skip navigation
Sandra Bernhard

Sandra Bernhard

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

The King Of Comedy DVD The quickest path to fame is to pull of the crime of the century. Robert De Niro... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

The Apocalypse DVD Save the world with this explosive sci-fi action thriller! When an abandoned... more info $7.98was $7.98 Buy Now

The Easter Egg Adventure... Set beyond the borders of Egg Town, an idyllic village where chickens and... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Burn Hollywood Burn DVD Hollywood lampoons itself in this bitter satire stars Eric Idle as a director... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

The N Word DVD Though some people have fought to reclaim it and eliminate its power, its... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Sesame Street: Follow That Bird - Deluxe... Big Bird's breakout film! Whee! "Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird"... more info $12.98was $12.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 6, 1955 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Flint, Michigan, USA Profession: actor, comedian, singer, producer, author, manicurist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An acerbic, self-deprecating and full-lipped (think Mick Jagger or Aerosmith's Steven Tyler) renaissance woman, Sandra Bernhard has offered cutting-edge social commentary since beginning humbly at an open-mike night at Ye Little Club in Beverly Hills in 1975. At the time she was a manicurist to the stars, a vocation she practiced for six years before her comedy stylings enabled her to give up her day job for good. She had made her feature debut in "Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams" (19981), but it was her over-the-top turn as the obsessively neurotic groupie who attempts to kidnap Jerry Lewis in Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy" (1983) that brought her to public prominence. Managing to upstage not only Lewis but also the film's lead Robert De Niro, Bernhard set a standard she has yet to equal on the large screen, though she has garnered much subsequent acclaim for her outrageous live performances and television appearances (like dropping her pants on E! Entertainment's "Howard Stern") not to mention her 1991 PLAYBOY spread and a run as a Ford model. Bernhard's eclectic, confrontational and largely autobiographical one-woman stage show, "Without You I'm Nothing", was a smash off-Broadway in 1988...

An acerbic, self-deprecating and full-lipped (think Mick Jagger or Aerosmith's Steven Tyler) renaissance woman, Sandra Bernhard has offered cutting-edge social commentary since beginning humbly at an open-mike night at Ye Little Club in Beverly Hills in 1975. At the time she was a manicurist to the stars, a vocation she practiced for six years before her comedy stylings enabled her to give up her day job for good. She had made her feature debut in "Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams" (19981), but it was her over-the-top turn as the obsessively neurotic groupie who attempts to kidnap Jerry Lewis in Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy" (1983) that brought her to public prominence. Managing to upstage not only Lewis but also the film's lead Robert De Niro, Bernhard set a standard she has yet to equal on the large screen, though she has garnered much subsequent acclaim for her outrageous live performances and television appearances (like dropping her pants on E! Entertainment's "Howard Stern") not to mention her 1991 PLAYBOY spread and a run as a Ford model.

Bernhard's eclectic, confrontational and largely autobiographical one-woman stage show, "Without You I'm Nothing", was a smash off-Broadway in 1988 but sputtered at the box office in its 1990 screen rendition. A regular performer on TV stand-up comedy specials, she ventured into the land of sitcoms with a six-year (1991-96) recurring role as a married woman who came out as a lesbian on the hit ABC sitcom "Roseanne", offering perhaps her most mainstream exposure to date. Bernhard kept her profile high with guest turns on shows like "Chicago Hope" (CBS) and "Ally McBeal" (Fox) and as host of Comedy Central's "The A-List" (1992-93) and the USA Network's "Reel Wild Cinema with Sandra Bernhard" (1996), but her career seemed stalled until she roared back with "I'm Still Here ... Damn It!", which marked her Broadway debut when it moved uptown in 1998. Featuring a blistering stream of cool, vindictive campy asides and muttered put-downs of everyone from Madonna to Princess Diana, it served notice that Bernhard was back, edgy as ever, ready to reveal almost everything.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:


CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Dare (2009)
4.
 Zoolander (2001) (Cameo Appearance)
5.
 Playing Mona Lisa (2000) Bibi Carlson
6.
 Dinner Rush (2000) Jennifer Freeley
7.
 Plump Fiction (1998) Bunny
8.
 Footsteps (1998) Janet
9.
 I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998) Sandy Sands
10.
 Wrongfully Accused (1998) Doctor Fridley
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Flint, Michigan
1965:
Moved to Scottsdale, Arizona at the age of 10 (date approximate)
:
Spent a year on a kibbutz in Israel after high school graduation
1974:
Moved to Los Angeles
1975:
Began career as stand-up comic at clubs like the Improv and the Comedy Store while working as a manicurist by day (famous clients included Dyan Cannon and Jaclyn Smith)
1977:
Appeared on episodes of "The Richard Pryor Show" (NBC)
1981:
Film acting debut in "Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams"
1983:
Delivered hilarious turn as obsessive fan of Jerry Lewis in Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy"
1985:
Debut record album, "I'm Your Woman"
1988:
Off-Broadway debut, the one-person show "Without You I'm Nothing"
1990:
Co-wrote and starred in film adaptation of stage show "Without You I'm Nothing"; marked debut as screenwriter
1991:
Played over-the-top villainess Minerva Mayflower in the abysmal "Hudson Hawk"
1991:
Began recurring role of Nancy, a married woman who comes out as a lesbian, on hit TV sitcom "Roseanne" (ABC)
1992:
Posed nude for PLAYBOY; was featured on the cover
1992:
Signed a two-year deal with the Ford Models, Inc.
1992:
Hosted Comedy Central's "The A-List"
:
7m Appeared as herself in "Sandra Bernhard: Confessions of a Pretty Lady" (1993), "Unzipped", "Catwalk" (both 1995) and "The Late Shift" (HBO, 1996), among other projects
1995:
Portrayed Frieda Dabney in Disney remake of "Freaky Friday" ("The ABC Family Movie")
1996:
Appeared as a lawyer in a guest appearance on "Chicago Hope" (CBS)
1996:
Hosted USA Network's "Reel Wild Cinema with Sandra Bernhard", a look at "the best of the worst B movies"
1996:
Played a food-and-sex therapist in "Somewhere in the City"
1997:
Cast as the operator of a massage parlor in "Lover Girl" and played a bitchy Beverly Hills producer's wife in "Burn, Hollywood, Burn"
1997:
Made guest appearance as a savvy lawyer on "Ally McBeal" (Fox)
1998:
Appeared in the quirky silent film "I Woke Up Early the Day I Died", scripted by the late Edward Wood Jr
1998:
Broadway debut, "I'm Still Here ... Damn It!"; the show had been a smash hit off-Broadway before moving uptown; executive produced that year's HBO special of the same name
1998:
Voiced the regular character of Cassandra on "Disney's Hercules", an animated series based on the 1997 film
2000:
Starred in one-person stage show "The Love Machine"
2001:
Announced as host of the A&E late night talk show "The Sandra Bernhard Experience" to air in 2002
2002:
Guest-starred as herself on NBC's "Will & Grace"
2005:
Cast on Showtime's lesbian drama "The L Word" as a well-known straight author who teaches a class for budding young writers
2006:
Performed off-Broadway in "Sandra Bernhard: Everything Bad and Beautiful"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Saguaro High School: Scottsdale , Arizona -
Charles Ross School of Beauty: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

"I have one of those really hard-to-believe faces. It's sensual. It's sexual. At times, it's just damned frightening." --Sandra Bernhard quoted in BUZZ Magazine, September 1991

"Ten years ago, when I first started my career, I would fucking say whatever I wanted, twenty-four hours a day, especially since I didn't have the media on me like I've had in the past five or six years. There's something about the media crawling up your ass. It's hard enough to really express yourself in a completely emotional, raw way, but then also have to explain it to the press and reinterpret it to make them understand where you are really coming from--well, that's not my job." --Bernhard to Tori Amos in INTERVIEW, August 1994

On her recurring role on "Rosanne": "I wasn't there that often. I kind of breezed in and breezed out, but it was fun. It put a lot of money in my pocket, gave me good exposure. Again, would I have rather done something that was a more defined character? Yes. But I was really grateful that I got to do what I did." --Bernhard quoted in INTHEATER, November 22, 1997

"People are afraid of me . . . People don't like the truth. They don't like to be called on their bullshit. They'd rather be nice. They'd rather hide behind the pretension of being nice, and being nice doesn't really get you anywhere in the world. It's a copout. It always has been. Being nice is bullshit. Being real, being concerned, being passionate, loving, all comes from very strong emotions. Being nice is a weak emotion. It's not even an emotion. It's just weakness, period." --Bernhard to Jonathan Van Meter in NEW YORK, October 19, 1998

"There's nothing difficult within the whole idea of being gay. It's probably more difficult for me because I'm just a very outspoken person. I don't think it has anything to do with my sexuality, but when you add that into the mix of who I am, it is another level of shit I have to deal with. I think you have better luck being somebody like k.d. lang who's just full-on major dyke than you do when you're like me. I mean, I'm ambiguous and I won't really play the game. It trips a lot of people out--straight and gay--because they want to fucking nail you. They want to fucking pigeonhole you, and I don't want to be pigeonholed. Don't fuckin' tell me how I ought to be. I'm an individual and I've fought against a lot of stereotypes in my life." --Bernhard to Tom O'Neill in OUT, November 1998

"When I was eight years old, I saw Carol Channing in 'Hello, Dolly!'. She was my first inspiration in this business. Years later I saw her on the street in New York. I couldn't waste the opportunity, so I ran up to her, said, 'I love you!' and ran away . . . She came to see my show recently and told me, 'You can't help but be yourself. You are an original, my spiritual granddaughter.' It was very cool." --Bernhard to the Hollywood Kids in MOVIELINE, December 1998-January 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Madonna. Singer, actor. Were friends in 1988; although they appeared publicly on "dates" they neverY confirmed a relationship with the press, although in his biography of Madonna, Andrew Morton asserts that Madonna privately acknowledged a sexual relationship with Bernhard.
companion:
Ingrid Casares. Nightclub promoter. No longer together.
companion:
Patricia Velasquez. Model. Had five-year relationship; no longer together.
companion:
Steven Aturo. Makeup artist. Reportedly dating as of spring 2000.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jerome Bernhard. Proctologist. Divorced from Bernhard's mother after 38 years of marriage; remarried.
mother:
Jeanette Bernhard. Abstract artist. Divorced from Bernhard's father after 38 years of marriage.
brother:
Mark Bernhard. Doctor. Older.
daughter:
Cecily Yasin Bernhard. Born on July 4, 1998.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Confessions of a Pretty Lady" Harper & Row
"Love Love Love"
"May I Kiss You on the Lips, Miss Sandra?" Rob Weisbach Books

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute