Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winning actress Candice Patricia Bergen is an American actress best known for her portrayal of tough single newswoman Murphy Brown in the series of the same name that ran from 1988-1998 and won her four Emmys and two Golden Globes. However, she has now been in television and movies for over 45 years with several other awards and an Oscar nomination to her credit. She appeared in three episodes of Season 7 as Lisa Cuddy's mother Arlene Cuddy.
Bergen is the daughter of Edgar Bergen, who during the period from 1940-1970 was one of the most popular entertainers in the United States - a ventriloquist with a series of dummies that were even more famous than he was, such as Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. However, although she gained fame as his daughter during her early years, and it helped ease her transition into show business, her father was rather distant throughout her life and regrettably her early acting dubbed her reviews that compared her emotional range to her father's wooden puppets.
However, all that changed with her role in Carnal Knowledge, where she played a character who aged twenty years on screen who was the love interest of both the main male leads, Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkle. Bergen started to get good critical reviews and expanded her repertoire into comedy, being one of the first guest hosts on Saturday Night Live and being the first person of either sex to guest host the show twice (before either Buck Henry or Steve Martin had hosted the show once). She is currently one of only two women in SNL's "Five-Timers" club (the other being Drew Barrymore). By 1979, she had garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in Starting Over.
By 1988, Bergen was one of the best known actresses in the United States and was given her own sitcom on CBS, Murphy Brown. Murphy drew heavily on Bergen's own toughness and feminism as she portrayed a single mother working in a responsible job where both her superiors and subordinates feared her. The character drew criticism in 1992 from Vice-President Dan Quayle who said that Murphy's decision to bear a child out of wedlock set a bad example. However, the backlash to the statement instead hurt Quayle and George W. Bush in the 1992 election campaign. Murphy also had a failing identical to that of Lisa Cuddy - it was a running gag on the series that Murphy would have a new assistant in each episode. That running gag became so well known that the series Seinfeld played on it by having Cosmo Kramer go to Los Angeles to play Murphy's assistant in one episode.
After the end of Murphy Brown, Bergen continued to keep busy with appearances on Sex and the City and Law & Order: Trial by Jury. She then landed a regular role on Boston Legal as Shirley Schmidt.
- Appeared with Kal Penn and Meredith Eaton on Battle Creek
- Appeared with Jude Ciccolella on Beautiful & Twisted
- Appeared with Cynthia Nixon in Sex and the City (Movie)
- Appeared with Cynthia Nixon and Jason Lewis on Sex and the City (TV Series)
- Appeared with Robin Tunney in The In-Laws
- Appeared with Joshua Malina and Marc Blucas in View from the Top