She so impressed the producers that they whisked her off to London to star in a production of The Pyjama Game.
The talented teen acquired her first actor's guild card at the age of 15. When Catherine was 16 she took over the lead in David Merrick's 4.
Film-producer, Steven Spielberg was in pre-production for The Mask of Zorro when he caught Catherine in The Titanic miniseries.
He needed a fiery actress to play the aging Zorro's daughter and the new Zorro's lover.
Her hard work paid off when both the star and first understudy were absent the night the play's producer, David Merrick, was in the audience, and she was given the lead for eight-weeks.
Her dance background was invaluable for her fencing training but she had nothing, except her backside to fall back on when it came to learning to ride.
She returned home a year later after being offered a role in a TV series called The Darling Buds of May.
The show was a big hit in the United Kingdom, and Catherine was becoming a first class star.
Her first major onstage role came two years later in a West End revival of the musical when both the lead and the first understudy for the role were unable to perform; the producer of the musical then made her the lead for the remainder of the production run.
It was not until she landed the role of Mariette Larkin in the popular British television comedy-drama series during the early 1990s, however, that Zeta-Jones became well known in England.
Jones (Zeta was her middle name; she added the hyphen later) was the daughter of Irish and Welsh parents.