Mindy Project, 9-1-1, Chicago Fire and American Housewife, among others.
O'Hara was married to August Dorr Watkins, an interior designer and former actor, from 1968 until their 1974 divorce. Since 1986, she has been married to British-born American actor Nick Ullett. They have two adult daughters.
|A Million Little Things: Season 2|
|"Coming Home":||"Grand Canyon":||"Mixed Signals":||"The Perfect Storm":||"Austin":||"Unleashed":||"Ten Years":||"Goodnight":||"Time Stands Still":||"The Kiss":|
|"We're the Howards":||"Guilty":||"Daisy":||"The Sleepover":||"The Lunch":||"Change of Plans":||"One Year Later":||"Mothers and Daughters":||"'Til Death Do Us Part":|
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