Catherine Oxenberg

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Catherine Oxenberg
Katarina Oksenberg.jpg
Oxenberg in 2012
Born (1961-09-22) September 22, 1961 (age 62)
New York City, U.S.
Alma mater Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle
St. Paul's School
Columbia University (dropped out)
Years active1982–present
Known for Dynasty
The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana
Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After
Acapulco H.E.A.T.
  • (m. 1998; annul.  1998)
  • (m. 1999;div. 2015)
  • Ellis Jones
    (m. 2023)
Children3, including India Oxenberg
Relatives Christina Oxenberg (sister)

Catherine Oxenberg (born September 22, 1961) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Amanda Carrington on the 1980s prime-time soap opera Dynasty . Oxenberg is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and her first husband, Howard Oxenberg (1919–2010). She twice played Diana, Princess of Wales on screen, in The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana (1982) and Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After (1992), and has appeared in many other films.


Early life

Oxenberg was born in New York City, and grew up in London. She is the eldest daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia (born 1936), a member of the House of Karađorđević, and her first husband Howard Oxenberg (1919–2010), a Jewish [1] dress manufacturer and close friend of the Kennedy family. Her sister is Christina Oxenberg. Princess Elizabeth is the only daughter of Prince Paul of Yugoslavia (who served as regent for his cousin's eldest son King Peter II of Yugoslavia) and Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark.

Through her maternal grandmother, Catherine is a first cousin once removed of: Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy and Prince Michael of Kent. Oxenberg is a second cousin once removed of Queen Sofía of Spain and Charles III of the United Kingdom, making Catherine a third cousin of Felipe VI of Spain and William, Prince of Wales. She is also a third cousin once removed of Margrethe II of Denmark and Harald V of Norway; and a fourth cousin to Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and King Philippe of Belgium.

Princess Olga was the sister of Princess Marina, who married Prince George, Duke of Kent (an uncle of Queen Elizabeth II). Olga and Marina were also paternal first cousins of the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II. They were also related to brothers Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark. [2]

Oxenberg was educated at the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in Kensington, London, St. Paul's School, and Columbia University, though she did not finish college. [3] [4]

In the Class of 1985 Harvard freshman face book, Oxenberg is listed directly ahead of Conan O'Brien. [5] A contemporary Harvard Crimson piece indicates that she was at least initially in the Class of 1983, dubbing her "queen of the facebook". [6]

Film and television

Oxenberg in 1987 Catherine Oxenberg 1987.jpg
Oxenberg in 1987

Oxenberg made her acting debut in the 1982 made-for-television film The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana , in which she played Diana, Princess of Wales. In 1984, Oxenberg joined the hit ABC prime time soap opera Dynasty—then at its height of popularity [7] —in the role of Amanda Carrington. Oxenberg left Dynasty in 1986, following a salary dispute after the end of her second season, and the role was recast with Karen Cellini. [8] Though Oxenberg's publicist insisted that the actress left Dynasty voluntarily, several media outlets reported that she was fired. [9] [10] [11]

Oxenberg was the guest host on the May 10, 1986, episode of Saturday Night Live , making her the only descendant of a royal family to host the show. Oxenberg starred as Princess Elysa in the 1987 television film Roman Holiday . She also appeared in The Lair of the White Worm in 1988, and reprised the role of Diana, Princess of Wales in the TV film Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After in 1992. From 1993 to 1994, she starred in the short-lived series Acapulco H.E.A.T. [ citation needed ]

Oxenberg was portrayed by Rachael Taylor in the 2005 telemovie Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure , a fictionalized retelling of the behind-the-scenes goings-on during the production of Dynasty. In 2006, Oxenberg appeared in the TV special, Dynasty Reunion: Catfights & Caviar, in which she was reunited with her former Dynasty castmates to reminisce about the series. [12] [13]

In 2019, Catherine Oxenberg produced and narrated Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother's Fight to Save Her Daughter in which Andrea Roth portrayed her. [14]


Oxenberg acknowledged, in November 2017, that she had had interactions with Keith Raniere and his NXIVM organization, bringing her daughter India into NXIVM in 2011 for what she thought would be "a self-help, business-oriented program". [15] Oxenberg confirmed that her daughter became heavily involved in the cult, and that she had initiated what proved to be a failed intervention for India. [15] In August 2018, Oxenberg revealed that India had left NXIVM in June, after the arrest of Raniere, and they were working on their relationship. [16] In August 2018, Oxenberg's book Captive: A Mother's Crusade to Save Her Daughter from a Terrifying Cult co-written by former People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff [17] was published. [18]

In 2020, Oxenberg was featured in The Vow , a documentary series for HBO, directed by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, which follows Oxenberg's attempts to rescue her daughter India. [19] Oxenberg also appears in Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult a documentary series for Starz, directed by Cecilia Peck and Inbal B. Lessner, which features India speaking out about her experiences for the first time. [20]

Personal life

In June 1991, Oxenberg had a daughter, India Riven Oxenberg, whose father was later revealed to be the convicted drug smuggler William Weitz Shaffer. [21] In December 1992, Oxenberg was living with her daughter in Coldwater Canyon, Los Angeles, California.

