Charla Doherty: American film and television actress (1946 - 1988) | Biography
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Charla Doherty
American film and television actress

Charla Doherty

Charla Doherty
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American film and television actress
Was Actor Film actor Television actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 6 August 1946, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA
Death 29 May 1988, Calabasas, Los Angeles County, California, USA (aged 41 years)
Star sign Leo
Mother: Toni Doherty
Father: Chris Doherty
Spouse: Malcolm Black (6 June 1967-1982)
Children: Trevor Black
Hollywood Professional School, Hollywood, California
University of California, Los Angeles
The details


Charla Doherty (August 6, 1946 – May 29, 1988) was an American film and television actress active in the 1960s. She is best known for her recurring role as "Julie Olson" on the TV soap opera Days of Our Lives (1965-1966).

Early life

Charla Doherty was born on August 6, 1946, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Chris and Toni Doherty. Her father, Chris Doherty, won second prize in the famous radio contest I can't stand Jack Benny (judged by Fred AllenPeter Lorre, and Goodman Ace.) At the time, her father was attending law school on the GI Bill and her mother had been working as a beauty operator but had to give up her job due to the impending motherhood (of Charla). The $1500 prize money paid for all the expenses attendant to the birth of Charla, in addition to six months' rent on the family's apartment. In 1955, the family relocated to Los Angeles, California, where her father practiced law. 

Doherty graduated from Hollywood Professional School, Hollywood, California, and attended the University of California, Los Angeles.


Doherty made her television debut in 1962, at the age of 16, playing the role of "Janice" in the "The Golden Trap" episode of TV series The Donna Reed Show. The same year, she was seen in an episode each of the television series Mister Ed and Going My Way.

1963 saw her film debut with the role of "Liz Michaelson" in Henry Koster's comedy Take Her, She's Mine, starring James StewartSandra Dee, and Audrey Meadows.

In 1964, Doherty guest-starred as "Judy Weber" in "Harlow Gets a Date" episode of The Jack Benny Program, alongside Don WilsonLois Corbett, and Cliff Norton. When she reported for rehearsal, she brought with her a photocopy her father had made of his prize-winning check from the I can't stand Jack Benny contest. "I think Mr. Benny looked sort of nostalgic when he saw it," she said.

In 1965, Doherty played the role of "Nancy" in Bert I. Gordon's sci-fi comedy Village of the Giants, starring Tommy Kirk and Johnny Crawford. The same year, she landed her most memorable role of "Julie Olson" in the television series Days of Our Lives. She was seen in 49 episodes of the series, from November 1965 to September 1966.

In 1969, Doherty starred in the role of "Joanna Ramsey" in the made-for-television movie In the Year 2889, alongside Paul Petersen and Quinn O'Hara. This was her last role. 

Additionally, Doherty directed and starred in local theater productions and was active in a non-profit group named "Love Is Feeding Everyone" that fed the homeless.

Personal life

Doherty was married to director Malcolm Black from June 6, 1967, until the divorce in 1982. Their son, Trevor Black, is a well-known photographer.


Doherty died on May 29, 1988, at the age of 41, at her mother's home in Woodland Hills in Calabasas, California. The cause of death was listed as pancreatitis (due to chronic alcoholism.) She was survived by her mother and her son.

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