Actress Candice Bergen may be best known for her character Murphy Brown, the titular role in the long-running sitcom “Murphy Brown” (1988-1998), which gave her five Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, three Viewers for Quality TV Awards and an American Comedy Award. Bergen, who was also handed the 1989 Golden Apple’s Female Star of the Year and the 1996 People’s Choice’s Favorite Female TV Performer award, currently indulges TV viewers with her Emmy-nominated role of Shirley Schmidt in the acclaimed court drama series “Boston Legal” (2005-?).
Setting off her acting journey in the drama The Group (1966), Bergen was applauded for her acting in Bite the Bullet (1975), Alan J. Pakula’s romantic comedy Starting Over (1979, received an Oscar nomination), Miss Congeniality (2000) and several other titles. However, she did not fare as well after taking part in several movies like The Adventurers (1970) and The Domino Principle (1977).
Outside the spotlight, the vegan actress was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from her alma mater (University of Pennsylvania) in 1992. Bergen, who measured 34-25-35 (during “Murphy Brown,” 1988, Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine) also became one of People magazine’s “10 Best Dressed” in 1999.
As for her romantic life, subsequent to her relationship with music producer Terry Melcher in the late 1960s, she tied the knot with Louis Malle (1980 - his death in 1995), with whom she has a daughter. She is now married to Marshall Rose.
Childhood and Family:
Born on May 9, 1946, in Beverly Hills, Candice Patricia Bergen is the first child of two to radio ventriloquist Edgar Bergen (died in 1978) and actress Frances Bergen. Her only brother, Kris Bergen (film and video editor), was born in 1961.
Candice appeared in a magazine advertisement with her parents when she was an infant and became a guest ventriloquist on her father’s radio program at the age of six. She attended the Westlake School for Girls in L.A. before transferring to the Cathedral School in Washington D.C. and then to a Montesano School in Switzerland. While continuing her studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Candice also worked as a Ford model. She dropped out a year later because of poor grades and chose to enter show business.
Candice married French film director Louis Malle on September 27, 1980. They had a daughter, Chloe Malle (born in 1985) and remained married until his death (cancer) on November 23, 1995. Currently, Candice is married to real-estate developer Marshall Rose, whom she wed on June 15, 2000.
Candice Bergen made a grand entrance to the studio spotlight with a starring role of wealthy collegiate lesbian Elinor ‘Lakey’ Eastlake in Sidney Lumet’s drama The Group (1966), after previously attracting the director’s attention with her performance in a Revlon TV advertisement. She then immediately received critics’ attention with her fine turn as Shirley Eckert in the war movie The Sand Pebbles (1966, earned a Golden Globe nomination) and appeared on TV for the first time in an episode of the drama mystery series “Coronet Blue” (1967).
In 1968, Bergen utilized her interest in writing through “The Freezer,” a play script that soon was included in “Best Short Plays of 1968.” After taking roles in the fantasy movie The Magus (1968), an episode of “The Kraft Music Hall” (1969) and the underrated The Adventurers (1970), the new actress turned heads again when she costarred as Susan in Mike Nichols’ Carnal Knowledge (1971), opposite Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel.
She also played Maren Shirell in the crime comedy 11 Harrowhouse (1974) before receiving a Western Heritage’s Bronze Wrangler for the convincing portrayal of Miss Jones in Bite the Bullet (1975). Bergen, who during the time also became a photojournalist for Life, Playboy and Esquire, received less appreciation after playing the female lead role of Ellie Tucker in the thriller The Domino Principle (1977).
After acting opposite Ryan O’Neal in the sequel of Love Story, titled Oliver’s Story (1978), Bergen rose to eminence with her impressive performance as Jessica Potter, the ex-wife of Burt Reynolds’ character, in Alan J. Pakula’s romantic comedy Starting Over (1979) and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She then shared the screen with Jacqueline Bisset in the remade drama Rich and Famous (1981), took a BAFTA nomination for her supporting turn as photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White in the Oscar-winning Gandhi (1982) and appeared in the Peter Hyams-helmed sci-fi 2010 (1984).
On the small screen, Bergen had her first TV film performance in the drama Murder: By Reason of Insanity (1985, starred as Ewa Berwid) and was cast as Elaine Conti in the three-part miniseries “Hollywood Wives” (1985). The same year, the actress tried the stage and replaced Sigourney Weaver as Diane in the Broadway play “Hurlyburly,” for director Mike Nichols.
Following the TV drama Mayflower Madam (1987, starred as Sydney Biddle Barrows), the performer starred in the sitcom “Murphy Brown” (1988-1998, also executive produced). Thanks to her witty portrayal in the long-running series, Bergen later collected five Emmys, two Golden Globes and three Viewers for Quality TVs for Best Actress, as well as an American Comedy for Funniest Actress and a Golden Apple for Female Star of the Year. In the course of the show, the actress also played the title character in an episode of “Seinfeld” (1992), “Ink” (1997) and the animated comedy series “Family Guy” (2000, voiced the character).
The 1996 People’s Choice Favorite Female TV Performer, Bergen made another attempt at producing with the TV romantic drama Mary & Tim (1996), where she also took the title role. Four years later, she earned rave reviews for her supporting part of Kathy Morningside, a sweet-yet-demented pageant host, in the Sandra Bullock-starring Miss Congeniality (2000). Aside from acting, she also hosted the talk show “Exhale with Candice Bergen” (2000) for the Oxygen cable channel and served as an occasional contributor to NBC’s morning program “Today” (2002).
The actress continued delivering lovely supporting turns in Sweet Home Alabama (2002, played Mayor Kate Hennings) and View from the Top (2003, as Sally Weston). Making episodic performances, Bergen was seen in the series “Law & Order” (2004) and its sequel, “Law & Order: Trial by Jury” (2005), in the recurring role of Judge Amanda Anderlee.
In 2005, she joined the cast of ABC’s court drama series “Boston Legal” and took on the role of Shirley Schmidt, the third partner of Crane, Poole & Schmidt. For her fine performance in the latter TV program, Bergen was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress, as well as a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Actress.