Oxenberg's first marriage was to the producer Robert Evans, in Beverly Hills, California, on July 12, 1998, but the marriage was annulled nine days later. [22] [23]

Oxenberg met the actor Casper Van Dien during the filming of the 1999 TV movie The Collectors, and they worked together again the same year in the Evangelical Christian thriller The Omega Code . On May 8, 1999, they were married at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Van Dien had a son and a daughter from a previous marriage, Casper Robert Mitchum Van Dien and Caroline Grace Van Dien. Van Dien and Oxenberg have two daughters, Amanda Maya Van Dien (2001) and Celeste Alma Van Dien (2003). In 2005, the couple appeared in their own reality series, I Married a Princess , which aired on the Lifetime Television channel in the United States and on LIVINGtv in the United Kingdom. Van Dien filed for divorce from Oxenberg in 2015. [24] [25]

While Oxenberg and Van Dien were married, and before India joined NXIVM, Oxenberg and Van Dien were celebrity ambassadors for the non-profit organization Childhelp. [26]

In June 2023, Oxenberg revealed her engagement to businessman Ellis Jones. [27] They began dating shortly after Jones offered Oxenberg a place to stay following her losing her home in the 2018 California wildfires. [28] The couple married on October 21, 2023. [28]


1988 The Lair of the White Worm Eve Trent
1990 Overexposed Kristin
1999 The Omega Code Cassandra Barashe
2000 Sanctimony Susan Renart
2008 Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Tech 2Uncredited
2014Sleeping BeautyQueen Violet
2020Acquitted by FaithBeth Stills
1982 The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana Lady Diana Spencer TV movie
1984 Cover Up Michelle LloydEpisode: "Pilot"
1984 The Love Boat Monika Blackbird2 episodes
1984–1986 Dynasty Amanda Carrington 54 episodes
1986 The Love Boat Carrie Barton2 episodes
1987 Still Crazy Like a Fox NancyTV movie
1987 Roman Holiday Princess ElysaTV movie
1989SwimsuitJade GreeneTV movie
1989 Trenchcoat in Paradise Lisa DuncanTV movie
1990BonyAngela HemmingsTV movie
1991Ring of ScorpioFiona Matthews McDonaldTV movie
1991 K-9000 Aja TurnerTV movie
1992 Sexual Response KateTV movie
1992 Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After Princess DianaTV movie
1993RubdownJordyTV movie
1993–1994 Acapulco H.E.A.T. Ashley Hunter-Coddington22 episodes
1994Treacherous BeautiesSimone HollisterTV movie
1995 The Nanny Sydney MercerEpisode: "Oy Vey, You're Gay"
1998Catch Me If You CanTina WalcottTV movie
1999Boys Will Be BoysPatsy ParkerTV movie
1999 Arthur's Quest Morgana TV movie
1999 Time Served Sarah McKinneyTV movie [29]
1999The CollectorsDet BaileyTV movie
1999 Thrill Seekers Thrill Seekers SpokespersonTV movie
2000Road RageForest Service WomanTV movie
2000 Baywatch ErikaEpisode: "Bad Boyz"
2001 Flying Dutchman Lacy AndersonTV movie
2001 The Miracle of the Cards Marion ShergoldTV movie
2002PerilousSashaTV movie
2002The Vector FileMargaretTV movie
2005 Starship Troopers Female pilot (voice)Video game
2005PremonitionKate BarnesTV movie
2005 Out of Practice Claudia PenchantEpisode: "Brothers Grim"
2006–2007 Watch Over Me Leandra Thames64 episodes
2010 The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation Dottie McGovernTV movie
2015 Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf ReinhardtTV movie
2019 Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother's Fight to Save Her Daughter Herself/narratorTV film; Also executive producer
2019 E! True Hollywood Story HerselfEpisode: "NXIVM: Self Help or Sex Cult?"
2020 The Vow Herself7 episodes
2020 Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult Herself4 episodes

