BY CANDY PARKER
Have you ever asked a young child what they want to be when they grow up? You get answers like, “I want to be an astronaut-quarterback-firefighter” or “I’d like to be a doctor-race car driver-ballerina.” We hear this, smile and nod, thinking “how cute.” We dismiss the idea that someone could possibly grow to thrive in multiple diverse and challenging arenas.
Well, the next time you hear an answer like that, think of Cathy DeBuono — you may not be so quick to smile and nod.
I doubt if you would have asked 5-year-old Cathy DeBuono the question she would have answered, “I want to be an actress-empath-athlete-radio host-psychotherapist-filmmaker,” but that’s exactly what she grew up to be.
Early on DeBuono excelled as an athlete, attending the University of Kentucky on an athletic scholarship where, as middle blocker on the volleyball team, she set several school records. She went on to win two gold medals at the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1991 and 1992 before a knee injury forced her to abandon the court.
From there she pursued an acting career, a path inspired and encouraged by college friend Ashley Judd, who cast DeBuono in a school play. With acting credits which include three seasons on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” roles in the lesbian film favorites “Out at the Wedding” and “And Then Came Lola” and stints on “Chicago Hope,” “Becker,” “Exes and Oh’s” and much more, there’s no debating that DeBuono transitioned nicely from athlete to actress.
Along the way, DeBuono returned to school to pick up her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. She went on to develop a thriving psychotherapy practice, employing both her clinical training and gift as an empath to assist her clients.
These days you can hear her every Monday at 3pm PT/6pm ET on “Cathy is In,” her successful talk show on LA Talk Radio. DeBuono is joined by comedian Jennie McNulty in playing host to an array of interesting guests for an hour each week.
You’ll also find DeBuono hard at work on her latest project, an as yet unnamed documentary about her encounter with a serial predator, the woman he ultimately killed and the stories of the women who survived to help put him behind bars.
I managed to corral this renaissance woman long enough to get her to answer our Fast 5 questions for the week.
1. What’s the last book you read?
“The Holographic Universe” by Michael Talbot and “Vulture: Profiling Sadistic Serial Killers” by Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin.
2. If you could host a dinner party and invite any five people – past or present – to attend who would be on that guest list?
My Mom, Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball and Betty White. I can only imagine the beverages I’d be spewing involuntarily through my nose every few minutes.
3. What celebrity would render you totally star struck if you were to meet him/her?
Once a while back, I was in the museum of natural history and I saw Susan Sarandon accompanying her son’s grade school class. Nothing else in the museum that day was nearly as compelling a sighting.
4. What’s the last movie you went to the theater to see?
You know something, I don’t remember! I believe it was “The Conjuring” with Lily Taylor.
5. Window or aisle seat on the airplane?
Being six feet tall, it’s the aisle for me! I’d rather accidentally trip flight attendants with my long legs from time to time than not be able to fit in my seat. I’m also far too squirmy to be stuck on the inside.