Cybill Lynne Shepherd (born February 18, 1950) is an American actress, singer and former model. Her better known roles include starring as Jacy in The Last Picture Show (1971), as Betsy in Taxi Driver (1976), as Maddie Hayes in Moonlighting (1985–1989), as Cybill Sheridan in Cybill (1995–1998), as Phyllis Kroll in The L Word (2007–2009) and as Madeleine Spencer in Psych (2008–2013).
Early life[edit source | edit]Edit
Shepherd was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of Patty (née Shobe), a homemaker, and William Jennings Shepherd, who managed a home appliance business. Named after her grandfather Cy and her father Bill, Shepherd won the 1966 "Miss Teenage Memphis" contest at age 16, and the 1968 "Model of the Year" contest at age 18, making her a fashion star of the 1960s, resulting in fashion modeling work through high school and after.
Career[edit source | edit]Edit
According to Shepherd's autobiography, it was a 1970 Glamour magazine cover that caught the eye of film director Peter Bogdanovich. His then-wife, Polly Platt, claimed that it was she who, upon seeing the cover in a check-out line in a Ralphs grocery store in southern California, said "That's Jacy," referring to the role Bogdanovich was casting—and ultimately offered to Shepherd—in The Last Picture Show (1971).
First experience of fame[edit source | edit]Edit
One of her first films was The Last Picture Show (1971 film), also starring Jeff Bridges and Timothy Bottoms. Shepherd was cast opposite Charles Grodin in The Heartbreak Kid (1972). She played Kelly, the beautiful, sunkissed young woman whom Grodin's character falls for while on his honeymoon in Miami. Directed by Elaine May, it was a critical and box office hit. Also in 1972, Shepherd posed as a Kodak Girl for the camera manufacturer's then ubiquitous cardboard displays.
In 1974, Shepherd released her debut studio album Cybill Does It...To Cole Porter for MCA Records and again teamed with Peter Bogdanovich for the title role in Daisy Miller, based on the Henry James novella. The film—a period piece set in Europe—proved to be a box office failure. Her next film, At Long Last Love (1975), a musical again directed by Bogdanovich, also flopped. Shepherd returned with good reviews for her work in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver(1976). According to Shepherd, Scorsese had requested a "Cybill Shepherd type" for the role. She portrayed an ethereal beauty with whom Robert De Niro's character, Travis Bickle, becomes enthralled.
After a series of less successful roles, including The Lady Vanishes, the remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1938 film of the same name, she dropped out of show business from 1979 to 1982. Returning to acting in 1982, she took to the stage alongside James MacArthur in a theatre tour of Lunch Hour by Jean Kerr.
Return to Hollywood[edit source | edit]Edit
Back from Memphis, Shepherd won the role of Colleen Champion in the night-time drama, The Yellow Rose (1983), opposite Sam Elliott. Although critically acclaimed, the series lasted only one season. A year later Shepherd was cast as Maddie Hayes in ABC's Moonlighting (1985–1989), which became the role that defined her career. The producers knew that her role depended on having chemistry with her co-star, and she was involved in the selection of Bruce Willis. A lighthearted combination of mystery and comedy, the series won Shepherd two Golden Globe awards.
She starred in Chances Are (1989) with Robert Downey Jr. and Ryan O'Neal, receiving excellent reviews. She then reprised her role as Jacy in Texasville (1990), the sequel to The Last Picture Show (1971), as the original cast (including director Peter Bogdanovich) reunited 20 years after filming the original. She also appeared in Woody Allen's Alice (1990), and Eugene Levy's Once Upon a Crime (1992), as well as several television films. In 1997 she won her third Golden Globe award for CBS' Cybill (1995–1998), a television sitcom, in which the title character, Cybill Sheridan, an actress struggling with hammy parts in B movies and bad soaps, was loosely modeled on herself (including portrayals of her two ex-husbands).
