skip navigation
Bebe Neuwirth

Bebe Neuwirth

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

Cheers: Eleven Season Pack ... Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Kirstie Alley, Rhea Perlman, Kelsey Grammer. With some... more info $153.95was $189.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Beatrice Neuwirth Died:
Born: December 31, 1958 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Newark, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, dancer, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This intense, quirky, multi-talented actor-singer-dancer, who after achieving Broadway success (including a Tony) as a tough-talking dancer in the 1986 revival of "Sweet Charity," enjoyed similar award-winning popularity for her deadpan portrayal of the brittle, astringent yet sexually smoldering Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane on NBC's long-running sitcom, "Cheers." Bebe Neuwirth's parents were a mathematician and an artist, which pretty much sums up her appeal: she seems to have a fiercely analytical approach to her acting. After schooling at Juilliard, she got her start touring in "A Chorus Line" (1978-81), playing various roles including the tough-talking Sheila and the more vulnerable Cassie, and on Broadway in such productions as "Little Me" and Bob Fosse's "Dancin'" (both 1982), "The Road to Hollywood" (1984) and "Just So" (1985) before hitting the big time (and winning a Tony Award) in Fosse's "Sweet Charity" (1986-87). By this time, her sharp, dark beauty had brought her to the attention of Hollywood. Neuwirth began doing cameos as Frasier Crane's repressed siren wife on "Cheers" (NBC). She continued as a semi-regular character through 1992, and has reprised the role from time to time on the...

This intense, quirky, multi-talented actor-singer-dancer, who after achieving Broadway success (including a Tony) as a tough-talking dancer in the 1986 revival of "Sweet Charity," enjoyed similar award-winning popularity for her deadpan portrayal of the brittle, astringent yet sexually smoldering Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane on NBC's long-running sitcom, "Cheers." Bebe Neuwirth's parents were a mathematician and an artist, which pretty much sums up her appeal: she seems to have a fiercely analytical approach to her acting. After schooling at Juilliard, she got her start touring in "A Chorus Line" (1978-81), playing various roles including the tough-talking Sheila and the more vulnerable Cassie, and on Broadway in such productions as "Little Me" and Bob Fosse's "Dancin'" (both 1982), "The Road to Hollywood" (1984) and "Just So" (1985) before hitting the big time (and winning a Tony Award) in Fosse's "Sweet Charity" (1986-87).

By this time, her sharp, dark beauty had brought her to the attention of Hollywood. Neuwirth began doing cameos as Frasier Crane's repressed siren wife on "Cheers" (NBC). She continued as a semi-regular character through 1992, and has reprised the role from time to time on the spin-off "Frasier" (NBC, 1993-2004). Her other TV work has been spotty. Neuwirth had supporting roles in the 1990 dramas "Without Her Consent" (NBC), as famed attorney Gloria Allred, and "Unspeakable Acts" (ABC). She also appeared on the short-lived dark fantasy series "Wild Palms" (ABC, 1993). "Dear Diary," a failed ABC sitcom pilot in which Neuwirth portrayed an editor and diarist, was released in 1996 as a short film and won an Oscar as Best Short Subject.

Neuwirth has appeared in a handful of films, few of which have exploited her peculiar, dry talents. She debuted as a guidance counselor in "Say Anything" (1989) and had supporting roles in "Green Card" (1990), as Andie MacDowell's best friend, and in "Bugsy" (1991), as the real-life socialite Countess di Frasso. In the effective thriller "Malice" (1993), Neuwirth was the detective trailing Alec Baldwin while in "Jumanji" (1995), she was the aunt of the children who begin playing a mysterious board game. She had perhaps her best role to date in a distinct change of pace as a sexy yuppie in "The Associate" (1996). Additionally, she has also loaned her talents to the kiddie films "All Dogs Go to Heaven 2" (as a voice-over) and "The Adventures of Pinocchio" (both 1996).

But it is onstage that Neuwirth has always been happiest and most effectively utilized. Her combined skills as actor, dancer and singer have been seen in the musical revue "Showing Off" (New York, 1989), as Lola in the 1994 revival of "Damn Yankees" and in the 1996 revival of "Chicago" on Broadway. In the latter, her portrayal of celebrity murderess Velma Kelly (originated by Chita Rivera in 1975) earned her rave reviews and she all but overshadowed co-stars Ann Reinking, James Naughton and Joel Gray. Neuwirth picked up a second Tony Award for her efforts.

Neuwirth had memorable roles in several feature films over the next five years, including playing a hooker in Woody Allen's film "Celebrity" (1998). Neuwirth had leading roles in two well-received television movies as well, 1999's "Dash and Lilly" and 2000's "Cupid & Cate."

In 2002, Neuwirth played a sexy chiropractor who seduces a 15 year old boy who is in love with his stepmother (Sigourney Weaver) in "Tadpole." The movie was a hit with critics and a perfect showcase for Neuwirth's subtle, out-of-the-ordinary style. She took a supporting role in the romantic comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (2003) playing a no-nonsense New York fashion editor opposite Kate Hudson, with whom she was also featured in "Le Divorce" (2003), and the actress was featured in the Elmore Leonard-penned caper comedy "The Big Bounce" (2004).

