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Candice Bergen (1946)

Candice Patricia Bergen

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  Summary  

Candice Patricia Bergen is an American actress and former fashion model.

She is known for starring in two TV series, as the title character on the situation comedy Murphy Brown (1988–1998), for which she won five Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards; and as Shirley Schmidt on the comedy-drama Boston Legal (2004–2008), for which she was nominated for two Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She starred in several major films throughout the mid 1960s to early 1980s such as The Sand Pebbles, Carnal Knowledge, The Wind and the Lion, and Gandhi and received an Academy Award nomination for her role in Starting Over. Her later career includes character roles in Miss Congeniality and Sweet Home Alabama.

  Biography  

 early life
Bergen was born 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, was a ventriloquist, comedian, and actor. Her paternal grandparents were Swedish-born immigrants who anglicized their surname, which was originally Berggren. As a child, Bergen was irritated at being referred to as Charlie McCarthy's little sister, Charlie McCarthy being her father's star dummy.

 career
Bergen began appearing on her father's radio program at a young age, and in 1958, at age eleven, 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.

Bergen made her screen debut playing an aloof university student in The Group , which delicately touched on the then-forbidden subject of lesbianism. Her second film in 1966 was The Sand Pebbles, in which she played Shirley Eckert, an assistant school teacher and missionary opposite Steve McQueen. The film was nominated for several Academy Awards. After starring in the French film Live for Life and The Magus with Michael Caine and Anthony Quinn, she was featured in a 1970 political satire, The Adventurers, playing a frustrated socialite who has a lesbian affair. In 1975 she starred with Sean Connery in The Wind and the Lion, as a headstrong American widow kidnapped in Morocco in 1904 along with her two young children.

Despite initial rocky reviews, she appeared in such films as Mike Nichols' provocative Carnal Knowledge and the Burt Reynolds romantic comedy Starting Over , 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. 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 with Jacqueline Bisset. In 1982 Bergen appeared in the Academy Award for Best Picture winning drama film Gandhi in which she portrayed documentary photographer Margaret Bourke-White.

Bergen has written articles, a play, and a memoir, Knock Wood . She has also studied photography and worked as a photojournalist. Considered one of Hollywood's most beautiful women, Bergen worked as a fashion model before she took up acting.

Turning to television and given a chance to show her little-seen comic talent, Murphy Brown, Bergen played a tough television reporter. Primarily a conventional sit-com, the show did tackle important issues: TV star 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." His remarks became comedic fodder, and were written into the show as if he were talking about the Murphy Brown character, who was depicted 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: between 1989 and 1995 she was nominated for an Emmy Award seven times and won five. After her fifth win, she declined future nominations for the role. Throughout the same time frame as Murphy Brown, Bergen also appeared as the main spokesperson for a Sprint telephone ad campaign, known to many in the ads as the "Dime Lady", for advertising Sprint's 10 cents a minute rate.

After playing the role of the successful journalist, Bergen was offered a chance to work as a real-life one. 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, most notably Miss Congeniality as a former beauty queen who rivals Sandra Bullock; and as the mayor of New York who disapproves of her son marrying Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama . She also appeared in the comedies View from the Top with Gwyneth Paltrow and The In-Laws with Michael Douglas, both released in 2003.

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. 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 , Law & Order, Family Guy, Will & Grace , 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 wowOwow.com, a website for women to talk culture, politics and gossip.

Bergen has 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.

 personal life
Candice Bergen attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she was elected both Homecoming Queen and Miss University, but acknowledges that her failure to take her education seriously resulted in her being asked to leave. She received an honorary doctorate from Penn in May 1992.

During the 1960s, Bergen and then-boyfriend Terry Melcher, the son of Doris Day, 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 1969 by followers of Charles Manson. There was some initial speculation that Melcher may have been the intended victim.

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 shut-down. In 1972, she served as a fundraiser and organizer for George McGovern's presidential campaign.

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.

Since June 15, 2000, she has been married to New York real estate magnate and philanthropist Marshall Rose.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Candice Bergen", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.