In 2000 Shepherd's bestselling autobiography was published, titled Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think, written in collaboration with Aimee Lee Ball. That same year, Shepherd hosted a short-lived syndicated talk show version of the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, but left the show in early 2001 and was replaced byCristina Ferrare, Bo Griffin, Samantha Phillips, Drew Pinsky, and Rondell Sheridan. In 2003 she guest-starred on 8 Simple Rules as Cate Hennessy's (portrayed by Katey Sagal) sister. She has played Martha Stewart in two television films: Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart (2003) and Martha: Behind Bars (2005).
From 2007 until it ended, Shepherd appeared on the Showtime drama, The L Word as the character Phyllis Kroll for the show's final three seasons. In 2008 she joined the cast of the USA Network television series Psych as Shawn Spencer's mother, Madeleine Spencer. On November 7, 2008, Shepherd guest-starred in a February episode of the CBS drama Criminal Minds. In the fall of 2010 Shepherd appeared in an episode of ABC's new show, No Ordinary Family and in November of the same year she guest-starred in an episode of CBS' $h*! My Dad Says.
After appearing alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt in the 2010 television film The Client List, Shepherd became a regular on the series based on the film in 2012 and will continue this role in the show's second season in 2013. In July 2012 Shepherd made her Broadway debut in the revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre alongside James Earl Jones, John Stamos, John Larroquette, Kristin Davis and Elizabeth Ashley to positive reviews.
Political activism[edit source | edit]Edit
Throughout her career, Shepherd has been an outspoken activist for issues such as gay rights and abortion rights. In 2009, Shepherd was honored by the Human Rights Campaign in Atlanta to accept one of two National Ally for Equality awards. She has been an advocate for same-sex marriage and parental rights.
She was present at the opening of the National Civil Rights Museum in her hometown of Memphis, for which she lent some financial support.
Personal life[edit source | edit]Edit
In her autobiography she revealed that in 1978 she called her mother, crying, unhappy with the way her life and career were going, to which her mother replied "Cybill, come home." She went home to Memphis where she met, and began dating, local auto parts dealer and nightclub entertainer, David M. Ford. She became pregnant and they married that year, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1982. Their daughter, Clementine Ford, was born in 1979.
In 1987 she became pregnant by chiropractor, Bruce Oppenheim, and married him, giving birth to twins, Cyrus Zachariah and Molly Ariel Shepherd-Oppenheim during the fourth season of Moonlighting. They were divorced in 1990. Oppenheim went on to marry the actress Jenilee Harrison and it was Harrison who noticed a patch on Shepherd's back which was diagnosed as melanoma and subsequently removed.
In June 2012 she became engaged to boyfriend, Andrei Nikolajevic.
Religious beliefs[edit source | edit]Edit
Autobiography[edit source | edit]Edit
Shepherd made the following claims in her autobiography:
- She dated Elvis Presley in the early 1970s and cared for him, but could not handle his dependence on drugs, and ultimately chose her boyfriend, film director, Peter Bogdanovich, over Presley.
- She agreed to a date with actor, Jack Nicholson, to make Bogdanovich jealous. She later canceled the date and Nicholson would not speak to her again, except to say "hi" at a party many years later.
- She did not like working with Charles Grodin on The Heartbreak Kid (1972), and that it took her several years to like him enough to have a one-night stand with him.
- Robert De Niro asked her out during the filming of Taxi Driver (1976). She turned him down, and he did not speak to her, except in character, for the rest of the filming. She later said that she regretted turning him down.
- She had a sexual encounter with co-star, Don Johnson, during the making of the television miniseries, The Long, Hot Summer (1985).
- The jazz musician, Stan Getz, "came on" to her during a recording session for her album, but she declined and he did not speak to her.
- She and her Moonlighting costar, Bruce Willis, almost became lovers off-screen, but they agreed that it would hurt the series so they chose not to consummate their relationship on a physical level.