Award-winning actress Candice Bergen was born on May 9, 1946 in Beverly Hills, California. The daughter of renowned entertainer and ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, her first screen appearance was in an episode of the game show You Bet Your Life in 1958, with her father. By the time, she wanted to design her own clothes, a career track similar to her mother’s, fashion model Frances Bergen. She indeed began work as a fashion model, but eventually focused on acting exclusively. She started acting in 1966, appearing in the films The Group, and the Oscar-winning The Sand Pebbles.
Despite initial negative reviews, Bergen appeared in numerous films throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Notable films include Carnal Knowledge, The Wind and the Lion, The Domino Principle, Gandhi and Starting Over, which earned her Oscar and Golden Globe nominations in 1979. However, she became famous for her portrayal of a television reporter in the sitcom Murphy Brown. Her performance as the title character—Murphy Brown was, at some points in the show’s ten-year run, a recovering alcoholic, (quite controversially) a single mother, and a breast cancer survivor—earned her seven Emmy nominations, five of which she won. Quite ironically, after Murphy Brown ended its run, she was offered a slot on the newsmagazine 60 Minutes, an offer which she declined.
Her popularity in the series led to prominent roles in high profile movies, including View from the Top, Sweet Home Alabama and Miss Congeniality. She also earned recurring roles in Law & Order: Trial by Jury and Sex and the City; she will eventually reprise her role in the latter’s film adaptation in 2008. She returned to prime time television in 2005, when she joined the cast of the acclaimed legal drama Boston Legal. She played the role of Shirley Schmidt, a partner of the fictional law firm Crane, Poole & Schmidt, who usually finds herself doing damage control over Denny Crane’s (William Shatner) public statements, and control his excessive behavior. The role earned her nominations for two Emmys and a Golden Globe.