Bebe Neuwirth

Bebe Neuwirth

Born: December 31, 1958
Age: 65
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
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Beatrice "Bebe" Neuwirth (/ˌbiːətrɪs ˌbiːbiː ˈnjuːwɜːrθ/; born December 31, 1958) is an American actress, singer and dancer. On television, she is known for her portrayal of Dr. Lilith Sternin, Dr. Frasier Crane's wife (later ex-wife), on both the TV sitcom Cheers (in a starring role), and its spin-off Frasier (in a recurring guest role). The role won her two Emmy Awards. On stage, she is known for her Tony Award winning roles of Nickie in the revival of Sweet Charity (1986), and Velma Kelly in the revival of Chicago (1996). Other Broadway musical roles include Morticia Addams in The Addams Family (2010). Since 2014, she has starred as Nadine Tolliver in the CBS drama Madam Secretary.


Early life

Neuwirth was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Sydney Anne Neuwirth, a painter,and Lee Paul Neuwirth, a mathematician. She has an older brother Peter, an actuary. Neuwirth is Jewish.

After graduating from Princeton High School in 1976, she began to study ballet at the age of five, and chose it as her field of concentration when she attended Juilliard in New York City in 1976 and 1977, during which time she performed with the Princeton Ballet Company in Peter and the Wolf, The Nutcracker, and Coppélia, also appearing in community theater musicals.


Theatre work

Neuwirth made her Broadway debut in the role of Sheila in A Chorus Line in 1980. She later appeared in revivals of Little Me (1982) Sweet Charity (1986), for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, and Damn Yankees (1994). 1996 saw her play Velma Kelly in the Broadway revival of Chicago. That role brought her her greatest stage recognition to date, and several awards including the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Neuwirth would later return to the still-running revival of Chicago in 2006, this time as Roxie Hart.

She appeared in a musical revue Here Lies Jenny, that featured songs by Kurt Weill, sung and danced by Neuwirth and a four-person supporting cast, as part of an unspoken ambiguous story in an anonymous seedy bar possibly in Berlin in the 1930s. The show ran from May 7 through October 3, 2004, in the Zipper Theater in New York City. Here Lies Jenny was also presented by Neuwirth in San Francisco in 2005. In 2009, Neuwirth toured a one-woman cabaret show with pianist Scott Cady. The cabaret included music by Kurt Weill, Stephen Sondheim, Tom Waits, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, John Kander and Fred Ebb amongst others. In 2010, she returned to Broadway to create the role of Morticia Addams in the original production of The Addams Family opposite Nathan Lane.

Film and television

Her screen credits include Green Card, Bugsy, Say Anything..., Jumanji, Summer of Sam, Liberty Heights, Tadpole, The Associate, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Malice, The Big Bounce, The Faculty and Woody Allen's Celebrity.

On television, from 1986 to 1993 Neuwirth played Dr. Lilith Sternin, who married Dr. Frasier Crane in the hit comedy series Cheers. From the fourth to the seventh season, Neuwirth portrayed Lilith in a regular recurring role, and she appeared on the show as a main star from season eight to the final season, season eleven. Like Kelsey Grammer when he started on the show as Frasier Crane, she was not immediately given star billing in the opening credits, but at the end for seasons eight and nine; she appeared in the opening credits with her own portrait in seasons ten and eleven. She auditioned for this role with her arm in a sling, following a fall a week earlier. She won two Emmy Awards for the role, in 1990 and 1991. The character also made an appearance in the series Wings and in 12 episodes of the Cheers spin-off Frasier, which earned her a 1995 Emmy Award nomination as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.

Other small-screen credits include a guest appearance in the second season of NewsRadio, a small role on The Adventures of Pete and Pete (episode: "The Call"), Deadline (2000), Hack (2003), Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999 as a modeling agent/suspect; 2005 as A.D.A Tracey Kibre), and the miniseries Wild Palms and the fourth season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, First Contact, as Lanel.

She appeared as herself in episodes of Will and Grace, Strangers with Candy and Celebrity Jeopardy!. In 2009, she co-starred as Ms. Kraft in the remake of Fame. She recently had a recurring role as Caroline, the literary editor of Jonathan Ames, on the HBO series Bored to Death. She is currently a member of the cast in Madam Secretary on CBS.

In 1996, Neuwirth starred in a pilot for a TV series called Dear Diary for ABC which was not picked up. The producers had it edited slightly and put into a single theater for a single weekend in November of 1996, and it became one of only two TV pilots to be nominated for an Oscar and the only one to win.

Personal life

Neuwirth's 1984 marriage to Paul Dorman ended in divorce. In 2009, she married Chris Calkins at the Players Club in Manhattan, in a ceremony officiated by actor Peter Coyote.

In May 2006, she had hip replacement surgery.



