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She was born Cathleen Roxanne Rigby on December 12, 1952 in Los Alamitos, California.
Rigby's participation in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, as the highest-scoring U.S. gymnast made her a favorite with U.S. television audiences, and helped to popularize the sport in the U.S. She was U.S. National Gymnastic Champion in 1970 and 1972. Her greatest gymnastics accomplishment was winning a silver medal on the balance beam at the 1970 World Championships, being the first American woman to win a medal in World Gymnastics. She also competed on the 1972 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team, but was hampered by injury. Prior to the games, she posed for a relatively modest nude study (referring to the literal meaning of "gymnastics") for Sports Illustrated, which was reprinted in a late-2005 issue. Rigby retired from gymnastics after the 1972 Olympics. She married Tommy Mason, a professional football player, had two sons and began acting.
In 1974, Rigby appeared as Peter Pan in a touring production of the 1954 musical, putting her gymnastic talent to work for the flying scenes, and taking advantage of her fairly diminutive size. She played the part on Broadway and on tour throughout the 1990s and reprised the role in 2008 and 2009.