Who is Caroline Fentress? Meet Chris O’Donnell’s Wife of Over 2 Decades

Caroline Fentress is an elementary school teacher better known as the wife of NCIS: Los Angeles actor Chris O’Donnell. They got married in April 1997 in Washington, D.C., and have five children.

Chris O’Donnell is an American actor known for his role as special Agent G. Callen on NCIS: Los Angeles. 

Caroline never imagined a life in the limelight until she landed a man that was famous. She was only an elementary school teacher who was not concerned about walking the red carpet or being written about by tabloids when actor Chris O’Donnell took a liking to her and drew the world’s attention to her. While her marriage to the actor has brought her the current level of fame she has now, Caroline does not seem to be gripped by it. She has taken up a few acting roles but appears to be more interested in caring for her family and supporting her husband.

Caroline Fentress’s Biography Summary

  • Full Name: Caroline Morton Fentress
  • Gender: Female
  • Date of Birth: January 3, 1973
  • Caroline Fentress’s Age: 51 Years Old
  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Nationality: American
  • Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight (Heterosexual)
  • Education: Rollins College
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Caroline Fentress’s Husband: Chris O’Donnell
  • Caroline Fentress’s Children: Five (Charles McHugh O’Donnell, Lily Anne O’Donnell, Finley O’Donnell, Maeve Frances O’Donnell, Christopher O’Donnell Jr.)
  • Caroline Fentress’s Parents: Lee Fentress and Diane Fentress
  • Sibling(s): One (Andrew Fentress)
  • Famous for: Wife of Actor Chris O’Donnell

Caroline Fentress Is A Graduate Of Rollins College

With her somewhat disinterest in living publicly, it is not surprising to find out that there is a dearth of information about Caroline Fentress’s early life. While it is known that she has a brother named Andrew, is the daughter of Diane and Lee Fentress, and was born on January 3, 1973, much about where she was raised and what schools she attended for her early education are not public knowledge.

It is not the same case for her husband as it is publicly known that he was born on June 26, 1970, in Winnetka, Illinois, where he was raised a Catholic by his parents, Julie Ann Rohs von Brecht and William Charles O’Donnell, Sr. The actor would go on to attend all Catholic institutions; he is an alumnus of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, and Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

For her college education, Caroline attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Because she was in the same graduating class as actors Christopher Fitzgerald and Chris Guokas, it is established that she is a member of the class of 1995.

She Is An Elementary School Teacher Who Has Some Acting Credits

After graduating college, Caroline Fentress chose to give back to society by becoming an elementary school teacher. She appears to have maintained this job for many years even though she has, along the line, dabbled into acting and taken up other roles in the entertainment industry. It must be pointed out that her acting career (if you can call it that) began after she married Chris O’Donnell. The actor’s better half made her on-screen debut in the 2002 TV movie Sunday where she played the minor role of a woman looking for her son. Years later, she appeared in an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, the TV show where her husband plays the role of Special Agent G. Callen. Caroline played the character of Laura in the 4th episode of season 7 titled “Command & Control.”

Caroline Fentress Met her Husband, Chris O’Donnell, Through Her Brother

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Caroline Fentress and Chris O’Donnell met in Boston College through her brother Andrew who was either Chris’ college roommate or just lived in his building. As the story goes, the pair shared an intimate moment when they first met but did not pursue things further. It was three years after that intimate moment that Chris propelled Andrew to call his sister and the rest became history.

“One night, I was out with Andrew and said, ‘What is that little sister of yours up to? Let’s give her a call,'” O’Donnell revealed in an interview. The pair started seeing each other soon after that, and after dating for a couple of years, they decided to get married. Caroline and Chris exchanged marital vows at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Washington, D.C., in April 1997.

Her Husband, Chris O’Donnell, Is A Golden Globe Award-Nominated Actor

Chris O’Donnell is evidently the more successful of the two. The actor began his career as a model at the age of 13 before later transitioning to acting. His first acting role was in the TV series Jack and Mike (1986). By the end of the 1990s, the Illinois native had become a household name. This was thanks to his performance in successful films like Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), School Ties (1992), Scent of a Woman (1992) alongside Al Pacino, Blue Sky (1994), Circle of Friends (1995), Mad Love (1995) with Drew Barrymore, and Batman Forever (1995) among others. His performance in Scent of a Woman notably earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

After a few years of uncertainty in his career, Caroline Fentress’s husband achieved some stability in the 2000s with his role as veterinarian Finn Dandridge in Grey’s Anatomy (2005–06) and Jack McAuliffe in The Company (2005–06). In 2009, he landed what would turn out to be the most popular role he would play in his career, that of Special Agent G. Callen in the NCIS spin-off show, NCIS: Los Angeles.

But as busy as Chris appears to be, he has found a way to balance his career and family. He, without regrets, turns down roles that could give other actors an edge as long as they conflict with his family’s interest, and one example was turning down Men in Black (1997), a role that ultimately went to Will Smith. The actor is more satisfied knowing that he has achieved the life he had always dreamt of; a large, close-knit family and a flourishing career to foot his family’s bills.

The Couple Has Five Children

1. Lily Anne

  • Full Name: Lily Anne O’ Donnell
  • Date of Birth: September 3, 1999
  • Age: 24 years old

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Caroline Fentress and Chris O’Donnell’s first child is a daughter named Lily Anne O’ Donnell. She was born on September 3, 1999, exactly two years after her parents got married. Being the daughter of the star of NCIS: Los Angeles, it is no surprise to find out that Lily has an acting credit from the show. Other than her appearance in 2009, she has maintained a relatively quiet life.

2. Chris Jr.

  • Full Name: Christopher Eugene O’ Donnell Jr
  • Nickname: Chip
  • Date of Birth: October 24, 2000
  • Age: 23 years old

A year after having their first child, Caroline and Chris welcomed another one; this time, a son named after the actor. Unlike his sister, Chris Jr. has no acting credit, and there are no reports of him having chosen a career path.

3. Charles

  • Full Name: Charles McHugh O’ Donnell
  • Date of Birth: July 11, 2003
  • Age: 20 years old

After only giving a year between the birth of their first child and second child, Caroline Fentress and Chris O’Donnell waited three years before having another baby. In 2003, they welcomed their third child, a son named Charles. Unsurprisingly, not much is known about the young man other than that he once played a younger version of his dad’s character Callen.

4. Finley

  • Full Name: Finley O’ Donnell
  • Date of Birth: 2006
  • Age: 18 years old

Giving another three-year gap to the spacing of their kids, the couple had their fourth child in 2006. They named their son Finley. Like Lily and Charles, Finley has acting credits from NCIS: Los Angeles. In 2011, he played the 5-year-old version of his father’s character in episodes titled “Tin Soldiers” and “Lange, H.” Since that outing, the young man has not registered any other acting appearance, and it is not clear if he would be looking to pursue it in the future.

5. Maeve Frances

  • Full Name: Finley O’ Donnell
  • Date of Birth: 2006
  • Age: 18 years old

According to Chris O’Donnel, he and Caroline thought they were done with having babies after Finley, but a miscommunication led to their fifth pregnancy. This last pregnancy was reportedly the most surprising to the two as they had been strategic about their previous pregnancies, having assumed that they had stopped at baby number 4.

Nonetheless, they couldn’t be happier for their fifth child. Her name is Maeve Frances, and she was born on December 10, 2007. Like her older siblings, Maeve has appeared in NCIS. She did so in 2015 alongside her mother in the episode titled “Command and Control.”

Angela Lee
Angela Lee
Angela is a New York City-based writer with a passion for entertainment, lifestyle, and human-interest stories


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