For playing Amanda Carrington, Oxenberg won two Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1985, for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Outstanding Female Newcomer. [30]


Through her maternal grandfather, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia of the House of Karađorđević, Catherine Oxenberg is a great-great-great-granddaughter of Karađorđe, who started the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1804. Her maternal grandmother, Princess Olga, was the daughter of Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia and Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, himself the son of another Romanov grand duchess, Queen Olga Konstantinovna of the Hellenes and her Danish-born husband King George of Greece, brother of Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom and the Empress Maria Fyodorovna. [2]

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Amanda Carrington</span> Soap opera character

Amanda Carrington is a fictional character from the ABC prime time soap opera Dynasty, created by Richard and Esther Shapiro. She was portrayed by Catherine Oxenberg for two seasons from 1984 to 1986, and then by Karen Cellini for 13 episodes from 1986 to 1987. Eliza Bennett plays Amanda in the CW reboot series Dynasty from 2021 to 2022.

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I Married a Princess is a 2005 reality show on the Lifetime TV network that starred Catherine Oxenberg and her husband Casper Van Dien. The show's slogan is "under the tiara and behind the shades - a real life look at a fairy-tale family." The show's core conceit is technically false: although Oxenberg is descended from Serbian royalty and she is technically in the line of succession to several extant titles, she holds no royal or noble rank herself and is not considered a princess by any government.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">NXIVM</span> North American cult and pyramid scheme

NXIVM was a cult led by convicted racketeer and sex offender Keith Raniere. NXIVM is also the name of the defunct company that Raniere founded in 1998, which provided seminars ostensibly about human potential development, and served as a front organization for criminal activity by Raniere and his close associates. Following Raniere's conviction in 2019, the Department of Justice seized ownership of NXIVM-related entities and their intellectual property through asset forfeiture.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Keith Raniere</span> American cult founder and convicted felon (born 1960)

Keith Allen Raniere is an American cult leader who was convicted of a pattern of racketeering activity, including human trafficking, sex offenses and fraud. Raniere co-founded NXIVM, a purported self-help multi-level marketing company offering personal development seminars and headquartered in Albany, New York. Operating from 1998 to 2018, NXIVM had 700 members at its height, including celebrities and the wealthy. Within NXIVM, Raniere was referred to as "Vanguard".

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Christina Oxenberg is an American writer, humorist, and fashion designer. She has written seven books, and her writing has been featured in magazines and publications like Allure, The Sunday Times, Huffington Post, and others. Her two knitwear clothing lines, Christina Oxenberg and Ox, have appeared in Barneys, Bloomingdale's, and luxury boutiques throughout the world. Oxenberg is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and is a descendant of the Serbian House of Karađorđević.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">India Oxenberg</span> American actress

India Riven Oxenberg is an American actress and documentary film producer. A granddaughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, she is a relative of the House of Karađorđević, the former royal family of Serbia and, later, Yugoslavia. Oxenberg began her career as a child actress, with small roles in film and television projects that her mother, Catherine Oxenberg, and then-stepfather, Casper Van Dien, were involved in. As a teenager, she was a cast member of the reality television series I Married a Princess.

Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother's Fight to Save Her Daughter is a 2019 A&E television movie that aired on September 21, 2019, as part of its "Ripped from the Headlines" feature film. The film is narrated by Catherine Oxenberg, who also serves as an executive producer, and stars Andrea Roth, Jasper Polish, Sara Fletcher, Kristin Booth, Janet-Laine Green, and Peter Facinelli.

<i>The Vow</i> (TV series) 2020 American true crime documentary series

The Vow is an American true crime documentary series directed by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer that revolves around the cult NXIVM and its leader Keith Raniere. The NXIVM documentary series premiered on August 23, 2020, on HBO. In October 2020, the series was renewed for a second season, which premiered on October 17, 2022.

<i>Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After</i> 1992 US-Canadian film made in England directed by John Power

Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After is a dramatic television movie of 1992 telling the real-life story of the failed marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales, and his first wife, Diana, Princess of Wales.

<i>Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult</i> 2020 American documentary miniseries

Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult is an American true crime documentary television miniseries revolving around the cult NXIVM and its leader Keith Raniere, with a focus on the perspective of India Oxenberg, who was an executive producer on the series. It consists of four episodes and premiered on October 18, 2020, on Starz.

Frank Parlato Jr. is an American publisher. He publishes the Frank Report, Artvoice and the Niagara Falls Reporter. Parlato is widely credited for bringing attention to the NXIVM cult when he published the article "Branded Slaves and Master Raniere" on June 5, 2017.


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