CANDICE BERGEN Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Candice Patricia Bergen                                                       
Born: 9 May 1946 Beverly Hills, California, United States                           
Candice Patricia Bergen (born May 9, 1946) is an Academy Award-nominated and         
Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winning American actress and former fashion model,     
known primarily for her roles in sitcoms and television. She is best known for       
her starring role on the television situation comedy Murphy Brown, and as           
Shirley Schmidt, the legal partner of Denny Crane (played by William Shatner),       
on the ABC hit comedy-drama Boston Legal. Earlier in her career she starred in       
the famous Revisionist Western movie Soldier Blue.                                   
She was born in Beverly Hills, California, the daughter of Frances Westerman,       
who was known professionally as Frances Westcott when she was a Powers model,       
and ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. Her paternal grandparents, Johan Henriksson         
Berggren and Nilla Svensdotter Osberg, were Swedish-born immigrants who             
Anglicized their surname. As a child, Bergen was often referred to as Charlie       
McCarthy's little sister, which irritated her (Charlie McCarthy being her father's   
star puppet).                                                                       
Candice first appeared 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. In 1966, Bergen played the role of Shirley Eckert, an     
assistant school teacher in the movie The Sand Pebbles, which was nominated for     
several Academy Awards.                                                             
Bergen has written articles, a play, and a memoir. She has also studied             
photography and worked as a photojournalist. Considered one of Hollywood's most     
beautiful women, Bergen worked as a fashion model but soon began acting. Despite     
initial rocky reviews, she appeared in such films as Carnal Knowledge and           
Starting Over, for which she received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for         
best supporting actress.                                                             
On Murphy Brown, Bergen played a tough television reporter. Although the show       
was a successful comedy, it tackled important issues: Murphy Brown, a recovering     
alcoholic, became a single mother and later battled breast cancer. In 1992, then     
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." While his remarks became comedic         
fodder, they paved the way for a subsequent episode to explore the subject of       
family values within a diverse set of families. Remaining true to the show's         
humor, Murphy arranges for a truckload of potatoes to be dumped in front of         
Quayle's residence; a reference to an infamous incident in which Quayle             
misspelled the word "potato" as "potatoe". In real life, however, Bergen agreed     
with at least some of Quayle's observations, saying Quayle's speech was "a           
perfectly intelligent speech about fathers not being dispensable and nobody         
agreed with that more than I did," according to the Associated Press. 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 her role as Murphy Brown.                           
After playing the role of the successful journalist, Bergen was offered the         
chance to work as a real-life journalist. After the run of Murphy Brown ended in     
1998, CBS gave her the opportunity to cover some stories for 60 Minutes, an         
offer she declined. She expressed that acting was her profession, journalism was     
meant for her television character, and should not cross over into her own           
professional life.                                                                   
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 the sweet-yet-demented pageant host Kathy Morningside; she also     
portrayed the mayor of New York in Sweet Home Alabama. In 2003, she appeared in     
the movie View from the Top. In January 2005, Bergen joined the cast of Boston       
Legal as Shirley Schmidt, a founding partner in the law firm of Crane, Poole &       
Schmidt. Bergen received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress       
in a Drama Series for her performance in Boston Legal in 2006.                       
She has also done guest appearances on many TV shows, including Seinfeld (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. A     
frequent host on NBC's Saturday Night Live, Bergen appeared twice in 1975, and       
once in 1976, 1987, and 1990. She is also well-known for starring in a long-running 
"Dime Lady" ad campaign for the Sprint phone company.