The actress continued to foray back to the small screen, with a recurring role on the short-lived cabbie drama "Hack" (CBS, 2003), an especially amusing stint playing herself on a 2004 episode of "Will & Grace," and her eventual return to regular series work playing assistant district attorney Tracey Kibre in yet another spin-off of NBC's legal crime drama franchise, "Law & Order: Trail By Jury" (2005 - ).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Over the Garden Wall (2015) Margueritte Grey
2.
 Fame (2009)
3.
 Adopt a Sailor (2009)
4.
 Game 6 (2005) Cast
5.
 Big Bounce, The (2004) Alison Ritchie
6.
7.
 Tadpole (2002) Diane
8.
 Cupid & Cate (2000) Francesca
9.
 Getting to Know You (1999) Trix
10.
 Summer of Sam (1999) Gloria
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved to NYC at age 17
1980:
Made Broadway debut as Sheila in "A Chorus Line"
1982:
Appeared on Broadway in revival of "Little Me"
:
Performed in the national touring companies of "West Side Story" and "A Chorus Line" (as Cassie)
1985:
Directed by Bob Fosse in a revival of "Sweet Charity"
1986:
Joined the cast of "Cheers" (NBC) in a recurring role as emotionally repressed psychiatrist, Lilith Sternin-Crane
1989:
Made film debut in "Say Anything" as a high school counselor
1992:
Character of Lilith written out of "Cheers" at Neuwirth's request so that she could focus her energies on feature film work
1994:
Starred as Lola opposite Victor Garber in the Broadway revival of "Damn Yankees"
1994:
Reprised her role as Dr. Lilith Sternin in several episodes of the "Cheers" spin-off, "Frasier"; earned an Emmy (1995) nomination
1996:
Returned to Broadway in the revival of "Chicago" as showgirl and killer Velma Kelly
1998:
Played a Hooker in Woody Allen's "Celebrity"
1999:
Portrayed Dorothy Parker in the A&E biopic "Dash & Lilly"; received Emmy nomination
1999:
Played the mother of a 1950s Jewish family in Barry Levinson's "Liberty Heights"
2000:
Returned to TV as a regular on the NBC drama series "Deadline"
2001:
Appeared in the Broadway show "Fosse"
2001:
Made rare non-musical stage appearance in the Off-Broadway play "Everett Beekin"
2002:
Garnered praise for supporting turn in the Sundance-screened independent "Tadpole"
2003:
Played Kate Hudson's boss in the romantic comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"
2003:
Again starred opposite Kate Hudson in "Le Divorce"
2004:
Performed in the NY musical, "Here Lies Jenny"
2005:
Starred in the short-lived spin-off series, "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" (NBC) as prosecutor Tracey Kibre
2006:
Cast opposite Michael Keaton in "Game 6," a film centered around the historic 1986 World Series
2006:
Returned to the Broadway production of "Chicago" in the role of Roxie Hart
2007:
Co-starred with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in the comedy "The Game Plan"
2009:
Toured a one-woman cabaret show, "Bebe Neuwirth: Stories with Piano"
2009:
Played a dance instructor in the feature remake of "Fame"
2010:
Co-starred with Nathan Lane in "The Addams Family" at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

The Juilliard School: New York , New York - 1976 - 1977

Notes

"I love Lilith, but I never wanted to be on television. I really love what I do [stage work], and I want to do a lot of it, and I noticed that the people who got the really good stuff to do in the shows were people with TV shows or movies, the celebrity types. I thought, maybe it will help me when I come back to Broadway if I go and do this." --Bebe Neuwirth, quoted in The New York Times, November 23, 1996.

"I don't like to be called Lilith on the street; I'll actually ignore someone who does that, unless I feel they might hurt me. I don't like to be recognized. And I'll say 'no' if people ask, 'are you ... ?' Especially if it's going to cause a scene or somebody is trying to win a bet. It can be completely dehumanizing, and I'm way too sensitive." --Bebe Neuwirth quoted in Time Out New York, November 7, 1996.

Neuwirth's portrait of the unsmiling, austere yet highly-strung therapist on "Cheers" seems to have its origins in one of her childhood idols: "When I was a little girl, I wanted to be Morticia Addams [of the 1960's mock-horror sitcom "The Addams Family"]. But I had bangs. I couldn't part my hair in the middle like she did. And Mrs. Munster--what a cheap imitation." --quoted in People, August 26, 1991.

"I now have a place at a very cool table at which are seated Carol Channinng, Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera, and Julie Andrews." --Neuwirth on her place as a non-Hollywood actress, to Premiere magazine, August 2002

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Paul Dorman. Theater director. Born c. 1955; met Neuwirth in 1982 at a NY cabaret (O'Neal's restaurant) where she was performing and he was tending bar; married 1984; Neuwirth filed for divorce August 1991.
companion:
Michael Danek. Actor, singer, writer. Born c. 1955 together since 1991; became engaged in July 1997; separated in late 1999.
companion:
George Stephanopolous. Political commentator. Dated from December 1999 until June 2000.
companion:
C J Wilson. Actor. Began dating in fall 2000.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Lee Neuwirth. Mathematician.
mother:
Sydney Anne Neuwirth. Artist.
brother:
Peter Neuwirth. Actuary. Older.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute