A Midwesterner with a science background who likes to fight with swords, Hollis is now based in New York City, and acts nationwide in theatre, film, television, audiobooks, and voice-overs. On camera roles include leads in independent films, co-star roles in CBS' "Blue Bloods," "Bull," "The Good Wife," and Netflix "House of Cards," as well as roles in feature films.
Specialties include playing "nasty" smart, powerful women on TV -- Senators, the Irish President, a Judge, the Secretary of Defense -- as well as leading ladies (and some men!) in classical theatre -- Cassius in JULIUS CAESAR, Elizabeth in RICHARD III, and Beatrice in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Click here for Hollis' recent "Year of Nasty Women" highlights. Theatre work includes major roles off-Broadway at 59E59th Theatre and Urban Stages, regionally at the Old Globe, Contemporary American Theatre Fest, Northern Stage, Capital Repertory, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Delaware Theatre Company, Two River Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Fest, Kansas City Repertory, Portland Center Stage and many others.
Since winning the 2014 ACX/Audible/Audiofile Magazine Narration Contest, she's recorded 103 audiobooks, with more titles coming soon. She also plays softball, can throw a spiral with a football, and was a National Merit Scholar.
Hollis' Bio & Reviews
"Hollis McCarthy is outstanding...Her comedic timing is exceptional and McCarthy has many hysterical, biting one-liners. Her character's transformation...is expertly done."
-- Broadway World
"...McCarthy deserves special mention for showing the true breadth of her character's emotional devastation..." -- Broadway World
"...played magnificently by Hollis McCarthy."
“... the luscious Hollis McCarthy" – New York Times
"Hollis McCarthy, precise and fine..." —Variety
"Her comedic timing is exceptional and McCarthy has many hysterical,
biting one-liners." -- Broadway World
"Hollis McCarthy (Vanessa Bell) reminds me a bit of Glenn Close
in her simmering, centered presence. ...McCarthy's portrayal is sympathetic
and vivid." —Woman Around Town
“...Hollis McCarthy as Elmire...is charming, engaging and femininely comic...”
"The spitfire heroine Beatrice (the incomparable Hollis McCarthy) is a bar manager modeled after every hardened and hard-talking Western films madam with a heart o'gold. McCarthy is beguiling..." —Denver Post
“McCarthy can zing a cynical one-liner with the best.” – Artvoice
"...got to admire...the droll McCarthy...playing the most desired woman of all time.” – Chicago Tribune
"...skilled, steamy work by Christian Pedersen, Hollis McCarthy..." -NY Post
"McCarthy, a veteran who cut her teeth on Shakespeare at regional theatres nationwide, knows how to play the major and minor keys of a part." —GALO Magazine
"Distraught, angry and bitter, Margie, wonderfully played by Hollis McCarthy..."
"...that's what makes McCarthy's performance all the more compelling. She's
alternately nasty and sarcastic, then tender and teary-eyed. " --Times Herald-Record
"...eloquently and effectively brought to life by veteran Hollis McCarthy...her
exemplary talents as an actor, leads the audience on a journey...” -- Catskill Chronicle
"Hollis McCarthy is able to make [us] care about the woman even as we see her flaws."
"Hollis McCarthy...dives deep into character... with a twitching, nervous energy that
cuts close to the bone. "—Times Union
"Hollis McCarthy possesses a Katharine Hepburn-ish intelligence and dignity as Beatrice..." —Westword
“...terrific performances from Hollis McCarthy..."– Chicago Critic.com
"...flat-out funny from start to finish... Hollis McCarthy is a terrific Barbara..." —Pioneer Press
"Landlady Barbara (Hollis McCarthy) is an attractive but lonely soul.. terrific actors like McCarthy..." —The Chicago Tribune