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Bernadette Peters

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Also Known As: Bernadette Lazzara, Bernandette Peters Died:
Born: February 28, 1948 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Ozone Park, New York, USA Profession: actor, singer, voice actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Instantly recognizable for her curly red hair and porcelain doll features, Bernadette Peters was already a seasoned theater actress when she broke through with 1968's "Dames at Sea." Her critical triumphs as the star of a series of stage musicals earned her multiple Tony and Drama Desk Awards, and she earned an amazing track record with acclaimed turns in "Song and Dance," "Sunday in the Park with George," "Into the Woods," "Annie Get Your Gun," "Gypsy" and "A Little Night Music," earning a reputation as the premier interpreter of Stephen Sondheim. Romantically linked to Steve Martin for several years, Peters achieved great success onscreen as well, starring in Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie" (1976), the comedy classic "The Jerk" (1979), "Annie" (1982) and "Pennies from Heaven" (1981), winning a Golden Globe for the latter. Gifted with impeccable comic timing, a powerful voice, and a unique charisma, Peters became one of musical theater's most loved and recognizable ambassadors, appearing in many variety shows, tributes and filmed performances that increased mainstream interest in theater. Even audiences resistant to Broadway's charms could appreciate Peters in popular roles such as the sorceress Circe in...

Instantly recognizable for her curly red hair and porcelain doll features, Bernadette Peters was already a seasoned theater actress when she broke through with 1968's "Dames at Sea." Her critical triumphs as the star of a series of stage musicals earned her multiple Tony and Drama Desk Awards, and she earned an amazing track record with acclaimed turns in "Song and Dance," "Sunday in the Park with George," "Into the Woods," "Annie Get Your Gun," "Gypsy" and "A Little Night Music," earning a reputation as the premier interpreter of Stephen Sondheim. Romantically linked to Steve Martin for several years, Peters achieved great success onscreen as well, starring in Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie" (1976), the comedy classic "The Jerk" (1979), "Annie" (1982) and "Pennies from Heaven" (1981), winning a Golden Globe for the latter. Gifted with impeccable comic timing, a powerful voice, and a unique charisma, Peters became one of musical theater's most loved and recognizable ambassadors, appearing in many variety shows, tributes and filmed performances that increased mainstream interest in theater. Even audiences resistant to Broadway's charms could appreciate Peters in popular roles such as the sorceress Circe in "The Odyssey" (NBC, 1997) or as Brandy's wickedly bitchy stepmother in "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" (ABC, 1997). Working steadily and to enormous acclaim across the entire entertainment spectrum, Bernadette Peters was universally hailed as one of the greatest musical theater performers of all time, if not the all-time greatest.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Dorothy of Oz (2014)
2.
 Living Proof (2008)
3.
 Come le formiche (2007)
4.
 It Runs in the Family (2003) Rebecca Gromberg
5.
 Prince Charming (2003) Margo
6.
 Bobbie's Girl (2002) Bailey Lewis
7.
 Let It Snow (1999) Elise Ellis
8.
 Beauty and the Beast: the Enchanted Christmas (1997) Voice Of Angelique
9.
 Anastasia (1997) Voice Of Sophie
10.
 Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1997) Wicked Stepmother
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1953:
At age five, appeared on "Juvenile Jury" and "The Horn & Hardart Children's Hour"
1958:
New York stage debut in "The Most Happy Fella"
1961:
Toured in "Gypsy"; understudied the role of Dainty June; played a Hollywood Blonde in production numbers; first professional collaboration with Stephen Sondheim
1965:
Moved to NYC at age 17 to pursue a stage career
1966:
Appeared in the off-Broadway shows "The Penny Friend" (1966) and "Curly McDimple" (1967)
1967:
Broadway debut, understudied lead role in "The Girl in the Freudian Slip"
1967:
Made actual Broadway performing debut in "Johnny No-Trump"
1968:
Played featured role of Josie Cohan in short-lived musical "George M!" opposite Joel Grey
1968:
Part in the pre-Broadway tour of "A Mother's Kisses" was written out
1968:
Landed star-making role in off-Broadway production of "Dames at Sea"
1969:
First starring role on Broadway in "La Strada"; musical closed on opening night
1970:
Appeared in the out of town tryout of "W.C.," a musical biography of W C Fields
1970:
Recreated her stage role of Josie Cohan in the NBC telecast of "George M!"
1971:
