Danica d'Hondt A winner of the Miss Canada pageant in 1959 was born in London, England, of an Irish mother and a Belgian father. Sister of Olympic Gold Medalist Walter D'Hondt and mother of actress America Olivo, mother-in-law of actors Christian Campbell and Jason Brooks.
Originally an actress, Danica soon found that she had a natural talent as a theatre director, a role not easily accepted for women at that time. She began her career at the age of nine by appearing in a movie at Shepperton Studios in England. She worked in radio, TV and on stage in Canada, where her family emigrated while she was still in school. She graduated from High School in Montreal, and returned to England after attending the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She worked as a stage actress in London, also performing in radio and TV dramas for the BBC, and then relocated to Toronto, Canada, where she became a CBC-TV game show personality and a talk show host at an unusually early age, interviewing celebrities such as Broadway actress/dancer Gwen Verdon and the late Jazz great Dizzy Gillespie. She also appeared on TV shows out of New York City, and in summer stock theatre in New York and Illinois.