Canadian-born actress Kate Vernon grew up in a family of entertainers, but she didn’t dream of becoming one at first. Her father is actor John Vernon, and her mother is former actress and model Nancy West. In addition to that, her sister is singer/actress Nan Vernon. Her family moved to California when she and her siblings were children. When she finished high school, Kate had dreams of becoming an architect. However, she felt that she might “lock herself in a loony bin” if she didn’t try out acting. Her father tried to dissuade her from pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, but she persevered.
Kate Vernon is best known for her role in the CBS soap opera Falcon Crest, where she portrayed the character Lorraine Prescott from 1984 to 1985. She rose to fame during her early twenties, especially when she got the part of Benny Hanson in the 1986 film Pretty in Pink. She then appeared in more films at the time, including Banter and Hostile Takeover. Her television roles flourished as well, and she was seen on episodes of Hotel, I’ll Take Manhattan, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Murder, She Wrote. During the 1990s, she earned a brief but regular role on Who’s the Boss? with actor Tony Danza. Two years later, she landed a part in Malcolm X, and had big-screen roles in Jackpot and Soft Deceit. In 1994, Vernon was cast in the thriller Dangerous Touch, alongside Lou Diamond Phillips. She continued to appear on TV shows, some of them being Lovejoy, LA Law, Nash Bridges, The Outer Limits, and Star Trek: Voyager.
During the 2000s, Vernon was cast in an episode of Any Day Now, followed by her portrayal of Monique Winch in Largo Winch. In 2001, she had a bit role in Dawson’s Creek and later was seen on shows like Black Sash and Hunter. Vernon then got the part of Raina Press on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, but got more attention for playing Ellen Tigh on the series Battlestar Galactica. Her other roles include those in Last Chance Cafe, School of Life, Family Plan, and the series Reunion.