Co-starred in the revival of "On the Town"; garnered first Tony nomination
1972:
Supported Carol Burnett in the CBS telecast of the musical "Once Upon a Mattress"
1973:
Film acting debut, "Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies"
1974:
Co-starred as silent screen actress Mabel Normand opposite Robert Preston as Mack Sennett in the Jerry Herman musical "Mack and Mabel"
1976:
Appeared in the film biography "W C and Me"
1976:
Cast in starring role as Charlotte Drake on sitcom "All's Fair" (CBS)
1978:
Netted first Emmy nomination for an appearance on the syndicated "The Muppet Show"
1979:
First screen collaboration with Steve Martin, "The Jerk"
1980:
Played featured role in the NBC miniseries "The Martian Chronicles"
1981:
Appeared in one of her best screen roles as the schoolteacher girlfriend of Steve Martin in Herbert Ross' "Pennies from Heaven"
1982:
Landed rare non-musical stage role in off-Broadway play "Sally and Marsha"
1982:
Played the role of Lily in John Huston's film version of "Annie"
1983:
Starred with Mandy Patinkin in the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical "Sunday in the Park with George"
1985:
Won Tony Award for role of Emma in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Song and Dance"; Peters appeared alone onstage in the first act
1986:
Recreated stage role of Dot in TV version of "Sunday in the Park with George" (Showtime)
1987:
Reteamed with Sondheim and Lapine for the stage musical "Into the Woods," based on fairy tales; Peters portrayed the Witch
1988:
Made dramatic acting debut in the ABC TV-movie "David," playing the mother of a boy set on fire by his father
1989:
Starred in the Merchant-Ivory production "Slaves of New York"
1989:
Cast as the leading lady to Clint Eastwood in "Pink Cadillac"
1990:
Portrayed televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker (opposite Kevin Spacey) in the NBC biopic "Fall From Grace"
1991:
Recreated stage role of the Witch in PBS TV version of "Into the Woods"
1991:
Played supporting role in the feature "Impromptu," directed by James Lapine
1993:
Provided voice of Rita the cat on "Steven Spielberg Presents the Animaniacs"
1993:
Starred in ill-fated musical version of "The Goodbye Girl"; played opposite Martin Short
1996:
Solo concert debut at Carnegie Hall (December); concert was recorded
1997:
Played the Wicked Stepmother in ABC remake of "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella"
1997:
Voiced character of Sophie in the animated feature "Anastasia"
1998:
Made Australian concert debut
1999:
Appeared as an overprotective Jewish mother in the independent feature "Let It Snow" (formerly "Snow Days"); premiered at Sundance; released theatrically in 2001
1999:
Headlined a revival of Irving Berlin's "Annie Get Your Gun"; won second Tony award
1999:
Starred in the PBS special "Bernadette Peters in Concert," filmed in London
:
Occasionally filled in as guest co-host on "Live With Regis"
2001:
Landed recurring role on Fox's "Ally McBeal"; received Emmy nomination
2002:
Starred opposite Rachel Ward, playing a lesbian couple who adopt a child in "Bobbie's Girl"
2002:
Co-starred in the TNT production "Prince Charming"
2003:
Portrayed Michael Douglas' wife in the film "It Runs in the Family," co-starring Kirk Douglas
2003:
Undertook role of Mama Rose in Broadway revival of "Gypsy," staged by Sam Mendes
2006:
Guest starred as Karen Walker's (Megan Mullally) sister on NBC's "Will & Grace"
2009:
Landed recurring guest role as magazine mogul Jodie Papadakis on ABC's "Ugly Betty"
2011:
Starred in the Broadway revival of "Follies"
2012:
Guest starred on NBC's "Smash" as the mother of aspiring theater star Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Quintano School for Young Professionals: New York , New York -

Notes

Her official Web site is located at www.bernadettepeters.net.

"I really wasn't ever a child star. It wasn't like I had to grow up and have the audience try to accept me as an adult. I was lucky; I was just a performer." --Bernadette Peters in Show Music, Summer 1997.

She was named Harvard Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year in 1986

Peters was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1996. She is one of the youngest inductees in the Hall of Fame's history.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Steve Martin. Actor. Met during the filming of "The Jerk" (1979); together from 1979 until 1982.
husband:
Michael Wittenberg. Stockbroker. Married on July 20, 1996 at the upstate New York home of Mary Tyler Moore; born c. 1961.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Peter Lazzara. Baker, truck driver. Owned bread business.
mother:
Marguerite Lazzara.
brother:
Joseph Lazzara.
sister:
Donna Lazzara.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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