Candice Bergen

Candice Bergen starred on ‘Murphy Brown’ in the title role as a smart, independent anchorwoman, winning five Emmys during the sitcom’s original 10-year run.

Who Is Candice Bergen?

Born on May 9, 1946, in Beverly Hills, California, Candice Bergen started out as a model before turning to acting. She received an Oscar nomination for her role in the 1979 film Starting Over. Bergen is best known for her title role on the sitcom Murphy Brown, winning five Emmys during the show's original 10-year run. She also co-starred with William Shatner on ABC's Boston Legal starting in 2005.

Early Years and Career

Actress Candice Bergen was born on May 9, 1946, in Beverly Hills, California. The daughter of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and model Frances Westerman Bergen, Candice started her career as part of her father's act alongside his puppets Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. She began modeling as a teenager before graduating and going into acting with the 1966 film The Group.

Bergen gained critical success for her work in several films, including Carnal Knowledge (1971); Starting Over (1979), for which she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award; and Gandhi (1982). In 1984 she published a memoir, Knock Wood. 

'Murphy Brown'

In 1988, Bergen found her niche in the politically-charged sitcom Murphy Brown, launching the role for which she would become most famous. Bergen as Murphy, the independent, sarcastic, liberal anchorwoman, earned eight Emmy nominations, and won five times (in 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1995), before the show wrapped in 1998.

The show and its title character became nationally infamous in 1992, when Vice President Dan Quayle attacked the single mother TV character for being a poor role model. Bergen's portrayal of Murphy as a hard-hitting journalist was so convincing that after Murphy Brown ended, she was considered by the real-life TV news show 60 Minutes for a position as a correspondent. It might not have been a bad fit, as she is an accomplished photojournalist whose work has appeared in magazines such as Life and Playboy. 

In January 2018, it was announced that Bergen would return for a revival of Murphy Brown, scheduled to debut as part of the CBS fall lineup later that year.

'Boston Legal' and Other Work

In 2000, Bergen began hosting her own talk show, Exhale with Candice Bergen, on Oxygen, the women's cable network founded by Oprah Winfrey, among others. It was later cancelled, but she didn't stay off the air for long; Bergen returned to television in 2005 on the ABC comedy Boston Legal, starring opposite William Shatner and James Spader. Playing a high-powered attorney suited her well, as she earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations during the show's five-season run.

Bergen later appeared in other prime-time programs like House and The Michael J. Fox Show, as well as the films Bride Wars (2010), Rules Don't Apply (2016) and Home Again (2017).

Personal Life

Bergen's brother is Kris Bergen, a film and TV editor. She was married to the French filmmaker Louis Malle from 1980 to 1995, when he died of cancer at the age of 63. Their daughter Chloe was born in 1985. In June 2000, Bergen married her longtime boyfriend, New York real estate executive and philanthropist Marshall Rose.

More than three decades after penning her first memoir, Bergen published a second one, A Fine Romance, in 2015.

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