Candice Bergen

Candice Bergen

Birth name: Candice Patricia Bergren
Born: May 9, 1946
Age: 78
Birthplace: Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
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Candice Patricia Bergen (born May 9, 1946) is an American actress and former fashion model. She won five Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for her ten seasons as the title character on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown (1988-98). She is also known for her role as Shirley Schmidt on the ABC drama Boston Legal (2005-08). She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Starting Over (1979), and for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Gandhi (1982).

Bergen began her career as a fashion model and appeared on the front cover of Vogue magazine, before making her screen debut in the 1966 film The Group. She went on to star in The Sand Pebbles (1966), Soldier Blue (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971) and The Wind and the Lion (1975). She made her Broadway debut in the 1984 play Hurlyburly. From 2000 to 2002, she appeared in three episodes of the HBO series Sex and the City. Her other film roles include Miss Congeniality (2000), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), The Women (2008) and Bride Wars (2009). In the 2010s, she returned to Broadway to star in the revivals of The Best Man (2012) and Love Letters (2014).


Early life

Bergen was born Candice Patricia Bergren in Beverly Hills, California. Her mother, Frances Bergen (née Westerman), was a Powers model who was known professionally as Frances Westcott. Her father, Edgar Bergen (originally Bergren), was a famous ventriloquist, comedian, and actor. Her paternal grandparents were Swedish-born immigrants who anglicized their surname, which was originally Berggren. As a child, Candice was irritated at being described as "Charlie McCarthy's little sister" (referring to her father's star dummy).

Bergen began appearing on her father's radio program at a young age, and in 1958, at age 11, with her father on Groucho Marx's quiz show You Bet Your Life as Candy Bergen. She said that when she grew up, she wanted to design clothes. She later attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she was elected both Homecoming Queen and Miss University, but, as Bergen later acknowledged, she failed to take her education seriously and after failing two courses in art and opera, she was asked to leave at the end of her sophomore year. She ultimately received an honorary doctorate from Penn in May 1992.

She worked as a fashion model before she took up acting, featured on the covers of Vogue.


Early years

In 1966, Bergen made her screen debut playing a university student in The Group, which delicately touched on the then-forbidden subject of lesbianism. The same year, she played the role of Shirley Eckert, an assistant school teacher in The Sand Pebbles (1966) opposite Steve McQueen. The movie was nominated for several Academy Awards. She was featured in a 1970 political satire, The Adventurers, playing a frustrated socialite. In 1975 she starred with Sean Connery in The Wind and the Lion, as a headstrong American widow kidnapped in the Moroccan desert.

She appeared in Mike Nichols' provocative Carnal Knowledge (1971) and the Burt Reynolds romantic comedy Starting Over (1979), for which she received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for best supporting actress.

Bergen had roles in Western films including The Hunting Party and Bite the Bullet, both of which starred Gene Hackman. Another Western she starred in was the highly controversial Soldier Blue, a worldwide hit, but a failure in its homeland. It led to Bergen's being voted by British exhibitors as the seventh most popular star at the British box office in 1971.

She was the love interest of Ryan O'Neal in the Love Story sequel, Oliver's Story, and portrayed a best-selling author in Rich and Famous (1981) with Jacqueline Bisset. In 1982, Bergen appeared in the Oscar-winning film Gandhi in which she portrayed documentary photographer Margaret Bourke-White. Bergen was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Turning to television, Bergen appeared in the 1985 miniseries Hollywood Wives. In addition to acting, Bergen has written articles, a play, and a memoir, Knock Wood (1984). She has also studied photography and worked as a photojournalist.

Murphy Brown

In 1988, she took the lead role in the sitcom Murphy Brown, in which she played a tough television reporter. The series provided her with the opportunity to show her little-seen comic talent, and although primarily a conventional sit-com, the show did tackle important issues. Murphy Brown, a recovering alcoholic, became a single mother and later battled breast cancer. In 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle criticized prime-time TV for showing the Murphy Brown character "mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice."