Year Title Role Notes
1989 Say Anything... Mrs. Evans
1990 Green Card Lauren
1991 Bugsy Countess di Frasso
1993 Malice Det. Dana Harris
1995 Jumanji Nora Shepherd
1996 All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 Anabelle, the Dog Angel (voice)
1996 The Adventures of Pinocchio Felinet
1996 The Associate Camille Scott
1996 Dear Diary Annie The only TV pilot to win an Oscar
(Best Live Action Short)
1998 Celebrity Nina, the hooker
1998 The Faculty Principal Valerie Drake
1998 An All Dogs Christmas Carol Annabelle/Belladonna (voice)
1999 Getting to Know You Trix
1999 Summer of Sam Gloria
1999 Liberty Heights Ada Kurtzman
2000 An Extremely Goofy Movie Sylvia Marpole (voice)
2000 Tadpole Diane Lodder
2003 How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Lana Jong
2003 Le Divorce Julia Manchevering
2004 The Big Bounce Alison Ritchie
2005 Game 6 Joanne Bourne
2008 Adopt a Sailor Patricia
2009 Fame Ms. Kraft


Year Title Role Notes
1986-1993 Cheers Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane 80 episodes
1986 Simon & Simon Receptionist Episode: "Family Forecast"
1986 Fame Phyllis Turner Episode: "Stagefright"
1990 The Famous Teddy Z Unknown Episode: "Teddy Gets a Guru"
1990 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Dr. Lilith Sternin Episode: "Disneyland's 35th Anniversary Celebration"
1990 Without Her Consent Gloria Allred Television movie
1991 Star Trek: The Next Generation Lanel Episode: "First Contact"
1992 Wings Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane Episode: "Planes, Trains and Visiting Cranes"
1993 Wild Palms Tabba Schwartzkopf 5 episodes
1994 The Adventures of Pete & Pete Mailcarrier 2 episodes
1994-1995 Aladdin Mirage (voice) 6 episodes
1994-2003 Frasier Dr. Lilith Sternin 12 episodes
1995 NewsRadio Sandi Angelini Episode: "Friends"
1996 Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man Tamara La Boinque (voice) Episode: "Noir Gang"
1996 Freakazoid! Deadpan (voice) Episode: "The Wrath of Guitierrez"
1996-1998 All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series Anabelle/Belladonna (voice) 5 episodes
1997 The Magic School Bus Flora Whiff Episode: "Makes a Stink"
1997 Jungle Cubs La La Episode: "Old Green Teeth/The Elephant Who Couldn't Say No"
1999 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Juliette Episode: "Salem and Juliette"
1999 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Nina Laszlo Episode: "Or Just Look Like One"
1999 Dash and Lilly Dorothy Parker Television movie
2000 Cupid and Cate Francesca DeAngelo Television movie
2000-2001 Deadline Nikki Masucci 13 episodes
2002-2003 Cyberchase Binky the Cat (voice) 2 episodes
2003 Hack Faith O'Connor 5 episodes
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit A.D.A. Tracey Kibre Episode: "Night"
2005-2006 Law & Order: Trial by Jury A.D.A. Tracey Kibre 13 episodes
2009-2011 Bored to Death Caroline Taylor 3 episodes
2010 The Late Show with David Letterman Morticia Addams Episode: "17.117"
2010 The Cleveland Show Sarah Friedman (voice) Episode: "Brotherly Love"
2012-2013 The Good Wife Judge Claudia Friend 3 episodes
2013 Browsers Julianna Mancuso-Bruni Unsold TV pilot
2013-2014 Blue Bloods Kelly Peterson 5 episodes
2014-present Madam Secretary Nadine Tolliver 43 episodes
2014 Over the Garden Wall Margueritte Grey (voice) Episode: "Mad Love"


Year Title Role Notes
1980 A Chorus Line Sheila, u/s Cassie
1981 Dancin' Replacement
1982 Little Me Boom Boom Girl
1986 Sweet Charity Nickie, Charity standby
1994 Damn Yankees Lola
1996 Chicago Velma Kelly
2002 Funny Girl Fanny Brice
2007 Chicago Roxie Hart
2010 The Addams Family Morticia Addams
2014 Chicago Matron "Mama" Morton

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1986 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Sweet Charity Nominated
1986 Tony Awards Best Featured Actress in a Musical Won
1990 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Cheers Won
1990 Viewers for Quality Television Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Nominated
1991 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
1991 Viewers for Quality Television Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series Nominated
1995 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Frasier Nominated
1997 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Actress in a Musical Chicago Won
1997 Tony Awards Best Actress in a Musical Won
1999 American Comedy Awards Funniest Female Guest Appearance in a Television Series Frasier Nominated
1999 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Dash and Lilly Nominated
2000 American Comedy Awards Funniest Female Guest Appearance in a Television Series Frasier Nominated
2003 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Tadpole Nominated

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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