Hollywood has seen several acting talents, and while some have journeyed through the path and ended up in superstardom, others have dropped off along the line, retiring from the glitz and glamour of the screens to chase other dreams – just like Omri Katz who left acting to pursue his passion for hairdressing.
As an actor, Katz was quite efficient on the screens and made several appearances in TV series and movies such as Dallas, Zorro, and Adventures in Dinosaur City. He was however most famous as the child star of the cult classic, Hocus Pocus. Sadly, since then, Katz’s acting career has declined and movie lovers are now left to reminisce about the remarkable memory he made during his hay days.
He Got His Start in Commercials as a 2-year-old and His Breakthrough on Dallas
Omri Katz was born on May 30th, 1976 in Los Angeles, California. He is the last of three children born to Israeli Jewish immigrant parents, Rina and Yoram Katz. He has an elder brother, Micheal, and a sister, Lali. Katz began exhibiting decent performing skills as a child, and seeing as they lived near Hollywood, his parents quickly got him into showbiz. The boy started appearing in TV commercials for different companies when he was just three. He then scored his proper acting debut in the TV series, Dallas, at the mere age of seven.
Unlike other actors who toil for years to get a breakthrough, Omri Katz was lucky as his TV debut marked his breakthrough role. Dallas was a CBS prime time soap opera which revolved around the Ewings, a wealthy Texas family with substantial interests in the oil and cattle ranching business. The Ewings are sworn enemies with another equally-wealthy family, The Barnes, but this enmity is turned on its head when two of their children, Pamela Barnes and Bobby Ewing, elope and get married. Dallas ran from 1983 to 1991 during which it rose to become one of the most-watched shows in America.
In the series, Katz portrayed the role of John Ross Ewing III, the son of the show’s most iconic character, J.R. Ewing, and his long-term lover, Sue Ellen. J.R. is a man who is notorious for his scheming and dirty business tactics and his son grows up to become just like him, using tricks to get what he wants. He is also quite the playboy and embarks on some scandalous liaisons including a relationship with his cousin’s ex-fiancée. Overall, Katz appeared in a total of 149 episodes of Dallas and garnered much fame for his work. He also received some accolades including the 1984 Soap Opera Digest award for being an outstanding youth actor.
His Evergreen Role in the Cult Classic, Hocus Pocus
Upon the successful conclusion of Dallas in 1991, Omri Katz went on to score guest roles in several TV projects including Eerie, Indiana (1991-1992), Zorro (1991), Adventures in Dinosaur City (1991) as well as The Torkelsons (1992). He also made his debut movie appearance with the role of Sam in the 1993 comedy film, Matinee. 1993 was indeed a wonderful year for Katz as it also saw him feature in his most-iconic film to date which is the much-loved Halloween film, Hocus Pocus.
In the film, Omri Katz played the lead role of Max Dennison, a young boy who together with his family relocates from L.A. to the city of Salem to begin a new life. In the new town, Max and his little sister, named Dani, get wind of a long-held legend which states that there is a trio of witches living in an abandoned house and that these evil witches can be resurrected by lightening a cursed black flame candle.
The youngsters initially dismiss this as a mere superstition but they get more than they bargained for after Max inadvertently lights the candle and resurrects the witches who hunt for kids to consume in order to maintain their youthful looks. Apart from Katz, Hocus Pocus also featured other notable cast members such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy. The movie performed decently and has since grown to become the number one Halloween movie in America. It has inspired costumes and drinking games and fans can take guided tours of the town where it was filmed.
The decline of Omri Katz’s Career and Subsequent Retirement
Following the success of Hocus Pocus, Omri Katz went on to accumulate other acting credits such as The John Larroquette Show (1993-1995), Dallas: J.R. Returns (1996) Freaks and Geeks (1999), General Hospital (2000), and Journey Into Night (2002). His career however tapered off in the early 2000s and this caused him to explore other options as he wasn’t getting many call-backs from the casting directors. The actor is now a hairdresser and has a salon in the L.A. area. He reportedly splits his time between the U.S. and Israel.
Katz is no more active in Hollywood. His only acting work is now restricted to Hocus Pocus reunions and related celebrations. For instance, in October 2018, he reunited with the film’s other stars to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the classic film. The reunion featured the group filming a Halloween TV special for the TV network, Freeform, and they posted several pictures on their respective Instagram pages.
The event also resurrected the long-running speculations about a possible sequel but nothing was confirmed. It is however safe to presume that Katz would be willing to participate in this project should it see the light of day sometime in the future. The actor did come out of retirement in 2006 to feature in the YouTube short film, Perfect Girl.
The Truth Behind the Gay Rumors Plaguing Omri Katz
Concerning his love life, Katz was once in a relationship with an actress named Danielle Harris. The pair had a concise relationship which was short-lived and came to an end in 1992. Insights as to why their relationship came to an end are still unknown but ever since they went their separate ways, there has not been any update about Katz being in any other relationship.
Such a long gap in dating history has led to all manner of speculations about the actor including rumors that he may be gay. There is however nothing to substantiate these rumors such as sightings with mysterious men or any gay roles that Katz has taken on in films. It is therefore okay to take these rumors with a pinch of salt. The fact that the actor has not revealed any romantic relationships does not necessarily mean that he is gay.