Quayle's remarks became comedic fodder and were written into the show, with Murphy shown watching Quayle's speech. A subsequent episode explored the subject of family values within a diverse set of families. The Brown character arranges for a truckload of potatoes to be dumped in front of Quayle's residence, an allusion to an infamous incident in which Quayle erroneously directed a school child to spell the word "potato" as "potatoe". In reality, Bergen agreed with at least some of Quayle's observations, saying that while the particular remark was "an arrogant and uninformed posture", as a whole, it was "a perfectly intelligent speech about fathers not being dispensable and nobody agreed with that more than I did." Bergen's run on Murphy Brown was extremely successful. The show ran for ten seasons and between 1989 and 1998, Bergen was nominated for an Emmy Award seven times and won five. After her fifth win, she declined future nominations for the role. Her five Emmy wins tie her with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mary Tyler Moore for the most wins for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

Throughout the same time frame as Murphy Brown, Bergen also appeared as the main spokesperson for a Sprint telephone ad campaign.

Later career

After playing the role of Murphy Brown, Bergen was offered a chance to work as a real-life journalist. After the run of Murphy Brown ended in 1998, CBS approached her to cover stories for 60 Minutes, an offer she declined, with the conviction that she didn't personally want to blur the lines between actor and journalist at the time.

After Murphy Brown, Bergen hosted Exhale with Candice Bergen on the Oxygen network. She also appeared in character roles in films, including Miss Congeniality, where she played villainous pageant host Kathy Morningside; she also portrayed the mayor of New York in Sweet Home Alabama. In 2003, she appeared in the Gwyneth Paltrow flight-attendant comedy, View from the Top.

In January 2005, Bergen joined the cast of the television series Boston Legal as Shirley Schmidt, a founding partner in the law firm of Crane, Poole & Schmidt. She played the role for five seasons. In 2006 and 2008, she received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

A frequent host on NBC's Saturday Night Live, she was the first woman to host the show and the first host to do a second show. She was also the first woman to join the Five-Timers Club, when she hosted for the fifth time in 1990. Bergen guest-starred on The Muppet Show in its first year, appearing in several skits, an episode now available in a DVD collection. She was also featured in a long-running "Dime Lady" ad campaign for the Sprint phone company.

She has also made guest appearances on many other TV shows, including Seinfeld (as herself playing Murphy Brown), Law & Order, Family Guy, Will & Grace (playing herself), and Sex and the City, where she played Enid Frick, Carrie Bradshaw's editor at Vogue. More recently she appeared in the 2009 movie Bride Wars as Marion St. Claire, New York's most sought-after wedding planner, who also serves as the narrator of the story.

Since its launch in 2008, Candice Bergen has been a contributor for, a website for women to talk culture, politics and gossip.

Bergen had an occasional role on House as Lisa Cuddy's mother, starting in Season 7, including the 2011 episodes "Larger Than Life" and "Family Practice".

In 2010, she appeared in a one-night only concert semi staged reading of Evening Primrose by Stephen Sondheim. She has also appeared on Broadway in the 2012 revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man and the 2014 revival of Love Letters.

Personal life

A political activist, Bergen accepted a date with Henry Kissinger. During her activist days she participated in a Yippie prank when she, Abbie Hoffman, and others threw dollar bills onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in 1967, leading to its temporary shutdown. In 1972, she served as a fundraiser and organizer for George McGovern's presidential campaign.

Bergen and former boyfriend Terry Melcher lived at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles, which was later occupied by Sharon Tate and her husband, Roman Polanski. Tate and four others were murdered in the home in August 9, 1969 by followers of Charles Manson. There was some initial speculation that Melcher may have been the intended victim, although Melcher, his former roommate Mark Lindsay, and Vincent Bugliosi have all indicated Manson was aware that Melcher was no longer living at that address at the time of the murders.

On September 27, 1980, she married French film director Louis Malle. They had one child, a daughter named Chloe, in 1985. The couple were married until Malle's death from cancer on Thanksgiving Day in 1995.

Bergen has traveled extensively and speaks French fluently. She is now married to New York real estate magnate and philanthropist Marshall Rose.

Awards won

Emmy Awards:

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for: Murphy Brown (1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995) 5 wins

Golden Globe Awards:

  • Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical for: Murphy Brown (1989, 1992) 2 wins

Television Academy Hall of Fame:

  • Inducted in 2010



Year Title Role Notes
1966 Group, TheThe Group Lakey
1966 Sand Pebbles, TheThe Sand Pebbles Shirley Eckert Nominated—Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actress
1967 Day the Fish Came Out, TheThe Day the Fish Came Out Electra Brown
1967 Vivre pour vivre Candice aka Live for Life (US)
1967 Flash 02 Herself
1968 Magus, TheThe Magus Lily
1968 Wedding of the Doll Herself
1970 Adventurers, TheThe Adventurers Sue Ann Daley
1970 Getting Straight Jan
1970 Soldier Blue Kathy Maribel Lee, 'Cresta'
1971 Carnal Knowledge Susan
1971 Hunting Party, TheThe Hunting Party Melissa Ruger
1971 T.R. Baskin T. R. Baskin aka A Date with a Lonely Girl (UK)
1974 11 Harrowhouse Maren Shirell
1975 The Lion Roars Again Herself Uncredited
1975 Wind and the Lion, TheThe Wind and the Lion Eden Pedecaris
1975 Bite the Bullet Miss Jones
1977 Domino Principle, TheThe Domino Principle Ellie Tucker aka The Domino Killings (UK)
1978 Night Full of Rain, AA Night Full of Rain Lizzy
1978 Oliver's Story Marcie Bonwit
1979 Starting Over Jessica Potter Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
1981 Rich and Famous Merry Noel Blake
1982 Gandhi Margaret Bourke-White Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1984 2010 SAL 9000 voice only (credited as Olga Mallsnerd)
1985 Stick Kyle McClaren
1989 Frames from the Edge Herself
1996 Belly Talkers Herself
1997 Who Is Henry Jaglom? Herself
2000 Miss Congeniality Kathy Morningside Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy
2002 Sweet Home Alabama Mayor Kate Hennings
2003 View from the Top Sally Weston
2003 In-Laws, TheThe In-Laws Judy Tobias
2008 Sex and the City Enid Frick
2008 Women, TheThe Women Catherine Frazier
2009 Bride Wars Marion St. Claire Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress
2010 Romantics, TheThe Romantics Augusta
2014 Merry Friggin' Christmas Donna Mitchler
2016 Rules Don't Apply Nadine Henly Completed


Year Title Role Notes
1958 You Bet Your Life Herself Episode: "7.34"
1965 What's My Line Herself Episode: "Sept. 12, 1965"
1967 Coronet Blue Enid Toler Episode: "The Rebels"
1969 The Kraft Music Hall Various Episode: "The Woody Allen Special"
1975-2013 Saturday Night Live Herself 6 episodes
1976 The Muppet Show Herself/Clara Cartwell Episode: "#1.15"
1985 Hollywood Wives Elaine Conti 2 episodes
1985 Arthur the King Morgan le Fay Television movie
1985 Murder: By Reason of Insanity Ewa Berwid Television movie
1987 Trying Times Barbara Episode: "Moving Day"
1987 Mayflower Madam Sydney Biddle Barrows Television movie
1988-1998 Murphy Brown Murphy Brown 247 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
1992 Seinfeld Murphy Brown Episode: "The Keys"
1994 Understanding Sexy Narrator Television movie
1995 Understanding Narrator 2 episodes
1996 Mary & Tim Mary Horton Television movie
1997 Ink Murphy Brown Episode: "Murphy's Law"
2000 Family Guy Gloria Ironbox 2 episodes
2002 Sex and the City Enid Mead 2 episodes
2003 Footsteps Daisy Television movie
2004 Sex and the City Enid Splick Episode: "Splat!"
2004 Law & Order Judge Amanda Anderlee Episode: "The Brotherhood"
2004 Will & Grace Herself Episode: "Strangers with Candice"
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury Judge Amanda Anderlee 3 episodes
2005-2008 Boston Legal Shirley Schmidt 84 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
2011 House Arlene Cuddy 3 episodes
2013 The Michael J. Fox Show Mike's Mom Episode: "Thanksgiving"
2014 Beautiful & Twisted Bernice Novack Television movie
2015 Battle Creek Constance Episode: "Mama's Boy"

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Candice Bergen Charities

Candice Bergen supports the following charitable causes: Children, WWF.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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