Actress Annette O'Toole was essentially born to be an entertainer. These days she's been playing the sassy Hope McCrea on the Netflix TV series Virgin River, but she's been regularly appearing on our screens since she was just a teenager.
Born in Houston, Texas, her mother owned a local dance studio, which O'Toole started attending when she was just three years old. She told Texas Monthly that as a young child she was incredibly inspired by one particular dancer at the studio.
"When I was nine, I went over to her one day--I was interested in dancing but it was something my mother did--and asked, "How do I get to be as good as you are?" And she said, "Just dance every day. Come every day and do it." So that's what I started doing; I danced in every class. If it was a baby class, I'd lead the children, or if it was a class for older girls, I'd dance in the back. I don't know what it was about seeing her that day that inspired me, but from then on, my life went in that direction."
After O'Toole's family moved to Los Angeles, California when she was 13, she took that dedication and energy she learned at the dance studio and put it into acting. Just a couple of years later she landed her first TV show appearing on The Danny Kaye Show which led to roles on My Three Sons, The Virginian, Gunsmoke, and The Partridge Family. Over the years she's appeared in a slew of TV movies including Bridge to Terabithia, Stephen King's It as Beverly Marsh, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in the miniseries The Kennedys of Massachusetts (which earned O'Toole an Emmy nomination), and played Tammy Wynette in Stand by Your Man. She's also appeared in numerous films including Cat People, Cross My Heart, Foolin' Around, Imaginary Crimes, A Futile and Stupid Gesture and Blow the Man Down.
The actress has starred in multiple series including playing Lisa Bridges in Nash Bridges, Dottie Thorson in The Huntress, and Martha Kent in Smallville. An interesting choice later in life since she had previously played Clark Kent's love interest Lana Lang in the 1983 film, Superman III.
But her real life is just as interesting as her resume. O'Toole had two children with first husband Bill Geisslinger, but has been married to actor Michael McKean since 1999. The couple first got together after starring in the film Final Justice and have been together ever since. The couple is very musically gifted and even wrote the Oscar-nominated song together, "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow," featured in the film A Mighty Wind. They have written numerous songs together over the years in addition to appearing on Broadway.